Weird Wild West
Long Fork, Oklahoma State, North Texas borderlands
A small two-bit town in the foothills of the Black Mountain range, the beginnings of the Ozarks a few days hard ride from the Northern border with Texas. The grey ridges of the Kiski Mountains rise starkly against the horizon like the body of sleeping giant, draped in a cloak of thick forest. Just to the south is a river that must be forded by raft, Big Creek, as it is known, joins the torrents of the Kiski River to the East.
In the centre of the town square, where the Mayburg road splits with the trail leating up to the Kiski Mountains a small pump well has been sunk which is the towns own shared water source. Mrs Watkins shuns this well as she says that the Kiski River water is fresher, she walks with her clan down to the ferry landing each morning to fetch water in pails.
Long Fork is a small trading post for cattle and little more than a wide spot in the road. A place to rest your horse, bathe, even have “a cold beer and a quiet hour to drink it in”.
Named imaginatively for the fact that one road joins another here. The main road meets a Herder’s track which leads up into the high country where it winds a rutted path through deep woodlands. Locals tell of fierce forest creatures living there and several of Long Fork’s families have lost a loved one who took the hill road, never to be seen again.