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.
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.