What a full day it was. Gina and I started the day by getting up early and going to the Relay For Life breakfast fundraiser that was held at our local hospital.
BANNER OUTSIDE THE BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER
Our friend Carol Lane was responsible for organizing and putting on the breakfast. Carol has a passion for Relay For Life because of her son Traven. When Traven was three years old he was diagnosed with leukemia. He started treatment in 2002. Traven had his last chemotherapy treatment in 2006, and is currently cancer free. Because of her experiences, Carol knows how important Relay For Life is, and how how the research that it funds affects people personally.
CAROL AND HER BOYS
One of the reasons that she picked this weekend for the fundraiser is that it is the Christian Motorcycle Associations Changing Of The Colors Rally. The CMA is a non-profit, interdenominational organization dedicated to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the highways and byways through motorcycling. It is an international organization that is headquartered here. There are CMA chapters in all 50 states and in 24 countries. The Changing Of The Colors Rally is the annual homecoming, where thousands of motorcyclists meet for a week at the CMA headquarters on Iron Mountain between Mena and Hatfield.
There were many CMA motorcyclists at the breakfast fundraiser. While we were there, a group of the motorcyclists who had been visiting with Carol about why she was involved with Relay For Life asked if they could have prayer for Traven. It was an awesome thing seeing strangers coming together to pray. I was touched by their concern, compassion, and their belief in prayer.
CMA MEMBERS PRAYING FOR TRAVEN
After breakfast we attended church where we had a wonderful study time, and listened to an inspiring sermon by Pastor Rodil Capobres. It was such a beautiful day that we decided to go for a ride to see the fall colors that are just starting to change. We took the Talimena Scenic Drive to Talihena Oklahoma. The drive from Mena to Talihina is 54 miles along the top of Rich Mountain. There are many beautiful vistas, and I turned off the highway to look at every vista.
ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL VIEWS FROM TALIMENA SCENIC DRIVE
When we reached Talihina I somehow took a wrong turn and went quite a few miles before I realized I wasn't on the road I thought I was on. Of course I didn't have a map with me. Real men don't need maps, especially this close to home. Because I was in the mountains, there were no roads that went back east over the mountain. After driving many miles, I told Gina that if we couldn't find a road back to the east we would turn around. We stopped at a store in Clayton and asked if there was a road that went to the east. I found out that if I traveled about ten more miles I would come to highway 144 that would take me back east. I had never been on Hwy 144 before. It is a beautiful drive through extremely backwoods areas.
LOST SOMEWHERE IN OKLAHOMA
While we were driving we came across a road sign that made us stop and turn around. I had never seen a sign like it before. It said Bigfoot Crossing.
GINA AND I AT BIGFOOT CROSSING
There have been reports of bigfoot sightings in this area. There is even a Bigfoot Festival every year. If I hadn't been lost, we would probably have never seen this part of Oklahoma. Our trip that should have taken about two and a half hours stretched to four and a half. What a beautiful and fulfilling day it was.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.