Travel Guide: Fall Break in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey guys! You guys are all probably thinking, “Hasn’t she already done a Travel Guide for Broken Bow?” Well yeah, I did, back in the spring, whenever everything was green and it was warm enough to lay out by the waters. Well, this go around is a little different.

We managed to make our way back to the Hochatown to see the Ouachita Mountains in all their fall glory. Everyone we had talked to said that the Talimena Scenic Byway, a road passing through the Ouachita Mountains into Arkansas, was a must-see for those wanting to soak in all the colors of October! For those of you planning Fall Break, this should be on your list. Or even stop by this summer, the lake is great.

For us, Broken Bow plays the part of a retreat. We all know that Dallas Fort Worth can feel like a concrete jungle at times so we feel lucky that we found this oasis in the southeastern corner of the Sooner state. There is just so much to do.

You can go horseback riding, kayak down the Lower Mountain Fork, head to the Girls Gone Wine Boutique or the new, Beaver’s Bend Brewery or even try your hand at zip lining with Rugaru Adventures! We’ve hiked the trails at Beaver’s Bend State Park, toured their Historical Museum and even partaken in some Big Foot Hunting (totally joking though this is a thing). Whatever the rhyme or reason, I feel like you could custom design a trip to this part of the country to suite your needs. You have the option to rest and relax by the lake or take on a whole new kind of adventure. The options are endless.

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Where and What to Eat:

  1. PIZZA at The Grateful Head! This is seriously some of the best pizza I have ever had. My favorite is the Tree Hugger. Those whole olives, spinach and cherry tomatoes make this a must-eat in Hochatown!
  2. Anything from the Moon Tower Bar and Grill. CHOPPED winner, Tabb Singleton has opened a bar and grill near Broken Bow Lake and this menu is worth drooling over. I snagged the  MTBG Loaded Fries, braised beef short rib, herbed potato fries, Wisconsin cheese curds and brown gravy. Imagine Poutine Fries topped with hearty short ribs…mouth watering. Russ snagged the Mountain Fork Burger, an 8 oz American Waygu Beef burger, small batch bacon, beer braised onions, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sunny side up egg, choice of mayo or mustard or both on a brioche bun. Both were out of this world.
  3. The Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich from Adam & Eve’s Coffee Shop. This was the perfect lunch stop. We snagged 2 of these bad boys and headed down to Paddle Beaver’s Bend to grab our kayaks. Halfway down the Mountain Fork, we busted these guys our for the perfect lunch on the water.
  4. Hochatown BBQ!! Just go ahead and order one of everything. The pork and brisket were sooooo good. Add some potato salad and few jalapeños and you’ve got yourself an excellent dinner for a great price.

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

For you photographers out there, Beaver’s Bend State Park plays the part of your dream back drop. I managed to sneak in a Senior Portrait Session with these two lovely ladies while I was visiting the area. We rented canoes, blew off a few smoke bombs and even made smores by the Lower Mountain Fork River. To see the Tucker Twins Senior Portraits, head here.

GOLF:

Cedar Creek Golf Course at Beaver’s Bend was most definitely the highlight of the trip for Russ. I kept joking that I was gonna start offering Golf Mini Sessions for guys who want to work on their swing. This course is beautiful, but I will admit that it was find to hard the ball. The foundation of the Ouachita Mountains consists of a lot of white shale so looking for a white ball in a bed of white rocks can be a little daunting though the scenic views down each fairway were worth every penny. The views of the lake are phenomenal and we saw our fair share of wild life, including a 12 point buck!

Traveling in Oklahoma in the Fall is somewhat magical. Just a short 3 hour drive from Fort Worth, this trip is worth taking. We love the outdoors. Having grown up in the lush greenery of Pennsylvania, this trip is my opportunity to bask in the autumn leaves and get all nostalgic about how much I love nature. The ever-changing weather also provides the most magical sun rises and sunsets. Our view from the deck at Lakeview Lodge is the perfect place to chow down on the complimentary breakfast and watch the deer run around the lake. I always make sure to snag a few extra muffins and cereal to pack in our bag for hiking snacks.

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 HOW I GOT THE ITCH FOR TRAVEL JOURNALISM & WHERE ARE WE HEADED TO NEXT:

In the spring of 2016, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Anderson, a landscape photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. After our chat, I made it a point to try my hand at capturing the highlights of our adventures. We traveled so much in 2016. Our East Coast Girl’s Trip was my first attempt at Travel Journalism and since then, we’ve traveled all around Colorado, through the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania and to Broken Bow, Oklahoma in the spring. This year, we have visited Reykjavik, Iceland and Edinburg, Scotland and recently, Yellowstone National Park, so keep your eyes out for the next Travel Guide!

