Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to Oklahoma??

Thursday May 12, 2011
Brushy Lake State Park  Site L-1
Sallisaw, Oklahoma

We got a record start at 8:57am
on our way to Brushy Creek State Park Sallisaw Oklahoma

We were welcomed to Oklahoma

and then immediately a sign,
telling us we were
"Entering the Cherokee Nation".

My camera wouldn’t recover fast enough
to get a picture of it but as we drove,
we saw many welcome to and leaving from
various Native American Lands.

In fact, it seems like all of Oklahoma was
Indian Reservations for those who
were forced to it from all over the country.

Shortly after that point,
other folks decided they wanted the land
and so instead of holding a reservation in commmon
as was their tradition,
the policy was changed for the Native Americans
and they were given "allotments" of 160 acres each
and the rest of the former reservation
land was given to white settlers either by
lottery or in a "run".

I am ashamed that my country
has never publicly apologized for its appalling
treatment of this country's Native Peoples nor
admitted its formal policy of genocide.

We stopped by an information station to see if
they had any information on campgrounds  along I40.
These little Tee-Pees over the picnic tables
were unique.
Other than Next Exit, I have not found
any information by highway
and even Next Exit does not
list specific campgrounds.
I did get the newest Oklahoma highway map and
was surprised to see this quotation by Oklahoma Native
Will Rogers as the one mounted on the wall.
Not that I don't agree with him.

 And would love to have this Native American dress on display.
It didn't say which tribal dress it was and with so many various
tribes in this state, I have no idea.
We pulled into Brushy Lake around 3:30.
We drive about like we hike,
slowly with many stops.

This state park looks and feels
more like a local campground
than a State Park.
I read on line that the state was going to close it.
Lots of comments on that page were folks
lamenting its loss as it was
such a cute place;
a place they’d gone for years with their families.

And that’s pretty much what it looks like.
Very laid back.  No trails, no visitor center.
Just the lake and folks who
want to boat or fish on it.
The sites have water & electric.
Dump station is available.

All sites are $20 with a 10% discount for over age 62.
Nice price even though twice as expensive as Petit Jean
which now looks even more like an AMAZING place.

We had called ahead to make sure they would
have spaces and Doris from the office,
which is a room created within a metal equipment building,
put a reserved sign on a site she thought we’d like.
A very thoughtful thing to do.

Doris was great to work with
both on the phone and in person.
The folks here are very friendly.

I almost reconsidered our water front site
when I saw the trees and benches still under water
and heard that our campsite,
along with the others on the water
and the road into them
had been under water less than a week ago. 
I was told “things have dried out considerably”.
Look at the "lake front" bench.


But we took the chance and moved into Site L-1 on the water.

And then the problems began.

Today’s first problem:
According to the weatherman,
the rain had been moved from 3:00
to 6:00.  Plenty of time to get in
a grocery run.

As we drove out, I tried to pay Doris for the site.
The card was denied AGAIN.  
Same story.

I called,
got Linda in Maryland
who said
like a broken record,
“no more cards have gone out since the 27th of April. 
But 6 more came back in on May 6th so that stopped your card.  
But I've reset it and
they’ve all come in now
so you won’t have any more trouble.”  

More time and cell phone minutes wasted
(I’m on the 450 min a month plan).
The 8th call I’ve made and 18th person I’ve talked to.
 Although, the last person before this did credit my
account with $100 to cover all the phone calls.
She definitely thought I was getting bumb deal,
but obviously couldn't stop it.

Problem solved "for the moment",
back in the car,
pay Doris, everything works fine
but we failed to pay attention to the time as
we drove off to the grocery.

Today’s 2nd problem: 
While in the store 
the largest hail storm
I have EVER experienced occurred.

We were at the check out
or I would have gone to look outside sooner. 
It lasted nearly 20 minutes
and was just ending when I got to the door
and took a couple of
not so hot pictures with my phone.
Some of the “stones” were nearly golf ball size
and they were pounding down on the roof like
gun blasts.
The store manager had someone at the door
who was not letting people leave until it was over. 
Not sure if that was for insurance purposes or what.

