Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Elk Creek Landing

November 13, 2021

Thankfully, Sam’s back was much better by the time we were due to leave the Memphis area. However, she was still experiencing some discomfort when sitting up for prolonged periods, so she opted to lay down across the back seat for the duration of our drive to Oklahoma. Because Sam would just be staring up at the ceiling the whole time, I promised that I would describe anything interesting that we passed along our drive west through Arkansas along I-40 – which turned out to be pretty much nothing other than sad, desolate, lifeless monoculture farmland as far as the eye could see.

After a long, boring drive we finally arrived in Tahlequah, (well technically the outskirts of town) and pulled into the Elk Creek Landing campground, an Army Corp of Engineers park located on the shores of Lake Tenkiller. Soon after getting settled in, we were greeted to the area with arguably the most beautiful sunset in all of our travels! It was one of those that just kept getting better with time and continually transformed into different color combinations – each one more vibrant than the last!

Elk Creek Landing was pretty dang barebones, only water/electric with very few other amenities. This is probably why there weren’t many other guests in the campground during our stay – in addition to the fact that it was November, not exactly peak RV season.

However, what Elk Creek lacked in frills, it made up for it in terms of memories. My dad’s side of the family is from this part of Oklahoma, and I spent a large portion of my youth around Lake Tenkiller – from tubing/skiing behind my uncle’s boat to camping with my grandparents in their trailer and fishing on their crappie dock. In fact, one of my earliest memories took place just around the corner at the Elk Creek Marina/Resort where my grandparents parked their trailer for a weekend to host a Girdner family reunion!

Although it was a fairly quiet week, mostly spent just hanging around the campground, we did manage to venture into Tahlequah a few times. Our first trip into town was just a leisurely drive around the area to show Sam some prominent spots of my childhood – including driving by Grandma and Grandpa’s house as well taking some time to visit their graves. Man, I miss them…

The other trip into town was to get dinner with Bob (uncle), Judy (aunt), Marisa (cousin), Trenton (cousin-in-law) and little baby Maudie. We had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying a nice meal at The Branch in downtown Tahlequah. We also had the pleasure of getting to spend time with precious little Maudie! She is truly the most well-behaved baby that we have ever been around, and I don’t think she made a single peep the whole evening!

It wasn’t the most exciting stop along our journey, but I’m so glad that we decided to swing by Tahlequah/Tenkiller on our way to Norman for the holidays. It brought back so many memories and I was glad to finally show Sam where I spent much of my youth!