Every time Todd asks me to go with him to a chicken auction I hesitate. I know I will be sharing a cargo van with at least fifty assorted fowl and every other aspect involved as well. My skills are geared more toward horticulture. However, after several of these trips I have become pretty good at identifying breeds from having to write out the labels we attach to the cages. He says it’s just because I have good printing. I may not be able to name all the state capitals, but I sure know the difference between a chocolate mottled and a chocolate splash Orpington. Orpington chickens are those beautifully feathered, plump chickens you would see in an English countryside. Very Jane Austin. Todd has been working on new varieties with special feather and egg colors. His work has been so prolific he just has too many, hence a trip to the Crozier’s Poultry Auction in Stillwell, Oklahoma.
We left the next morning with 56 assorted poultry for the three-hour trip to Stillwell. Stillwell is located near the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma, so we were able to see some of the Ozark National Forest. It was still very lush and green from all the recent rainfall with just a hint of fall red color on some Black Gum trees. It was a beautiful day for a drive and the Big Oklahoma sky was really showing off. Once we arrived into Stillwell, Todd pointed out this is where Mrs. Smith bakes her famous apple pies. Near-by Washington county Arkansas is a big apple growing area. I remember as a kid asking my mom to buy those pies from the freezer section of the grocery store. We figured out where the fairgrounds were and unloaded all the cages. The men carefully counted and placed auction lot tags on the cages. It reminded me of all the times I road along with my dad to Cherry Auction in Fresno, or the Overland Stockyard in Hanford, California. The sounds, the people and the smells are still all the same and immediately triggered a lot of memories. Once we unloaded we were hungry for Barbecue. I just knew there would be several options for this in Oklahoma and there was! Charlie’s BBQ looked too busy, so we opted for Okie Joe’s and threw back some pulled pork sliders and headed home. One thing I know about Todd driving, you never go home the same way as you came. We headed down the Pig Trail. This is the same road all the Arkansas Razorback fans take to Fayetteville. It is a well-travelled road and about as twisty as a pig’s tail. As we approached Washington County, Arkansas, Todd recalled the days there were numerous roadside stands selling apples. He was a little disappointed to discover those days were now gone. We finally came upon a bright red little building with black trim selling different varieties of apples. We ate the homemade apple pie last night!
I highly suggest you take your own little road trip this fall, you may find your own wonderful new discovery. We did in Farmington, Arkansas, but I’ll save that for our next visit.