I drove to the lake this morning. It was too early for me to be at the Station and I needed some new and different scenery. My expedition took exactly 30 extra minutes, and yet it refreshed me beyond belief.
The tiny lake town of Bernice is just down the road from Afton, but not down Route 66, for a change. It sits directly on the shore of Grand Lake and much of its shoreline is occupied by RV and trailer parks, but there is also a very nice small state park containing multitudes of picnic tables. Five minutes sitting at one of these tables (freezing to death), looking at the lake, was exactly what I needed. A breath of fresh air. There were more seagulls huddled on the water's edge than I've ever seen in one place at one time. They squawked at me for a moment, then settled down. I decided to leave them alone, so I got back into my car and headed for Afton Station, only 15 minutes away but in a different world, just around the bend in the road.
Later, Betty came for a visit and we had a pleasant hour or two before visitors began to arrive. The few visitors we did see were from White Lake MI, Denver CO, Afton and Grove OK, plus a husband and wife who are five year veterans of full-time RVing. Originally from Omaha, they spend their retired life happily moving from place to place, depending upon the weather and family obligations.
An elderly man from Afton came in with his friend. Floyd is 92 years old and as sharp as a tack. He fascinated me with a story I'd never heard before, about him as a small boy witnessing the day in 1927 that the Kimes Gang rolled into the small town of Beggs, OK and robbed two banks. The getaway car was a Packard. Since I'd never heard of this particular criminal gang, I looked it up when I got home. If you're interested, here's one article I found. Very interesting, particularly since Floyd was so accurate in his recollections.
Dean "Crazy Legs" Walker came to visit later in the day with lots of tales and photographs of his recent trip to Cars Land at Disneyland where he was treated like a celebrity due to his being the inspiration of the film's character "Tow Mater". He also showed me an extraordinary map he recently acquired which pinpoints all of the ghost towns in Oklahoma. There are over 600 of them!! I was so excited about the map that I asked Dean to get a copy for me, and he promised to do so. Fascinating!