For the past few years, I had longed to finally make the short journey from North Texas to McCurtain County, Oklahoma. The idea of cabin life was intriguing and I could use a unique getaway. So, if this sounds like a place you want to learn more about, be prepared to mark some days off your calendar.
To begin with, their website has all the to-dos and accommodation info in one place. I started with the cabins. The best part of the search is that you can sort by amenities. The #1 MUST HAVE for my stay was a hot tub. After not getting to experience the hot springs in Reykjavik, I needed the warm bubbly water of solitude. Hot springs are a shared resource, a hot tub in a cabin I’m renting is mine.
So, the week after Thanksgiving, I packed up and headed to Oklahoma. First impressions:
- No Reception
- From about 10 miles ahead of getting to the cabin, all signal was lost.
- Limited Street Light
- I had the misfortune of arriving at night and it was so dark I missed the turn.
- Oh. So. Quiet.
- Leading up to and staying at the cabin was blissfully peaceful.
I stopped for a quick nom right before reception was lost and there were just a couple of food places. Luckily, I was headed just straight for another 10 miles and the turn off was on the left. Driving through the strip was so quiet, it was only after 9 but there weren’t really other cars on the road. On the 2nd attempt, I found my turn off. It was also solid darkness driving up the gravel path at Heartpine Hollow. You could hear the slow crunch of individual stones of gravel as my soul missed another turn, to my driveway. Finally, there it was like a beacon of light – Lil Bear!
This is what I fondly refer to as love at first sight. It was so decorative inside! Faux fireplace in the living room, fully equipped kitchen, a loft with TV and movies, bathroom with extra soap, and my favorite – a bedroom that opened to the porch. Opening up to the woods behind me would seem like enough, but to the left of the door was the hot tub. The hot tub was ready and able to relax in upon arrival.
After I got over my initial shock and awe of how amazing this cabin was, I realized something – I had no wifi. I could have sworn I specifically picked a place that did but no. So, after the panic set in, I decided to embrace no reception and no internet. Aside from flying over the ocean toward Europe, I haven’t been without any connection to the world in who knows how long. Am I back in the 90s? What will I do without being 100% accessible? Live my life, that’s what.
Even though it was an accident, I desperately needed a real disconnection. Working in social media means there’s always a notification to check. This forced me to just be in the moment and be more observant to the environment around me. I got to sit outside and listen to wildlife and watch squirrels chase each other up trees. I got to walk out into the chilly air and get in a bubbly blanket of happiness on the porch. I got to warm myself by a fire. I got to soak up the sounds of nature.
I also had the joy of taking a few minute drive back toward town to see Beavers Bend State Park. It’s so beautiful and scenic. I went to the local Pruett’s Market and got a warm meal for $5, then went for a picnic by the water. No one was there when I got there in the middle of the day and no one came in before I left. Having the entire park was blissful. The views are peaceful and thought provoking. Full disclosure: there is no reception here either and it was on a weekday.
However, this part of the water is not particularly friendly for swim wear. As I walked around I discovered a whole beach covered in crystals so there is no frolicking without the promise of pain. I will say it is definitely an interesting discovery!
I definitely would like to experience that kind of solitude again. I used it as a time to refresh so I wasn’t looking for events or going out of my way to meet people. I mean, I spent the better part of an entire day in the hot tub and was able to develop a list of exercises to do in one, pure joy is an understatement.
As for Lil Bear, it was $99/night with a minimum of 2 nights. I came with my own snacks and when I discovered how equipped the kitchen was, I bought some cooking supplies at the market. There’s a grill and a picnic table out back near the fire pit. The upstairs has a pull out bed if you have a second couple or kids to bring. Probably the most budget friendly removal from a busy life.
If you have any questions, feel to to comment or send a message to one of my social sites. If you’d like to see the full album from the trip, click here.