A Long Drive for Nothing

Southwestern Regional Rendezvous

It turned out to be a long drive for nothing. My goal this past weekend was to go to the Southwestern Regional Rendezvous in Leslie, Arkansas. I went. But I didn’t stay.

It was a 5.5 hour drive to Leslie, Arkansas from Norman, Oklahoma. About an hour into the drive it started to rain. It rained from Shawnee all the way to Leslie. When I got to Leslie I found the event. I pulled into the lot that was passing for a parking lot.

I went to the registration tent. I got signed in, and asked if I could drive down to the camping area which was about 500 yards away. The field was littered with stuck vehicles.

This is the exchange between me and two of the fellows there.

Me: Can I drive down there.

Man 1: You got a 4×4.

Me: Yes.

Man 1: Is it a good one?

Me: It’s a Land Rover.

Man 1: I mean can it go deep, does it have tall tires.

Man 2: (behind me): Those look like street tires.

Me: They are AT tires.

Man 2: They look like street tires.

Me: They aren’t MT but they’ll get me down there.

Man 1: Well it don’t matter, we got a tractor we can pull you out.

I only wish I could have let you hear their accents. Classic.

I feel like I need to defend my decision not to stay.
First, and foremost, I am a Marine. I could have slept under a fly, in a down pour, lying in mud in a wet sleeping bag. But why?

Second, I wear traditional clothing when I go to these events. Traditional clothing I paid a lot of money for. Traditional clothing I need fully functional for two weeks from now when I go to Fort Washita’s Fur Trade Rendezvous.

Third, without driving I would have had to haul my kit 500 yards minimum one way. To get my basic kit down there it would have been 5 trips. That’s 1.5 miles in mud 3-5 inches deep. This didn’t sound like any fun.

So I thought about it and drove out of the lot. I got down the street and talked myself into going back. I drove through the lot which was around 5 inches deep. The Big White Bus did just fine. i parked, looked at the situation. And then, called my friend, David and arranged to stay with him overnight in Tahlequah.

I drove back into Leslie and decided to get some dinner. I stopped at the Leslie Cafe. The meal was forgettable. But the scenery was interesting.

A few shots of downtown Leslie Arkansas.

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She looks good on the street.

Ever been in a cafe that had two motorcycles parked on a stage with a train painted on the wall?

Ever been to a bar with two motorcycles on the stage and a train painted on the wall?

Classic wall advertising.

Classic wall advertising.

A little uninspiring as far as pictures go, but a good example of keeping an old building around.

A little uninspiring as far as pictures go, but a good example of keeping an old building around.

That's America right there.
That’s America right there

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It rained. And it rained. And it rained.
It was a wet drive back to Tahlequah.
I got there at 2030.

I got to visit and have a drink with my dear friend. It was companionship I really needed.

Saturday I woke up at the oldest Antebellum home in Oklahoma The Murrell Home. It was the only building in the Cherokee Nation that wasn’t put to the torch. Many famous Oklahoman’s have been in this home.

George R. Murrell home

I drove on in to Tahlequah and had a look around.

I stopped by Northeastern Oklahoma University. They have a nice statue of Sequoyah.

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Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary. In just a few short years the entire tribe was able to read and write the Cherokee Language. The historical period in which Sequoyah lived is the exact period I portray in my living history.

There is some interesting architecture in this old town.

It's for sale.

I eventually headed south and then west and when I got to Prague it finally stopped raining on me. It was one of the few times that I’ve been rained on for 48 hours.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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