Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Pioneer Woman Experience

Way back at the beginning of November we traveled for two weeks. We drove too much for the liking of some little kids, but we did get to see new sites.

The one that was most exciting for me was this little spot in the middle of nowhere, Kansas. This log cabin is a replica of Laura Ingalls Wilder's little house on the prairie. That was the first big book I read as a child, and I've worn out copies of the series from so much reading. They're still my favorite books as an adult. While this site was closed for the season, we were still able to walk around and see what was outside of locked doors.

I actually started to get emotional when we pulled up here!

Since we were headed to the Oklahoma City area from here, it wasn't too far out of the way to go to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where Pioneer Woman (a.k.a. Ree Drummond, blogger extraordinaire and Food Network star) had just opened her new store, The Mercantile, earlier in the week. My kids watch her show with me on Saturday mornings, and my little girl (the middle one) really loves her.

Pawhuska is a little town, but it seemed hopping on that Saturday afternoon. You can see why in this picture. 

Approaching The Mercantile, the line to get into the store.

And on the other of the building, there was another long line.

I'm guessing this was the line for the restaurant.

At this point, my husband and I knew we'd not be stopping because seven children and a line that looks like it would take hours isn't my cup of tea. I'm also not into waiting in line to shop in a store of any kind. But I decided I wanted to take a picture of the lines for this blog, so we hung a left and turned around. While we were doing this, two children swore they'd seen Pioneer Woman's husband, Marlboro Man (a. k. a. Ladd). The adults weren't buying it. 

On our way back through town, we saw this:

This hand-held sign reads "Cool Stuff".

So we followed and went around the block. And wouldn't you know, cool stuff appeared. If we hadn't been driving for so long with little children, I would've stopped to look at the cool stuff more closely.

Metal bison and roosters qualify as "cool stuff."

On the way past PW's store, I did get some pictures (namely the ones above). AND see the fellow in the cowboy hat below? That's the husband the kids had spotted before, out mixing with the crowd. 

Ladd Drummond

So then we drove on out of town, into the eventual sunset. And there were many, many tears from my disappointed little daughter. I felt horrible. It was the one thing on the whole trip she was looking forward to, and I just couldn't make it right. 

However, on our way to the interstate from there, I saw some gorgeous scenery. I pulled out the camera to take a picture, rolled down the window to take a picture of it, but since we were driving the speed limit which is so fast out there, I clicked on this instead:

The Drummond Ranch

While I didn't plan it and don't actually know if that is Pioneer Woman's family's ranch, I thought it was a funny accidental shot. And the possibility that the vehicle we saw coming out of the drive might have been her beloved Pioneer Woman seemed to calm the crying girl down a little bit. But not entirely. Disappointment is a sad thing.

This was some of the scenery I was trying to get a shot of:

Not long after, we noticed this field.

Windturbines, oil, and cattle grazing 

We guessed that whoever owned that land was making a killing on one spot of land. Talk about maximizing potential!


  1. Love this post! We like PW around here, too... I make her mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving. So cool that you were so close, but the logistics of that line + 7 kids....well, coming from a fellow mom of 7, i completely understand why you kept going. 😊

    1. You know, if it were the morning I might have considered standing in line with the ones who wanted to go in while my husband took the rest for a walk or something. . . but it was close to 4:30, the kids were getting hungry, and they'd been in the van for hours. I think PW would understand, don't you?