AMAZINGLY I figured out  how to get
the pictures off of my new Droid.
Although this was my first and impromptu
use of the camera on the phone,
they are none too good.
Wish I could have been at the window earlier
and had time to figure out how to use the zoom
Those hail balls were WAY bigger than
they look here

My car was outside during the hail storm
and I haven’t inspected it for damage
since when we got back to Winnona and 
I opened the door with groceries in my arms,
it was clear, that because of the heat,
 we had forgotten to close the windows
and everything was sopping wet.
The couch, the dinette,
the bathroom floor,
the chairs,

AND problem #3 
David’s laptop was sitting by an open window.
Although case was closed, it had gotten rained on.
And when it was dried off, it didn't work.
GREAT day so far.

Todays 4th Problem.
(I thought they came in 3s??)

Blogger was down.
So I couldn’t spend my evening hours of more rain
doing another couple of catch up blogs.
Carrie emailed  to say that she wasn’t able to comment
on the blog.
What’s going on here?

I checked to see what was up
and found that my entire
Hot Springs National Park post
and all its many many pictures
which took me hours to do
and on which folks had already commented is

Well it’s been one of
days  at this point.

David worked on drying out his laptop
so hopefully he can get it running again.
But so far, no luck.

Thank goodness mine wasn’t near the window.
(at least no problem #5 in one day)

Rain and thunder continued on into the night. 
It makes good sleeping as long as the hail is finished. 
Hope it’s not enough rain to raise the lake up to us again. 
Guess we’ll assess that and the hail damage tomorrow in the day light.

We’re expecting this small campground
to be filled to the brim tomorrow and Saturday nights. 
We are doing a down day here tomorrow
and moving on to Red Rock Canyon State Park 220 miles away
on Saturday in an effort to make up some time. 

There really isn’t much to do here
but perhaps kayak the lake. 
So it's a great place for a Down Day.

 But the folks are friendly like Doris
and Katarina
(boy I hope i got her name right
I didn't write it down and she was SO nice)
She knows the park and area well
and warned me this morning
BEFORE the repeat credit card fiasco,
about the upcoming rain
and possible storm.
This was why we headed out early
to be back by 6:00.
Not much good if you get
waylaid and don't check the time.

No rain tomorrow.
Maybe we’ll go back to town
and look for a Laundromat.  
Had we been smart enough
to consider all errands that needed doing
we would have waited until tomorrow to go in
and may well have avoided all weather related problems,
as it doesn’t look like there was hail here at the campground,
just a LOT of rain.

Live and learn is definitely the story here.
Don't try to do so much on a travel day is
my take home message! 
Even IF you get there early.



  1. Wow, you had a DAY!!! The size of that hail looked ginormous!
    Take Care out there....

  2. So sorry to hear about the muliple problems ;o((

    I know they say, "into every life a little rain must fall" but, not all on one day!!

    I would start to think about changing credit card companies... They really have caused you too much trouble.

    But even with all the problems...we still envy you two ;o)) We are ready to throw in the towel and head to Petit Jean SP now!!

    Hope things dry out and tomorrow brings you both a great smiling day :o)))))))

  3. I am so sorry to hear all the problems you had in such a short time. You must be next in line for some really good happenings!

    I agree 100% about the treatment of American Indians. I think they will have the last laugh though.

  4. Oh my! When it rains, it pours. . . literally (unfortunately). I'm sending you a virtual hug since I can't be there in person. On the bright side, look at your record departure time! We'll never even get close to that!

    Chin up. It was a bad day. Hopefully things have brightened up for you.

  5. Oh, no, not the laptop! Crap! That is my fear - crashing, burning, or getting wet. A couple of times I have thought mine was dead and Phil has removed the battery for a few minutes and it amazingly boot up. As a last resort, maybe the hard drive can be recovered. Hope the car is ok. This weather is too weird!

  6. Take the laptop with you and put it on the dryer. Sometimes the warmth from the dryer is enough to dry out little bits of dampness in electronic.

    You could put it in a bag of uncooked rice, too but it would have to be a pretty goodsized bag.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!