Jun 22, 2011

The Great Green Buff Road Trip: Day 1, Part 1

I am a native Oklahoman, but I definitely haven’t experienced everything this state has to offer. So when Green Girl Jessica suggested we take a road trip to explore the western part of the state, I was excited to dive into all the eco-travel opportunities found in Red Carpet Country and Kiamichi Country.

We climbed into our fabulous minivan (the only way to travel, right?) and headed north from Oklahoma City to our first destination, the Turtle Rock Farm Retreat in Billings. The drive only took about two hours, and on the way we stopped to stretch our legs in Guthrie. Since it is only a 30 minute drive from downtown OKC, Guthrie is a perfect getaway for a girls’ dinner or a family brunch. With its blocks of pristinely preserved buildings, it captures the essence of the early days of Oklahoma.

Guthrie once held the title of Oklahoma’s capitol, but it now holds the distinction of being the largest urban historic preservation district in the United States. The Western era is alive and well, with carriage rides, staged gunfights and plenty of food worthy of a cowboy-sized appetite. Jessica and I walked around the area while scouting the perfect restaurant. When we saw the crowds in Katie’s Diner, we knew we had found the place to lunch with the locals.

We walked back to the car after lunch (we definitely needed the exercise after eating dessert), and made tracks for Billings. If you get anything out of this post, make it this piece of advice: your GPS doesn’t know everything. We got slightly lost, but after traipsing down a few dirt roads and enjoying the Oklahoma scenery along the way, we finally arrived at the Turtle Rock Farm Retreat in Billings.

This farmhouse, where Ann and Pat grew up, is over a century old and now houses guests of the farm.

Turtle Rock is the ultimate oasis for those who want to explore the spiritual side of sustainability. Owners Ann McFerron and Pat Hoerth offer workshops and seminars centered on the reasons to go green. While Jessica and I didn’t experience any classes, we did take time to pet all the farm animals and to step inside the farm’s teepee. We also enjoyed the peacefulness of the straw bale hermitage, a small cabin constructed from materials found on the farm. No matter where you stay on the farm, the hospitality of the McFerron and Hoerth will make your trip memorable.

What farm visit would be complete without petting the animals? These sweet goats loved the attention.

The straw bale hermitage kept its cool through 18 inches of straw insulation.


  1. Come see us at The Canebrake!

  2. Jessica and I are planning a eastern OK road trip and of course the Canebrake will be included in our itinerary :) we will keep you updated!