Instead of giving each other cards and expensive gifts, David and I have most enjoyed going on trips to celebrate our anniversary. One year it was a Caribbean cruise, last year we had a wonderful trip to Boise. This year we opted for something closer to home, but wanted a destination distinct enough from our normal landscape to feel like a getaway. We chose to drive less than two & a half hours to stay in a rustic cabin at the peaceful Wilderness Lakefront Resort on Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. Hey, it had a full kitchen, so it wasn't too rustic.
Home away from home: Cabin #4
The landscape there is indeed very different from what we might have expected: Towering trees, steep hills, a clean lake, and abundant wildlife. This was a wonderful place to celebrate our seven years of marriage by spending time enjoying a beautiful place together.
Thanks to a local squirrel for taking our picture.
We also had a fantastic dinner at Abendigo's Restaurant in Hochatown. David had the fire roasted tomato risotto (I sampled it--was outstanding); I had the Signature Steak Filet with bleu cheese glaze, port wine sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. I could've died happy, right there, but gladly did not, as that might have cast a general pall over the weekend. And I wouldn't have gotten to go canoeing.
Below is evidence that we actually didn't look like hermits the entire weekend. I had the camera set up on the porch and we had to do several takes with me pushing the auto-timer and sprinting in flip-flops down the steps and tearing throught the gravel in the picnic area to the bridge to "act natural" for the picture.
On Sunday we first had a flat tire, which the owner of WLF was kind enough to fix for us--he's a great guy. After that we took out the resort-provided canoe on the lake for several hours with lunch in the ice chest. I was in back as the awkward rudder. David was in front as the power paddler and harasser of the awkward rudder. It was a lesson in having to work together! We figured it out eventually--mostly, without anyone going overboard or getting smacked in the head with a paddle. I love canoeing!
After canoeing and a rest, we hiked in the McCurtain Co. Wilderness Area, which is where the first picture of this post was taken. It had some steep terrain, with some lovely pine forest. The scent of pine needles and the sound of the wind rushing through them is an ideal condition for peaceful wandering.
A clear stream running through the trail--a good spot to wash the walking sticks.
We checked out on Monday and drove about 20 minutes to Beaver's Bend Resort Park with its trout stream, nature and hiking trails, camping, canoeing, and nature center. They even have a mini-golf course, strangely enough! We plan to go camping there in the future, but we only had time for an afternoon excursion this time. At Beaver's Bend we hiked two scenic trails and drove around to see some of the camping areas.
This was a little steeper than I had anticipated. Hmm. And the rocks a little pointy. Hmmm.
So, to avoid the steepest part of the trail where we had to hold onto stuff and climb up over rocks, we decided to hike along the river on our way back. This worked well to a point, but then we started ascending gradually from the river until we found ourselves in the middle of a very steep embankment with no sign of a trail at all. I think we took the mountain goat path. It was almost a sheer drop to the river (injury guaranteed), or we could try to go up the side of the hill slowly (injury less likely) and hope not to fall like some human Plinko through the sharp rocks and trees down to the river (death, dismemberment).
We decided we'd better not fall on the way up. So, we took it slow and held onto any available trees as we tried to find good footholds. It's one of those scenarios where you keep thinking "This is so stupid. I can't believe we are doing this," and yet on we went.
Way down yon is the river. The grade is so steep that I can't even see our starting point on the mountain goat path.
Amazingly, we made it in one piece back to the end of the trail to head home and were none the worse for our adventures except for a few stowaway chiggers. Nothing says romantic weekend quite like chigger bites. Except for maybe a roving seed tick or two. These aside, it was a perfect weekend for a couple of hermits in love!