Matt's 37th Birthday!

We slept in a little and got going slowly, it was a nice morning just hanging out.
We moved campsites from 8 to 27, I liked the new site MUCH more.

We headed to Oklahoma and got to the state line by 11. We had lunch at the rest stop and shared Oreo Cakesters with candles to celebrate Matt's birthday.

We decided to get some geocaches since we were in a new state and headed to the nearest town, Sallisaw. Just outside Sallisaw is Akin and buried in the Akin Cemetery is Charles 'Pretty Boy' Floyd, a gangster back in the 30's. His grave is a virtual geocache now.

It was about 110 in the shade, so we went looking for water. We drove to Brushy Lake State Park since it was close, but there was no beach and the locals were all over the place, just wading in the grassy edges of the water. I did not want my boo-boo arm in dirty water, so we opted to skip and headed for another virtual geocache at Sequoyah's Cabin just up the road.

The cabin itself is now inside a rock building that is air conditioned, so we hung out longer than I think we normally would have. hahaha!
Chan wanted to check out the visitor's center and in there we met Jerry Dobbs, the docent on duty. He was great! He gave us a print out of our names in Cherokee and how to say them and talked a long time about Sequoyah and the Cherokee. It turns out, there is a huge population of Cherokee just up the road at Tahlequah and the language is very much alive. Children speak it exclusively through the second grade in school, signs and even the newspaper are written in Cherokee. We headed to Tahlequah, which is the end of the Trail of Tears. The word Tahlequah means 'two is enough'.

We ended up going swimming at Lake Tenkiller, which is a limestone basin lake, so the water was clear and cool and DEEP. The swim area was fantastic, I really enjoyed our time there. The lake was named after the Tenkillers, a prominent Cherokee family who owned land and operated a ferry service near the site where the dam is now. Legend has it that the Cherokee warrior was given his name by the men at Fort Gibson because of the ten notches in his bow. I have no idea if that's accurate or not.

Back at camp, we had showers, ate dinner and hit the sack. It had rained on us on the way back, but the campground was dry.

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At the Akins Cemetery:

 

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Driving the countryside:

At Sequoyah's Cabin:

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Scissor tailed Flycatcher
We don't have those here!

More driving around:

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At Lake Tenkiller:

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Back in Arkansas:

The clouds were just amazing the whole trip!

 

DAY THREE