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IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE RUSTIE NAIL TRAVEL TO? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS BELOW!

Rainey’s Senior Session

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of photographing my ever-so-sweet sister in law, Rainey. After 4 years of busting her butt in College Station and Stephenville, this chica is about to graduate from Tarleton State with a degree in Nursing and we literally could not be more proud of her. To celebrate this awesome milestone in her life, we headed out to River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas to snap a few photos of Rainey before she walks across the stage.

Going into the shoot, I was sure we would head to the park and see how many smiles I could get out of Rain Dawg. You see, my sister in law is kind of a tomboy. No thanks to my husband, most days, you can find her in jeans and a T-shirt (my kinda gal). Truth be told, you are more likely to see her out hunting in West Texas or kicking up dust at Larry Joe Taylor than shopping at Sephora or cruising the racks at Nordstroms (probably my favorite thing about her). This chic is always down for an adventure!

With that in mind, I was sure that Rainey might be a little apprehensive in front of the camera. She is characteristically hiding when it comes time for family photos. One and done is kind of her style so I figured that would be how this would go. I had a plan in mind, move quickly and keep it interesting. I figured if I kept her busy, she wouldn’t notice how many photos we were taking. To my surprise, when I walked through the door, I was greeted by the bohemian chic version of my sister in law. She was all dolled up; cute black booties, a great lavender scarf over a solid black swing dress. I loved it all. From the Opal Kendra Scott earrings to her eye shadow, Rainey looked smoking!

She didn’t have a whole lot of ideas in mind but luckily, her momma did. My mother in law had an interesting vision in mind for the shoot. We scoured their house to find the perfect chair to use in a set of images and man oh man, did we luck out. We found a dusty rose colored wingback and a bright red and violet oriental rug that would be perfect.

Rainey’s only request? She wanted to incorporate her graduation gift, a new Jeep Wrangler. So of course, we had to snag a few photos of her and her new baby. And what kind of shoot would it be if we didn’t get a shot of this cowgirl’s boots?

Once we finished up with her Jeep, we headed to the East side of the park, where the paddling trails are. I’ve shot here before and I love that the boat ramp gives you easy access to the water. Seeing that Rainey and I share a sense of adventure, I knew she wouldn’t mind getting in the water. We headed towards the loading ramp just as the sun was setting. After I busted my butt falling down a mud-laden hill, we headed to the bridge over looking the Trinity River and chose to close up shop.

Overall, what a great day with the Norris gals! From the brightly colored poncho blanket she brought to the cross she wears around her neck, this girl stayed authentic and true to herself and it really shined through in these images. Puds, you are going places…so go, do, dream, wish, believe and anything you want sweet girl, will be within your grasp. I am so humbled that you asked me to capture this special time in your life and I cannot wait to see where this awesome journey is about to take you! Congratulations!

 

To book your Senior Portrait Session, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. This year, I have had the best group of Seniors with some really crazy fun ideas. I’ve tackled Twins + Smokebombs, Indian Lake + Bowling Alleys and even a Flower-filled Meadow. If you have a vision for your Portrait Session, let’s make your photo shoot the most fun and unique experience! Bring it on 2017!

Sarah’s Senior Portraits

Meet Sarah! This girl is a firecracker. She’s got an amazing sense of humor and a even greater sense for adventure. I met this young lady when she wasn’t but knee-high to a grasshopper. Her mom used to bring her into the restaurant I worked at in college. I was that waitress always giving out popsicles to the kids who came in regularly. It was my genius plan to keep business coming back to the Brick. If I gave the kids a treat at the end of the meal, they’d be sure to tell their parents how much they wanted to come back. It’s fair to say that I had Sarah on the hook at a young age.

This sweet girl and I immediately bonded over our love for, don’t judge me, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Every week, her family would come in and every week, we’d catch up on our preteen TV show drama. It became a bit of ritual and I’m happy to say that all those visits turned into a great relationship. I’ve been lucky enough to see Sarah grow from being a little kid to a beautiful lady. She approached me shortly after starting my business to discuss having her Senior Portraits taken and I was over the moon.

I knew Sarah would show up in the style and I knew she’d be comfortable with me. We laughed and joked around as we strolled through the Park at Indian Lake. Her mother was cracking up as we took off under a bridge and up a huge hill to snag a few photos. I seriously could not have asked for a better session with a more beautiful client. Sarah, you are smart, sweet and kind. Please don’t lose your sense of adventure or that laugh, it’s perfect and so are you sweet girl! Let’s hope we have many more photo shoots in the future.