It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Oh, that’s already been done. But it sums up this weekend fairly well. It was the weekend of the biannual Heavener Runestone Viking Fest at the Heavener Runestone Park in Oklahoma. I’ve been a part of this event for several years now but this year Mother Nature did not approve. I should have asked her first.
Please let me explain how much I love this park and the lore that surrounds it. I wrote two books about it and I love to set up in the pristine forest and breath deeply the magic that surrounds it. But not this weekend. The weatherman kept saying Saturday would be an indoor day. That was an understatement. Why couldn’t he have been wrong this time?
We got to the mountain Friday evening, tired from the four-and-a-half-hour drive and were planning to set up the canopy the night before. But we were unsure if we would be there the next morning due to the potential rain. You can’t set up paperback books under a 10 x 10 canvas canopy in the rain. And it was cold. My husband and I aren’t getting any younger and both of us struggle climbing uphill (and the entire park is uphill). So, with arthritis meds in hand we came for the weekend anyway. I so love the forest.
We went to the weekend cabin we’d rented and met the cousins who drive up from Texas to join us each time we make this trek. Thank God for company. Saturday it poured all day long. Just to find something to do, we looked up wineries in the area and drove into Paris, Arkansas in the rain to a tasting room. Cowie Wine Cellars www.cowiewinecellars.com was lovely – even in the rain – and we might have bought some to bring back with us. On the way back the GPS took us over unfamiliar territory in the deluge with skies so dark it looked like midnight and we were almost involved in a wreck on a two-lane rural Arkansas road.
It continued to rain all day and into the night. We munched on snacks back at the cabin to avoid getting back out for a meal.
Sunday – after a sleepless night trying to decide what to do about the festival – we awoke to cold and drizzle. The yard outside our cabin was standing in ankle deep water in places. It would be too cold and muddy to set up at the festival for those of us not as young as we used to be. Cold, wet and disillusioned, once again we avoided the mountain. We met for breakfast and the cousins headed back toward Texas and we packed the car for home. I hate that I missed it, but I don’t think nature meant for me to be there this year. I miss the forest and telling people about the magic of the place.
I’m sorry, Heavener Runestone Park. I’m not as hale and hardy as I once was. I know vendors camped out and stayed on the mountain all weekend. We didn’t. Another lesson learned about nature and old age.
When we got home to Enid, we found it had barely sprinkled while we were gone.
What did you do this weekend? Was the weather bad where you were?