"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bacon Rind Creek

Heading north  on the back roads with scarce traffic and no semi-trucks, through decaying towns with First Baptist churches, past dead trees and vacant farm houses, we headed for the wide open tall grass spaces of Osage County.

It's Oklahoma's largest county, home of the Osage Indian Nation and Reservation, expansive ranches and sections upon sections without fences, and innumerable oil wells and oil history.

Idling, with car windows down, through the cool sunshine of Ripley, Glencoe, Pawnee, Ralston, Fairfax. Homes of Marie Tallchief, Pawnee Bill, The First Osage Baptist Church with glistening white two-story Corinthian columns, the Rawhide Bar, the Settle Inn.

Having crossed the Cimarron River twice and the Arkansas River into the Osage County, somewhere in there we crossed Bacon Rind Creek.

In the Osage it is easy to imagine the land before the white farmer and ranches and fences changed the world of nomadic peoples and nomadic wildlife. Except for the wind brushing through the tall grasses, it's quiet and still sparsely populated.

How did that creek get its name? Did an early settler throw his morning bacon rind in it after breakfast over a crackling fire on a cold morning, sipping steaming coffee made with clear water from its limestone  bed? So many stories to wonder about, to tell, to write.

4 comments:

  1. I have enjoyed catching up here. Love all your recent posts. They are all so life-affirming!
    Bacon Rind Creek sound like a place to get in touch with what really matters in the world. I really love your fascinating travels and your telling of them. What a gorgeous B&B you all stayed in. Loved the pictures of that. And pumpkin waffles sound delicious.

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  2. I love Osage County. Another well kept Oklahoma secret.

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  3. The name of the creek came from a Osage chief, whose real name was butchered by settlers.

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  4. Richard...fascinating....your source for that?

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