October 2015 – After enjoying the wonderful Biblesta celebration in Humboldt, Kansas, we continued our RV travels south and west. We had been hoping to catch some fall colors in Oklahoma, and deliberately took some off-the-beaten-path scenic roads, but our timing was off and we were just a little bit early for the peak.
However, we still saw a magical sunrise in Grove, Oklahoma!
Even though it was fall, and not spring, two northern flickers started doing a fabulous courtship type of dance in the grass right outside our trailer door. They jumped around with wonderfully bouyant movements, showing off their flashy yellow feathers under their wings and tails.
Sometimes people wonder how we go about choosing our travel destinations, and the truth is that we stumble into most of them. We don’t do a lot of planning. We prefer, instead, simply to be out there in the world and to see what kinds of adventures are waiting for us.
I had just answered such a query one morning when, a few hours later, as we were driving down the road with our rolling home trailing along behind us, we glanced down a street and saw a fall festival in full swing right in the middle of the road. What luck!
We were in Welch, Oklahoma, and the town was in the middle of its Welch OK Harvest Days celebration. Mark quickly found a place to park the RV, and we walked back to see what was going on.
It was a cold, gray day, but the spirit was warm and friendly as we walked around the various booths. There was a table of cozy looking knitted goodies, and there were pumpkins and hay bales stacked up for decoration.
In the middle of the street a bunch of guys were making hay bales the old fashioned way. The whole time we walked around the fair, these guys were stabbing a big pile of hay with pitchforks and loading it into the machine. One by one, the machine created rectangular hay bales. Nowadays, massive combines scour the farm fields, spitting round hay bales out the back as they drive down the rows.
I’m sure there was a time when this antique hay baler was a back saving godsend, but compared to modern farm equipment, this rickety old antique was downright quaint.
Nearby, there was a ring toss going on with a bunch of pop bottle as the target.
In one booth, a local vintner was selling bottles of fine OK wine.
All the store fronts in town were dressed up for the festivities
When we peeked in one window, we saw a cat lounging on a workbench. Cute!
Right in the middle of it all there were pony rides. One little girl enjoyed her ride so much that after she got off the pony she walked with it around the ring a few times.
While the litle girl walked her pony, a little boy was having a ball playing on an antique tractor. He climbed all over it and seemed ready to hit the farm fields — if only he could get it started.
As we walked around, all of a sudden we could hear the familiar and unintelligible patter of an auctioneer. Drawing closer, we saw that there was an auction going on. He was auctioning off cakes and pies, and the bids were coming in fast and furious.
Taking care not to make the wrong gesture, or inadvertently raise my hand the wrong way (or I’d end up with a fancy cake!), I got a brief video clip so you can hear what this sounds like:
This part of the world is tornado country, and one vendor had a neat selection of storm shelters for sale. These things were like rugged closets you install in the ground. They were fun for the kids to play in too!
We were lured to one edge of the fair by the yummy smell of a barbecue, and it turned out that Smokin’ Brothers Barbecue was grilling up some delicious things on one of their cute little farmhouse style grills. These guys build their own grills, and as long-time Traeger Grill owners, they say they have bested the Traeger design at a fraction of the cost. I don’t know a lot about high end grills, but I sure loved the little red “barn-b-que”!
After enjoying Welch Harvest Days for a few hours, we moseyed on down the road, traversing Oklahoma from north to south.
Eventually we landed in Paris, Texas, where the Eiffel Tower stands proud, wearing a red Texas cowboy hat on top!
We had no idea at the time how much our thoughts would be turning towards Paris, France, as world events unfolded in the next few weeks…
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Here’s some more info about this corner of Oklahoma:
- Welch OK Harvest Days – Official Website
- Smokin’ Brothers Grills – Get a “Barn-B-Que”
- Where is Welch, Oklahoma? – Google Maps
Other posts from our RV and sailing travels where we’ve bumped into cool things going on:
- San Diego Farmer’s Market – Butterfly Art and Special Veggies with an African Twist
- Mayan Temple Spring Solstice Celebration – Descendants of ancient Mayans honor their forebears at 1,200 year old ruins
- Virginia Country Store Bluegrass Music Jam – Impromptu and inspiring music full of heart and soul in an old time country store