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Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma: Catch Up Not Mustard

Apologies for anyone reading this. It has been difficult trying to catch up.

There is bit of a delay here for a number of reasons. I can’t get full internet coverage at times, the trip is on a tight schedule, and I don’t want to not keep missing all the cool stuff on the drive, like a cow that looks like it has been sliced in half at the mid section because he is standing chest high in water. I will pick up where I left off yesterday. We left Lake Catherine State Park, so sad. But we put the Go Pro on the hood when we drove out. I know that will be good footage. That little camera is a magic moviemaker. Not to mention that Thomas, as usual, the wizard that he is, connected the link for the Go Pro to his iPad so we could see the live feed while we were driving. Don’t worry parents, he took it off before we got on the highway.

The drive from Arkansas to Oklahoma was an interesting visual change. We were on back roads with virtually no other drivers. I don’t know when I had ever been on a road where it almost seemed like you owned it. The topography gradually changed. The trees looked different and began to spread out. The distant horizon turned into tall hillsides of trees. Beautiful green blend of grass and leaves. The towns became more desolate. Some buildings in the towns looked like they had not had visitors in years. For instance, Rt 8 in Norman, Arkansas had the strangest little side road sights. 1.There was a library “the size of a shed for your back yard purchased at Home Depot” –Thomas. 2. The cutest small, golden honey colored dog, scratching his neck. 3. The multiple “First” Baptist churches. 4. A full sized 7_ _ (don’t know exactly what class) airplane sitting off to the side like an out of service school bus. Everything was a double, triple take.

Oklahoma was so majestic that we did stop a few times to take pictures. I think that as a learning lesson on this first leg, we need to incorporate time for roadside shoots as well. A lot of the in-betweens were as interesting as the end points. There were lots of cattle of many colors and lots of calves. We climbed and climbed the roads of the San Bois Mountains until we reached Robbers Cave State Park. It sat up in the bluff hidden by trees where the road divided the park in half. Belle Starr Lodge (our accommodations at the park) and camping on one side and the lake and horse back riding and the actual Robbers Cave.

The rooms were not what you would expect. They were boutique like with the cutest accent pillows monogramed with Belle Starr Lodge. The lodge itself is a one floor, so each room had a sliding glass door to a patio. Holy mackerel what a view! The lodge backed close to the edge of a hill. You could see the green peeks of the hills mixed with the tops of trees climbing down the to the bottom. Of course the stargazer nerds in us knew that this would be the best star sky since there was little light pollution. It was hard to leave that dotted sky. Shooting stars and blazing red and blue stars, that crab nebula. I know that if a person had to count the stars they could see in the sky, they wouldn’t know how to count them because they wouldn’t know what numbers to use.

Today was the part I was dying to get to. Robbers Cave was a former hideout for outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr. I’m sorry but who doesn’t think that an outlaw is cool? Jesse James is the most notorious outlaw out there. The caves were a perfect hideout. I would have hid out there too. I walked where Jesse James walked! The view on top of the cave leaves you in awe. It was this kaleidoscope of trees and hills and rock and crevice. I can imagine Jesse sitting atop the cave knowing he got away with it again and appreciating that skyline. This is another have to see it in person.

Time to get going, again. The next stop and the reason I wanted to take this route on this first leg was because of NAARVA’s (National African American RVer’s Association, Inc.) annual rally in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Since NAARVA and their organization are too important to add when I am running out of steam, I will begin with them tomorrow when I am fresh. Today has been a long day and I am sure typing in a car while it is dark outside is not good for my eyes. But before I go, I can at least thank Mr. Lemuel Horton (NAARVA President) and Mr. Wendell Simpson (Director of the Southern Region) for allowing us to film today. I also would like to thank Oklahoma State Park Director, Kris Marek for hosting us at Robbers Cave State Park. I would love to come back soon so I go horseback riding like a real outlaw.

Oklahoma has 35 state parks, 5 lodges and 7 golf courses.

Provide our citizens and visitors with State Parks that enhance and protect the environment, promote the quality of life in Oklahoma, encourage tourism and actively seek to maintain a balance between resource protection and recreational use of State Park lands. Oklahoma has 35 state parks, 5 lodges and 7 golf courses.

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