Schedules being dynamic as they are when you're retired allowed us some extra days between scheduled stops. Even though we were a day late leaving Neosho, MO due to a never ending line of thunderstorms we took advantage to do some relaxing and fishing in the Ouachita National Forest of Oklahoma, a spur of the Ozarks. Leaving Neosho, MO we ventured south on I-49 to Fort Smith, Arkansas and then I-40 just west into Oklahoma where we began our journey to the southeastern part of the state. If you've never been here, it is by far the most beautiful part of this state. It is rolling, mountainous land with plenty of lakes, streams, hardwood forests, and some wilderness (without banjo music). It would remind you of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina or even the Porcupines of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We visited here a lot when we lived in Oklahoma.Our destination was at Short Mountain Cove on the Arkansas River, just south of Sallisaw, OK. www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.17895 This is an Army Corp of Engineers Campground that qualifies for the 'Senior All Access' discounted price of $9.50 for water, electric, showers, and dump station (borderline boondocking). 9 days for $85.50.....nice! There are two loops to this campground which is nestled in the hardwoods next to Robert S. Kerr Lake. We chose the emptier loop as we love the peace and quiet while still on the water.
Try as we might, changing our hours, baits, and locations (and this is a bit hard to admit) we did not catch one single catfish. After 3 days we braved the 90s heat and fished the river below the dam near the locks, but the only thing we found were snapping turtles. I even changed hats 3 times (Fleet Farm, Tabasco, and Spartans) to find some luck. Nope.
Ah yes, the obligatory meal and cooking section. While here we dined on Shrimp Feta Salads, Tasso, Cheese, & Grits, Wild Boar Steaks w/Peach Salsa, Fish Taco Boats, Mexican Manicotti, Caprese Chicken, and grilled a couple of NY Strips over the fire to name a few. We replaced our original 1 1/2 quart RV crockpot with a bit bigger 2 quart model this time. This is plenty big for Barb and I. I christened it with a batch of Creole Crawfish Tasso Corn Chowder including the homemade Tasso I smoked this summer.
Creole Crawfish Tasso Corn Chowder
Wild Boar Ham Steaks w/Peach Pineapple Chipotle Salsa, Spaetzle and Green Beans
Lowest diesel of the trip so far in Sallisaw, OK.....$2.09 The casino at Sallisaw, OK, although they serve a delicious menu are nowhere reasonably priced for gambling. The cheapest slots are 1 cent although the minimum bet is 50 cents. Pulling anchor we head west to Lake Thunderbird just SE of Oklahoma City to visit family and friends. We will continue to practice our retiree relaxation and catfishing to the best of our ability. Barb reminds me that there will some serious shopping (pre-hunting) while we are there as well. I hope I find my MOJO before quail season gets here......
"Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind"
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi