We took the Talimena Scenic Drive last weekend. I can see why this is such a popular drive.
The weather was changing when we drove, and a cold front came through, but we still got a good look at the changing leaves before fog rolled in.
We started in Talimena, and visited the rest stop there and got some pictures.
The kids weren’t crazy about looking out the windows (we were in their grandparents’ van, and it has a DVD player) but when I pointed out the beautiful views, they looked out and suitably oohed and aahed.
We stopped at several of the early turnoffs, but stopped when the cold weather rolled in.
The best stop we got to visit was the Horse Thief Spring Historic Site. The spring was supposedly used as a water source by
outlaws who preyed on travelers using the Fort Smith to Fort Towson Road. It was enclosed by stone walls during the Great Depression. There’s also some informational signs here. The kids really enjoyed exploring the area and posing for pictures.
That was where the cold wind blew in, and we got back in the van. We drove on, planning to stop at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park for dinner. However, it is closed for renovations until 2013. That was a big disappointment but also a lesson – always check before you go.
We didn’t have time to hit the letterboxes and geocaches this time, but we’ll plan on that next time. There’s a lot hidden along the drive. Pack snacks and drinks for sure if you do, though, because the drive is long and there’s no convenience stores amid the natural setting.
I would like to take this drive again in 2013, after the lodge opens up at Wilhelmina State park again, and spend more time hunting for treasures and stopping at every place along the way. It’s a good trip for adults and children alike – as long as the kids have something else to keep them busy in the car when they tire of looking at pretty fall foliage.