Joy & Happiness, Life, Photography

From Wichita to Pawhuska

“I knew that there would be rivers to cross and hills to climb, and I was glad, for this is a fair land, and I rejoiced that I would see it.” ~ Laura Ingalls

Last Friday afternoon, my sweet husband and I headed out on an adventure…and oh what an adventure it would be! We were headed west to Wichita to catch some Bellator MMA fights…but I had no clue this little adventure would come to mean so much more to this Mountain Wife’s’ heart!

In the past I have share my love of the big Midwestern sky with y’all…and boy did we have the perfect day for our trip. The sky was bigger and bluer than I have ever before seen! As we headed west, we traveled through little Midwest towns…with rolling fields for miles in between. We talked…we sang along with some epic road trip music, Journey. Of course, that’s not quite as epic as listening to Kansas…while driving THROUGH Kansas! (Mind blown!!) We drove past pecan groves and little oil drills…some rusted and no longer in use, while there were others that kept pumping away!  And then it happened…about ninety minutes east of Wichita it hit me! We were no long anywhere near the Ozarks…we were in the wild west…the prairie! And oh how my little  mountain loving heart leapt for joy! I’ve never imagined the rolling prairie could be so breathtaking. Driving along in our little car I couldn’t help but imagine what it would have been like in 1800’s traveling west to unknown land to stake a claim with all of your belongings in a covered wagon. I could just imagine how beautiful and terrifying it must have been! Needless to say, I was feeling all the feels…and my poor husband had to deal with my weepy happy little tears!

Wichita itself was a cute and fun little city! We stayed at a beautifully restored hotel along the Arkansas River, and found a cute little pub for dinner! The fights were a TON of fun! I think my hubby knows his Mountain Wife has a little fighter on the inside, so our first row seats were AMAZING!!! It was a fun and exhilarating night out, to say the least!

Up close and personal!


Day two began with a gorgeous sunrise! After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we were headed south! We were headed to see my “friend” Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman! I am a HUGE fan! I love her sweet disposition, her taste in dinnerware, her recipes, and of course her blog! So we were headed to “The Merc” in Pawhuska, OK to do a little shopping and of course…eating! What’s a road trip without food?!?! A few times throughout our travels, we would come to areas of sweeping prairie filled with ginormous windmills. Up close they look almost futuristic, and very cool to watch…knowing that they convert wind to power!! Science is awesome!


Growing fields of windmills!
My favorite photo from the trip!!!

Our journey took a little detour when we arrived at the sweet little town of Ponca City! What a gem!! Midwest towns are so full of history, and this one was no different! Ponca City was founded by the Ponca Tribe way back in the day, but it eventually became an oil boom town when Mr. E.W. Marland came to town! We decided to see if we could find the Marland Mansion and sure enough, it did not disappoint! It is stately and beautiful! We didn’t take a tour, although after doing some post-trip research, I would recommend taking the time to check it out! I hear there are underground tunnels connecting the different buildings! One can only imagine what they were used for!!


Marland Mansion


We stumbled across another gem while in Ponca City…the Pioneer Woman statue! (Actually, there’s a whole museum!) She is a beautiful bronze statue that Mr. Marland had erected in order to show his “appreciation of the heroic character of the woman who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to the daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.” And boy did she bring all the feels to the heart of this future off-the-grid homesteaders’ heart! (There was some more joyful weeping…my poor hubby!)


After leaving Ponca City, I could feel it…we were getting closer! More beautiful rolling prairie. As we drew closer I couldn’t help but hope to catch at least a glimpse or Ree at The Merc! But Hubby had a surprise…he knew that in order to get to The Merc in downtown Pawhuska, we would be driving right past the Drummond Ranch! Always one to take a minute for a photo opportunity…I’m now the proud owner of this picture!! When I first started following Ree’s career, I never dreamed there would ever be a day where I would even be in Oklahoma, let alone to be standing in her driveway! (I promise I’m not a stalker!!)

We never did make it into The Merc…the line was WAY too long! But we did find the cutest little place to grab a bite to eat while passing through! The trip was full of great conversation, good music, laughs, love and as always…adventure!

If you’ve never travelled through the Midwest..,why not?? If you have, where are your favorite places to visit? I’d love to hear what places y’all think we should add to our list!!

Until Next Time: Love, Joy & Adventures

Mountain Wife (with a little prairie too!)

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