This week I took a break from flower farming and flew down to Pawhuska, OK! Pawhuska is known for being the heart of cattle ranch country, and for being the home to the Pioneer Women, Ree Drummond. It is a small little town with lots of western flair only about an hour drive from the Tulsa Airport.
I came down for the week to take part in the Five Marys Entrepreneur x Rural Revival Mastermind workshop. Mary Heffernan and Danna Larson are both small business gurus, that specialize in agricultural and rural businesses. I have followed both of their accounts for sometime now, and value all the information they share with their communities and followers. When the workshop released, I knew it would be a great opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, travel, and meet like minded women in agricultural.
Monday I started my travels by flying into Tulsa, OK. As soon as the wheels touched down I got my rental car and headed south to Stonewall, OK. Nikki Callison of Callison Ranch Beef and Farm Girl Ada recently opened up a Farm Market on Nikki’s ranch that I needed to check out. It did not disappoint. I got to see a big part of Oklahoma while driving there and pulled into a working ranch with chickens and horses, and cattle everywhere. The farm market was wonderful with curated ranch goods and Callison Ranch Beef available for sale. It was well worth the drive, and I suggest you check both businesses out alone, because they can ship their products anywhere in the country!
I turned around after checking out the market and headed back north to Pawhuska. I stayed at the Frontier Hotel right in the heart of town. The hotel used to be an office building during the oil boom in the early 1900’s. It changed hands a few times and then was shut down. Recently, with the revival of Pawhuska, the building was converted into a hotel. It was stunning, and western themed. The original marble staircase was refinished, and all the rooms kept a lot of their original details and furniture. I stayed in the “letter” room and had a direct view of the Pioneer Women Mercantile store. I had heard that a must try food is the P-Town Pizza Not Knots (garlic knots, but better!). They were fluffy balls of goodness coated in cheese and garlic. Highly recommend!
Tuesday morning I got up bright and early (thanks to the time change!) and headed over to the Mercantile bakery for a Cowgirl Coffee and a pastry. That coffee hooked me! Cowgirl Coffee is essentially a blend of coffee, Mexican Chili, and chocolate. Super yummy, and I caved and bought the package to make it at home. I got back into my car and knew I wanted to drive to the Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve. This is the largest prairie preserve in the country and home to 2,300 bison. It was a sight to see. I took back roads out of Pawhuska that eventually turned into dirt, and I was contemplating if my GPS was taking me the right direction. Then I had my first Cattle Guard encounter. Cattle Guards are grates that run across the road that cows/bison will not cross but cars can go over. I can’t imagine what the locals thought seeing this little Kia rental car with Hawaii plates driving around these backroads!
I winded and crossed down the county road for a few miles, still wondering if my GPS was taking me the right way, and then happened upon the preserve. It is untouched prairie land for as far as the eye can see. I got my first glimpse of the herd of bison and noticed they were slowly migrating towards the road. I thought “Maybe when I turn around, they will be closer.” Little did I know just how close they would be. After meandering through the preserve, I got turned around to head back. When I reached the bison herd, they were standing right in the road! It was crazy to see. These giant animals, many with their newborn calves, roaming on the prairie.
I had seen the horror videos of people getting too close and getting charged and have worked with momma cows before. So, I just hung back until they migrated off the road and a little ways away before driving past. They really could careless and were just out there living their best lives. It was really something to see.
After driving back into town, I decided to walk around the Mercantile store and get some souvenirs and gifts for everyone back home. There are some really cute items in there, and all of the Pioneer Women cookbooks. If you are fan of her cooking show, the store is a must-see.
For dinner on Tuesday all the workshop attendees were going to the Coy T Ranch owned by Miss Joni Nash. It is a beautiful cabin on a ranch in a picturesque part of Oklahoma. We had a long table dinner and dinned by candlelight. The food was catered by Royer’s Round Top in Texas and was killer! It was a beautiful night and a great way to start the workshop!