It had been a long time since I’d done any major frequent flying, since my days in my 40’s where I think one year I visited Mexico four times. This was my retirement vacation, Freedom 55 I think, but I’ll have to talk to my bank about that. The first thing that really struck me was the change in the Airport ticketing system, while we carried paper copies of boarding tickets, other people just held up their i-phone for scanning boarding passes. The accommodations in Tanglewood Resort, Pottsboro, Texas, were beyond marvelous. We decided this timeshare routine was really going to work for us as with a fully de-cluttered kitchen, we could save $100 a night on dinner and spent it towards two glorious horseback rides, courtesy of Rockin–A Ranch, fossil hunting trips, and plenty of gas for our ventures into Oklahoma, avoiding the tornado that wreaked havoc in Oklahoma during our stay there. We learned later, due to the tornadoes, Spring is not the best time to visit Texas. The temperatures when we arrived were in the mid 80’s then dropped due to a cold front to about 63 the second week, to rise again upon our departure to high 80’s the weekend we left.
The main thing that struck us during our time there was how friendly the people were on the road, always waving when you crossed paths. The only exemption to this was our first fossil hunting trip where we’d just been to a park over the Dennison Dam where the warden there had given us directions to the Red River under the Old Bridge and we had to drive through the Oklahoma town of Colbert. On our way, we were just signaling to turn left when we got blasted with a horn and some hooligans revved up their extremely noisy mufflers in a gargantuan black truck and sped around, the muffler sounding like gunshots. I ducked and uttered a few blue words, while my partner calmly drove on. Quite scary. We later learned the border town of Colbert, Oklahoma, just over the Dennison Dam was just a “bad town”. Our tour guide said most people in Texas pack guns.
The second scary episode was in Dennison, where I got a rather large drink and was filling it, and a very pretty girl to the left was doing the same. The staff called out M’am, M’am, did you pay? (everyone in Texas is called M’am), I turned to look and she said “Not you, Honey”. She said, “I’m just going to get my husband and he’ll pay”. About half an hour later as we were contemplating our $1.00 soft ice cream cones, her hubby was in handcuffs emptying his pockets of knives, etc. and giving them to his wife. Note to self, before venturing on an exploring trip, check with the locals and hotel staff to find out where you are going. We also later found out Pottsboro was an ex-POW Camp from World War II.
Recently it was quite a thriving community where young people in their 20’s came to their condos on Texoma Lake and kept their boats rented in the lakes boat slips until someone in charge raised taxes, and then when the lake overflowed closed it for 3 years, forcing the young people out. It is still nice enough for a retreat, as we had some very idle moments listening to the Katydids on our Porch, touring Hagenberg Wildlife Refuge, which is unfortunately under siege by nocturnal Wild Boars, but during the day you are safe. We also toured the Katy Railway Museum, and Eisenhower’s birthplace. We found everywhere we went there were volunteer tour guides who were very knowledgeable. Happy Travels everyone!