Celebrating the Holidays!

I’m headed east to promote Footprints in the Dew and will be sending a report back soon!

Welcome back. The many museums I come across in my travels, like the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, give me plenty to write about but I’ve also found that the small town museums are just as full of inspiring stories. This past week the Osage County History Museum in Pawhuska turned out to be a great example. The museum has just reopened after a fire and it is filled with photos from the past.  The collection also including many artifacts, paintings and even a library of historical books and documents.  The museum is housed in a former train station and the building and grounds are beautifully maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers working together to preserve the history of Osage County. This is a true gem and a must visit when you are in Pawhuska.

Last Saturday I also had the opportunity to be in Independence, Kansas and I wasn’t alone as officials estimated that 30,000 to 35,000 people attended this party. It’s called Neewollah which is Halloween spelled backwards. This event is held ever Halloween weekend and it’s a street party like a street party is supposed to be with giant Ferris wheels, lots of food and craft vendors, and a 2 hour parade that included at least 15 marching bands. There were also representatives from the armed forces and animals of every kind. Thousands of people sat in rows eight deep to watch the parade and everyone was having a great time, all on the streets of Independence.

The Oak Ridge Boys were the main musical attraction that night but there were plenty of other groups playing on the outdoor stage throughout the day and into the evening. Parking was at a premium but there were plenty of police and volunteers to help you out and I found a spot fairly easily even with the motorhome. Neewollah, I think I’ll go again next year and you should check it out too.

As I’m currently traveling across the country to a location that I will tell you more about next week, I thought I’d bring you up to date on northern New Mexico as the ski areas in Angel Fire and Red River get ready to open up. These are the closest ski areas to Oklahoma and I’ve written a lot about both of these family friendly resorts in the past. Even if you don’t ski there’s plenty to do and the mountains are breathtaking in the winter. Wildlife is also plentiful and you can expect to see elk, deer and even bears in the area.

Taos is close by and it is the site of one of America’s earliest human settlements, the Taos pueblo which is still inhabited. There are many other attractions here as well, too numerous to mention. Of course Philmont Scout Ranch is in this region too and if you are a regular reader you know it is one of my favorite places. Although there are no scouts at the ranch this time of year, it is still open to visitors and you can tour Waite Phillips’ mansion there every day except Christmas. It’s a great time of year to visit and room rates at the famous St. James Hotel in Cimarron are about half price. It’s quite a deal, you can enjoy all the area has to offer and sleep in a museum of western history at night. The hotel also has a top shelf restaurant with great food and service. I’m planning to head that way for New Year’s and I hope to see you there. Watch my website for more details and pricing.

I’ll end this week with a “job well done” to my daughter Loretta who held a creative and successful fundraiser offering people a professional photo of their child in their Halloween costume in exchange for 3 items of canned food. Over 200 cans were donated to the Lighthouse Mission for their meal program. As the holidays draw closer, please remember those who are less fortunate.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road………………………..