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Welcome to Oklahoma, Part Deux



It was after 6 pm by the time I got my flat fixed in Clinton. I looked for the nearest campground, and ended up at Roman Nose State Park and Resort. Several state parks have this "and resort" honorific. Apparently it means there is a golf course and lodge nearby. There's certainly a nice one at Roman Nose. I got a site right on the shore of Lake Waponga, with electricity and water, for $15.

I decided to take a little constitutional along the lake, where I came upon a very large woman who seemed to be stuck in a rickety and trembling lawn chair, facing a sunset which was, as she said, "glorious".

"We've had so much rain. Everything's so green. It's usually brown as toast this time of year."

It was nice, though I noted that the Red River was reduced to a series of puddles where I crossed it.

"God must've known you were coming. He made it so green for you."

I replied that the Almighty doubtless had other things to do than arrange the weather to suit me.

"Oh, no, Honey. He does it for everybody."

She seemed rapt in some private Revelation. I thanked her for the thought, she blessed me,and I went on to the bed.

Next morning, on the way back to 183 (also known as the 45th Infantry Division Memorial Highway), I passed through Okeene, known for its Rattlesnake Hunt, featuring the "Den of Death". In Woodward I passed by a sign that said "Work & Work, Attorneys at Law". I'm not sure if it was a name or an exhortation. In Canton I ate at the only Mexican restaurant I know of where macaroni arrives unheralded on the enchilada plate.

If you can forego golf, I believe Canton Lake is the campground of choice in these parts. It's a large Corps of Engineers Reservoir on the north fork of the Canadian River. The campsites are arranged up the slope of a windy hill in full view of the lake, under a grove of trees. It's where I'd go if I just wanted some peace and quiet. I asked the gatekeeper why the place was so deserted.

"It's the heat. Yesterday I had some people tell me they'd be back when we fixed the air conditioning."

It is 95 degrees F. Plenty hot despite the breeze. It would be lovely here in the fall. Electricity and water for $15.

Back on 183, I passed through Fort Supply, and turned off to see the Historic Site. I was well into the grounds before I realized it is in the middle of a prison facility of the State Department of Corrections. Everybody was walking around in tan and gray jumpsuits. Let's see, do I want to park the trailer here? Upon reflection, I left without viewing the no doubt historic remains of the old Fort.

Going through town, though, I saw a sign that brought me up short. "Custom Knives and Convenience Store". I had about an hour's conversation with a genial fellow named Osa McDowell. All the knives on view were already sold, as he stays anywhere from several weeks to several months behind. We went back to his shop, and he showed me the whole process, and we went through a pile of exotic woods he uses for the handles. Next year Osa is moving to Montrose, Colorado, and setting up shop on Hwy 50 right where you turn off to go to Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Look in, you'll be glad you did.

You can see some of his work at

I was particularly taken with the "little skinner".

On to Dodge City, still looking for snow.


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