Two resident dogs and one familiar one greeted me as I pulled in the gravel drive. Several cats scrambled for cover as my dogs bounded out of the car, ready for solid ground after the long journey. Loving arms of my Rocky Mountain Man welcomed me. This was the start of a three-day weekend where we would learn what it means when your feet stink, how to take a lesson from a duck, and what life is like where the stars reach down and kiss your nose.
|Loco (above) and Star (below)|
We chose to stay at the Black Mesa Bed and Breakfast because they were dog-friendly. Between my sweetheart and I, we brought three dogs to join the two resident dogs and eight resident cats. Star and Loco announced my late-night arrival and were eager to meet their new guests. We stayed in one of the bunkhouses, that we later discovered used to be the chicken coop. There was a cozy outhouse and beautiful views of the surrounding mesas on all sides. A fair warning was given at the time of the reservation to fill up the gas tanks at the last town - about 30 miles away, depending on your approach. This truly was the middle of nowhere.
|backyard of the B&B|
|Trail to the summit of Black Mesa|
Black Mesa to reach the highest point in Oklahoma at 4,973 feet above sea-level. It was my first high-point summit. Once we reached the top of the plateau, we spent the rest of the afternoon taking pictures, lounging on the rocks at the edge, watching the Chihuahuan ravens, and reading the journal entries in the log book by the high-point monument. Apparently, last summer was very "grasshoppery", according to the hikers' notes. It was a holiday weekend, but the only people we saw was a couple that we passed as we were almost back to the car at the end of the 8-mile out-and-back trail. Otherwise, it was just the two of us, the dogs, and an abundance of mountain bluebirds.
|View from the front porch of the B&B|
|Looking over the edge of Black Mesa|
We could have stayed another week, just listening to their stories and enjoying the solitude of the panhandle. Between spotting juvenile golden eagles and walking in dinosaur tracks, the memories from that weekend create a happy place for my mind to drift. I didn't even mind when Vicki hollered for me like she was calling the pigs to slop when I was late for breakfast one morning because I was chasing my dog that was chasing her cats. "Nan-CYYYYY!" Maybe it was the company I was with, our hosts, the weather, the bluebirds, or the homemade prickly-pear jelly, but I can't wait to go back.