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Morning on the Mountain Fork HIT THE ROAD Continued from page 19

Other area activities include horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, golfing and birding. The Red Slough Wildlife Management Area is a unique microclimate that hosts alligators, roseate spoonbills and ibis, in addition to the more usual native species.

This corner of the world has other treats, too. Don’t miss the Museum of the Red River in Idabel. The major focus of the collection is the art of indigenous peoples from Alaska to the tip of South America, but you’ll also find the skeleton (cast) of a scary acrocanthosaurus who lived in the area over 100 million years ago.

For a bit of luxury, try a massage at Body Harmony. The facility doesn’t do facials, pedicures or the other usual spa treatments. What they do is the most amazing body treat- ment you’ll ever have. Cradled on a memory-foam-topped table with subtle sounds and vibrations built in, you’ll be drizzled with melted shea butter and exfoliated with Dead Sea salts. It’s total pampering that will leave you so relaxed that only muscle-memory will get you walking! Don’t miss the nearby Beyond Harmony—a women’s cooperative car- rying handcrafted items and art. Spa owner Valerie Skiles is a Choctaw Co-op Electric member.

Several other Choctaw Electric Co-op members are involved in some of the area’s most interesting offerings. Michelle Finch-Walker, Rhonda Reed and Chandra Rickey own Girls Gone Wine, a winery and gift boutique. Michelle’s husband, Terry, is the winemaker and is involved in another group enterprise, Creative Escapes, which arranges for luxu- ry cabin rentals and all sorts of adjunct amenities. In addi- tion, Chandra and her husband own Lago Vista, an elegant bed & breakfast with a touch of Tuscany.

Top your trip off with a dinner at Abendigo’s Grill and

Patio, owned by the Hearn and Sargent families—also co-op members. Chad Sargent is chef, as is Tim Gardener, winner of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association’s 2010 Cook-off. Expect good food prepared with flair.

Good for What Ails You

A prescription for a great Oklahoma getaway has to in- clude Medicine Park. Once a rockin’ resort, this tiny town— founded around the turn of the last century— hosted the famous, the infamous, and lots of ordinary Oklahomans who came to enjoy the waters of Medicine Creek and an elaborate swimming area, the charming cobblestone cabins snuggling up to the Wichita Mountains, and the wildlife refuge. After several decades of decline, Medicine Park has definitely perked up.

20 OKLAHOMA LIVING Cotton Electric Co-op members Clark and Pegi Brown

have been part of what the doctor ordered. Their bed and breakfast, the Stardust Inn, is not only a great accom- modation, it’s a mini-gallery of local and regional art. Other choices in town include a motel-style lodge and a number of cottages.

The Old Plantation is a Medicine Park icon built in 1910. Today it’s noted for home cooking, particularly the chicken- fried steak. A newer contribution to the cuisine scene is the Winery of the Wichitas. Yes, it’s a winery but it’s also the home of the Buffalo Bistro, where owner and Cotton Electric Co-op member Marty Hazelwood and her sister Pat will tempt your palate with dishes created by Pat’s daughter, Anna Banda, who is currently serving as chef at the Governor’s Mansion. Several new businesses have opened or are scheduled to open soon. The newest is Grease Monkeys Hot Rod Shop, a guy place where men can hang out, watch a project in prog- ress or shop for items like replica gas signs and die-cast cars while their wives shop. The Branded Bear carries authentic Native American artwork, jewelry and pottery; the White Buffalo features a variety of handcrafted and unusual acces- sories, plus souvenirs and postcards. Find Made-in-Okla- homa food products at Lulabelle’s, then serve your sweet tooth at the Medicine Park Ice Cream and Candy Company. The thing to remember is that this is a big weekend town. Check websites to determine who’s open when; many shops are closed the first part of the week.

Open every day is the area’s biggest attraction—the Wichi- ta Mountain Wildlife Refuge. The top of Mount Scott is the perfect spot for a panoramic view. Climb if you’re inclined, but most folks take the spiral road to the peak. Hiking, fish- ing and mountain biking are favorite sports in the refuge. Picking up an audio tour at the Visitors’ Center will en- hance your driving tour of the area. Everyone in the family can get into the spirit of spotting buffalo, deer, longhorns, elk and prairie dogs.

In nearby Lawton, visitors enjoy the Museum of the Great Plains. A visit to Fort Sill offers a hunk of history: 27 his- toric buildings—from the stables to the old jail—and exhib- its make up the largest museum complex in the U.S. Army. Whether you take a road trip or just check out your own hometown, you’re bound to find some new favorite spots. And when you do, don’t be shy—share them. Oklahomans are the state’s best spokespeople. After all, Oklahoma is not just OK—it’s great!

To find out even more about exploring Oklahoma, visit OL

Lago Vista B&B brings a bit of Italy to southeastern Oklahoma

Cast of an acrocanthosaurus, Museum of the Red River

Longhorns graze above Oologah Lake on the Dog Iron Ranch

Bath lake at Medicine Park

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