I’m not quite old enough to remember to listening to Lum & Abner on the radio…but I do remember hearing of them.
Today Dick Huddleston’s store is known as the Lum & Abner Jot ’em Down Store and sells a small amount of Lum & Abner memorabilia (t-shirts, calendars, CDs, pens, pencils, etc) and also houses a tiny working post office.
We roamed around the store and museum for quite a while. Chatting with the owner. Petting Rocky, a big old lug of a dog, possibly part basset hound, who guarded the front door. We ended up purchasing two t-shirts and several CDs so that we can listen to Lum & Abner as we head on down the road.
It was a pretty drive through the Ouachita Mountains and Forest. There were a lot of scenic overlooks and we stopped at many of them to check out the views. Some of the trees are just beginning to turn colors and I can just imagine what the drive would have been like at the height of the ‘colors’ season.
About halfway through the scenic drive, we stopped at the top of Rich Mountain where the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge is located. The lodge has 40 rooms, starting at $100 per night and just at looking at the gorgeous lobby with its beautiful view it would be an awesome place to stay a few nights.
The Queens Restaurant is on the first floor of the lodge and that’s where we had lunch. Michael opted for a burger and fries while I went with the soup and salad bar (soups were chicken & dumplings or shrimp gumbo). Lunch was very good and you can’t help but enjoy the scenery while you eat.
It turned out to be the original milepost that marks the Arkansas-Choctaw Nation boundary, which was placed in 1877. Apparently the post was originally placed in the wrong location, too far to the west, but left in place. After many year the Choctaw Nation was compensated for the loss of bout 136,000 acres of land.
Further into Oklahoma we pulled off the road at another scenic overlook. This one was a bit off the road and was also a small picnic area. Michael got out of the truck to read the signage and just as he turned toward me to show me something, I happened to see a Walking Stick on the sign post.
It turns out that Michael was going to show me a Walking Stick that was walking on him but when he turned it fell off. As we looked on the ground for it we noticed several more Walking Sticks walking around…then we saw more…and more. We had to be careful where we walked or we’d step on them.
Then we happened to see that there were a bunch on a nearby picnic table…..then we looked at the next table and it was covered! They were ALL over it…hanging from the underside of the table, crawling up the legs, resting on the seats….crawling on the ground. It was CRAZY! And a bit creepy too! After we left I had phantom Walking Sticks walking on my legs for quite a while!
The trip back home went much faster than the trip out as we took OK-63 to Mena and then AR-88 to AR-270 to home. There were no stops at scenic overlooks or historic markers so we were back in Mt. Ida about 5:00 pm.