Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fall...Medicine for the Soul.

by Kelly

"What would you think about taking a little road trip to go look at fall foliage?"  This is what my husband, Tripp, asked me Friday night. We had come back from dinner and Yolatti (our Friday night ritual), and we were downstairs in the basement watching Gold Rush on television.

{I know...serious party animals we are...but all I can say is that at least it wasn't Finding Big Foot.}

Anyway, as I had been feeling kind of croupy, I just laid there on the couch in a cough medicine-induced stupor.  I think I grumbled something to effect of  "can we wait to see how I feel tomorrow?"

{Please...try not to be jealous.}

I guess I should probably back up here just a little bit and share with you that if it was up to me, I would probably never venture more than five miles from my house.  Because truly I am happy to putter around the house for days on end. But Tripp...well he is my explorer.  

Thankfully, after a good night's sleep, the next morning I was feeling much more like myself.  And after two giant cups of coffee I was ready to hit the road.  So I grabbed my camera and off we went.

Well so before we set off on our afternoon road trip, Tripp called and invited his mom, Penny, to come along with us. And the thing about my mother-in-law is that she just has a knack for knowing about all kinds of backroads and little shortcuts.  My husband gets his love of adventure from his momma.  Anyway, after a quick pit-stop for gas, we were on our way. 

Now I know a lot of folks wouldn't think of eastern Oklahoma as a fall foliage destination. And maybe for the past few years, considering the drought that our state has suffered, that was true.  But I have to tell you, much like many of you who've been sharing your gorgeous fall photos in our Flickr pool, we Okies are experiencing one of the prettiest fall seasons that I can remember.  One of the reasons we wanted to get out to enjoy it.

As it turned out, Saturday was a beautiful day...lots of blue sky and warm sunshine.  But there was also just enough of a chill to the air to make it feel like fall.  And it made for a truly beautiful drive.

Well so our first stop was at the Cherokee Landing campground...it's right off of Highway 82, just before you cross the bridge over Lake Tenkiller.  From the water's edge, we could appreciate the lovely patchwork of fall color along the Cookson Hills.  The added bonus was watching a graceful Blue Heron skimming across the water.

After that, we made our way across the bridge and headed north on Highway 10, the twisty, two-lane road that runs nearly parallel to the Illinois River.  A few miles up the road, Penny sat up from the back and pointed out a gravel road that led up to the Elephant Rock Nature Park.  And once we got to the top of the hill we were greeted with breathtaking views of the surrounding hillside.

Pretty amazing the perspective one can get just by getting off the beaten path, no?

So after that little off-road adventure, we continued heading north where we then turned off down towards Sparrowhawk Village.

For approximately 10 miles, I sat in the front seat and oooohhhdd and aaaahhhhdd at the scenic drive. Every five minutes asking Tripp to stop so that I could get out to take 'a couple' of pictures.

It was at this point that Tripp was probably secretly wishing that my camera battery would die or my SD card would fill up. "How many more pictures you got on that thing anyway?" 

Can I tell you, though...it was such a perfect day.  And as the afternoon wore on, the light just kept getting prettier and prettier.  I just can't imagine any more wonderful place to experience fall than right there in the middle of the woods. Surrounded by nature.  

As it was starting to get late, we decided to make our way back home. But not without first stopping at the Hanging Rock Camp. During the peak summer months it is a campground/boat launch point for campers who are planning to raft down the Illinois River. But on that perfect Saturday, we had the whole place pretty much to ourselves. A wonderful opportunity to get up-close and personal with the scenic Illinois River.  This time of year so quiet and serene as compared to the often wild summer rafting parties.

So since we at FOL are setting aside the month of November for the practice of gratitude, I thought I might use it as an opportunity to share some of  my own.  Of course I could offer up gratitude for the beauty of nature...for the stunning colors of fall and the beautiful light.  But today I thought I would also share my gratitude for my wonderful husband.  For his adventurer 'ying' to my homebody 'yang'.  For not getting annoyed every time I asked him to pull over to stop. 

And especially, because he knows that sometimes, getting out of the house is just what the doctor ordered.

Yes indeed...fall is good medicine for the soul.  I highly encourage you to get out there and soak it all in.

Until next time, Kelly


Jeanne said...

These are really lovely shots, and makes me think that it might still be lovely when I visit oklahoma next weekend. Glad you had an enjoyable day and that your husband is an adventurer

Dotti said...

Sitting here nodding. My husband and I took a 'Sunday drive' because we knew the fall colors would be waning quickly now. We didn't venture more than 15 miles from home ... no need to, we live in such a beautiful area. But he very patiently stopped the car on a dime; backed up; turned around; pulled over. It was a great day. And, as you say ... some days you just need to get out of the house. Your day out was well worth the time and effort. You have beautiful photos and beautiful memories.

Linda said...

So glad you got some good medicine! Getting out and enjoying the fall colors! And bonus, you shared with us! We're still waiting for fall color so seeing yours and what's in the gallery is so nice!

Ashling said...

May I offer gratitude for this post? Your photos are beautiful as always, and yep...nature heals body, mind & soul. Glad you're feeling better and that you found your perfect ying!

Kim Stevens said...

I guess since we just don't get but a blink if we are lucky of fall, I would have to change 'fall' to nature and I have plenty of that here. I do just love being home but I do SO love an adventure and haven't been able to be on one for a while....so thank you for sharing yours! Sunday drives with my grandparents were one of my favorite things to do as a kid, strange I know!

terriporter said...

For me, there's nothing like nature and photography to cure whatever ails me! I can see why this day trip soothed your soul. Your gorgeous photos make me wish we had fall here but I guess I'll just have to live vicariously through everyone's gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

Anonymous said...

So wonderful to see what fall looks like in Oklahoma! Your photos are exquisite. I had a yearning for adventure too -- and wanted to see what fall looked like in New York City for once. I have so many pics I don't know where to start on a post. So I am reading others!

heyjudephotography said...

I agree with Terri's comment - nothing like photography and nature to fix whatever is wrong! Isn't it amazing how much we miss when we don't go off the beaten path? Your Mother in law is like my Dad - he knows all the good, hidden, out of the way places and roads. Hope you're feeling better. Your photos are beautiful.

leigh said...

Yes, it has been an amazing fall and you captured it so well! I especially love the photo from the low perspective showing the moss, the fallen leaves and the golden light through the trees. Stunning! next time can I tag along on a Tripp and Kelly adventure?

Sarah Huizenga said...

Backroads are always the best. And he asked you out for the drive so he should expect to stop for photos :)

Stacey said...

What gorgeous photographs! So glad you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...


You sound like me ... I am a homebody married to an adventure seeker. Every once in a while I get a need to leave feeling or excited about going someplace. For the most part, I am content working on the ranch and taking care of the housework.

You are right, sometimes we need to drink our coffee, get in the car and live for the day.

Thank You for sharing your fall drive with us. Oklahoma looks stunning!

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