Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sunsets & Internet Limbo

 June 10 thru 12 Location: Potato Hills Central Campground (COE); Clayton, Oklahoma

June 13 thru 15 Location: Cowlington Point Campground (COE); near Salisaw, Oklahoma

This blog post covers two campgrounds because I'm in an internet limbo area of Oklahoma. Without internet, I couldn't make a post from Potato Hills since I had zero service there. I thought it would be better at Cowlington CG since it is about a hundred miles north of Potato Hills. I was only half right, I am only able to receive 1 bar of service and it comes and goes here. After checking Verizon's coverage map, it seems they have many holes in their coverage in Oklahoma. One of the reasons for weak signals is because a smaller cell service provider was in the area which limited my access to the Verizon system. I'm not sure about that but I know I've went through heavy withdrawal without internet access. That has me questioning my reliance on such a vulnerable system. I count on it for family connection, banking, weather, route planning (GPS), the blog, games, news, alerts, campground information, restaurants, gas station locations, Walmart and any interesting question that pops in my head. With such a vast amount of information literally at our fingertips, why is the younger generation that grew up with that access so naive and ignorant about so many things. What happened to the promise of Nationwide Rural Broadband coverage after Congress passed the Infrastructure Bill of 2021? Nevermind, I know the answer to that. Certain people have to fill their pockets before there is any "excess" money to fulfill promises. Wow, who knew I was so jaded. LOL I'm beginning to question if it has something to do with being in the middle of the Indian Nations. I'm in the Cherokee Nation now but just left the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. I will try to do a re-cap of all the Native tribes I've visited after I leave Oklahoma. Hmmmm,,,,inquiring minds want to know. :)

The drive to the Potato Hills CG looks a lot like my part of Louisiana, except for the occasional mountain.

It was a good campsite at Potato Hills CG. The trees didn't provide much shade, but looked good. 

The campground had at least one hundred geese living there. They left behind parts of themselves which I initially blamed on small dogs and complained about campers not picking up behind their pets. Oh well.

This is the view out my back window. The geese would swim by early in the morning then again late in the evening. 

Campground at Cowlington Point CG. It was a nice campsite with a great view but the setting sun hit me broadside. Since it is setting over some trees, it wasn't a nice looking sunset.

View out my back window. Very peaceful (I guess it has to be since there isn't any internet,,,, my attitude slipped out again)

This is a memorial bench to an individual. His name is on the bench with a few other nice words. I took a picture of the words but decided not to post it here. It just didn't feel right. This is only the second time I've seen such a thing in a Corps of Engineers Campground or property. It's a rare thing in deed. He must have been a good guy. He knows all of the answers now. 

As usual, there were two reason for coming to the Potato Hills Campground. The first was to ride a portion of the Talimena Scenic Highway. I had ridden a portion of it when staying at Queen Wilhelmina State Park near Mena, Arkansas earlier in the year. I knew I wanted to ride more of it on the Oklahoma side and this campground provided that opportunity although it was a 100 miles round trip of exploring. It worked out perfectly because two of my grandkids were spending the night with my X-wife (yeah, still friends) so I was able to facetime with them at several of the scenic vista pull-outs along the highway. I enjoyed it so much, I forgot to take pictures for myself of the first few stops. It was a nice ride on top of some of the Ouachita ("wash-a-taw")Mountains with stops to view the valley below. Except for two other travelers, I was alone for at least 30 miles of the scenic highway.

A nice view. Most people think Oklahoma is dry and flat land and it is in places but not everywhere.

You can have a picnic with a view

Or a picnic with shade trees

The second reason for my trip was to visit the Choctaw Nation Capitol. Strangely, it is located in this very rural area. After the Civil War, one of the Choctaw chiefs suggested the name "Okla Humma" for the area. It means "people who don't retreat". Eventually, it became the state name,,,Oklahoma. They have a very nice museum located in the old capitol building that was built in the 1800's. Museum ranking 6 out of 10. Wow, more of my "jaded-ness" coming through. I got to work on that.

This building is the Choctaw Nation Capitol. It was built in 1884 using local materials. Meaning, the bricks were made and fired in kilns built for this building. Sawmills were set up nearby to cut the dimensional lumber. 

And as a bonus, my campsite Potato Hills was situated right on Sardis Lake with the back end of Liberty looking right at the setting sun location. We were rewarded with two really nice sunsets. 

The bird in the upper center is a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,,,,the state bird of Oklahoma. He/She visited the bushes located at the back of Liberty and I could watch them out my back window. 

The beginning of the first sunset

The first sunset as I was walking around the campground.

The first sunset on Day one at Potato Hills

This is still the first sunset. I couldn't decide on which picture to post.

This is the second sunset on day 2 at Potato Hills.

Except for the lack of cell service which means no internet, they were very nice and relaxing stop. Lot's of thinking time, even without a bench.

Tomorrow is moving time and I head about 100 miles north to another COE campground near Tulsa. I'm thinking I'll have strong internet there, but I ain't taking any bets.  

Ya'll take care of each other. Maybe I'll Cya down the road. 


  1. Thank you for the nice report on the nice campgrounds.

  2. Yep the internet deserts are a problem. I have been considering Starlink but it ain't cheap. I currently have Verizon, the wife has ATT and we have a tablet on Tmobile. We can usually get something. I have a weboost booster with the antenna extended above the trailer.

  3. Nice sunsets Darrell, nice sunsets indeed.