After my mom’s graveside service in Eufaula, Kay and I took a weekend Jeep trip with my sister Carole Hanks and her husband – and my long-time friend Mark – to the Kiamichi Mountains of southeast Oklahoma.
Our first night’s stay was in Talihina. We stayed at Hootie Creek Bed and Breakfast – a great choice. The next morning I went for a pre-dawn walk around town to take some photos. I do this quite often in new locales – photos just for me, for fun. They are nothing special, just a way to relax and document life. It didn’t take long to walk around Talihina. My normal walk or run is 3-5 miles. I made two loops around this small eastern Oklahoma town to get in my miles.
Heading east out of Talihina, we visited Billy Creek campground. This is a popular camping spot for people riding horses, dirt bikes, or side-by-sides in the Ouachita Mountains east of Talihina. After a bit of exploration, we headed south to Three Sticks Monument and K-Trail. I have ridden K-Trail often on my motorcycle, but never in a 4-wheeled vehicle. It is about a 100-mile long trail that goes across the mountaintops from Mena, Arkansas to Clayton, Oklahoma. It is very similar to the Talimena Drive expect that it is not paved. Well, that is putting it kindly. It is a rough, rocky trail that can be difficult on a dirt bike and at times unpassable in a Jeep.
We jumped on K-Trail at Three Sticks Monument and headed east. It was rough going and took us nearly 4 hours to go a scant 8 miles. If you decide to drive K-Trail in your Jeep, be sure and bring a good way to trim back the overgrown vegetation, or you will have pinstripes all down your new paint job. I brought a machete, but it wasn’t really strong enough for some of the tree limbs. Tree lopers are better, and a battery-powered chain saw would be perfect.
Upper Mountain Fork
After spending way too much time on the K-Trail, we ate lunch in Smithville and then did some exploring east and south towards Broken Bow Lake. Eventually our path took us to a nice secluded spot on the Upper Mountain Fork River, where we stopped to fish, take photos, and enjoy the afternoon.
Beaver’s Bend State Park
We ended up spending the night at Beaver’s Bend State Park. It is the first time I have stayed there in many years and I was surprised that cabins were even available, probably because it was the first week of school for kids.
Honobia and Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area
The main reason I wanted to go to southeast Oklahoma was to share the remote scenery in the Honobia and Three Rivers WMA with my sister Carole and her husband Mark. They had been to Broken Bow area several times, but like most people, had never really explored the remote timber area west and north towards Honobia, Clayton, Battiest, and Cloudy.