I was making my way from Amarillo to Oklahoma City via the Mother Road, Route 66. On a whim, I went 10 miles off the road to the Flying W Guest Ranch in Sayre, OK. When I arrived, I realized I had struck gold with this beautiful place.
The Flying W Guest Ranch is a working cattle ranch filled with lots of wildlife. They offer trail rides with your own horse or theirs. They even have two enormous Belgium horses that they used to pull a carriage for a wedding that I witnessed. You can ride the mechanical bull, or meander through the many buildings where you feel the Old West come alive. You can watch as the ranch hands do their day work, or just sit back and enjoy the unbelievable scenery. At any time, you might see deer, wild turkeys, quail, beaver, cows, bulls, buffalo, or more. They even have a Beefalo -- a longhorn and a buffalo that bred. This is so uncommon it occurs only once in a million.
On this trip, I realized that traveling alone could offer great benefits. I stayed on the ranch for four nights, and the staff treated me as one of their own. I picked their brains about ranch life, horses, wildlife, and history. One night, Don brought me hot biscuits with homemade Plum jelly. The next day I enjoyed a home cooked Buffalo stew made by his wife. They drove me around the land, taught me how hay was bailed, explained the history of the area, and drove right up to the Buffalo and Texas Longhorns. I was in awe standing next to these huge buffalo, with only a wire fence separating us. More amazing was watching Don feed the Longhorns right out of his hand. I think being there by myself afforded me some special extras, but I truly believe these kind folks would treat each of their guests equally well.
The ranch is really a quaint, little town. With signs printed in an old western typestyle, they have a Town Hall, Ice Cream Parlor, an original 1880s Blacksmith Shop, and a little building titled Office. I also saw an original 1885 Chuckwagon they use for cook-offs to this day and a beautiful 1912 Wheeler Windmill next to the barn. The owner told me that they are expanding the ranch in the next few years. They will be adding buildings and everything will be done so that the whole place will look like it would in the 1890s. They will have 45 buildings when completed, including a Saloon, Marshall’s office, Barber shop, Post Office, and Undertaker’s office all complete with original artifacts.
Also on the property is a museum and a 2300-year-old Buffalo kill site. Their Town Hall and Barn are large enough to hold corporate retreats, and they have two busses that can handle large groups, including a trip to the nearby Washita National Park. Elk City and its Route 66 museum are only a short drive away.