A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I planned the route we’d take to get there, avoiding interstates and major highways as often as possible. You may be questioning why I would deliberately make a fairly lengthy trip even longer. The answer is this: there is an undeniable beauty in rural Oklahoma.
From the Central Great Plains and shortgrass prairies that make up our home in Southwestern Oklahoma, we embarked on our journey East through three of our state’s diverse environments. (Fun Fact: Oklahoma consists of ten different ecological regions)
Winding our way through the Crosstimbers region, we cruised through such bustling towns as Ardmore and Tishomingo. Thence eastward we found ourselves trekking the Ozark Forest, exploring Tahlequah. After wandering our way through Atoka and Stringtown, we eventually arrived at Talihina and started upon the beautiful Talimena National Scenic Byway.
Taking in these communities and their downtowns, amazed at the life that remains and the beauty of their restored historic buildings, I found myself wondering: what do they have that we don’t?
The answer: Nothing.
They have beautiful scenery, so do we. They have beautiful historic buildings, so do we. They have citizens that believe in their towns and their future and work hard for the benefit of their communities, so do we.
We are on an equal playing field. The opportunities we seize, the effort we are willing to exert, and the attitudes we possess are what will set us apart.