Did ancient Vikings visit Oklahoma? These modern Vikings are holding a festival in the one spot they might have.

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HEAVENER, OKLAHOMA -- Follow this theoretical trail of history as far as you dare.

Did a part of Vikings really take a longship up the Mississippi, up the Arkansas, and then its tributary the Poteau River?

Did they get off to look around and walk through the woods to carve some of their letters in a rock beside a waterfall?

The letters are still here to read, and this weekend, so are some modern Vikings.

Joshua McIntire came from Iowa to set up his forge on a bluff above the Poteau Valley.

"I fell in love with the view behind me and I've been coming down here ever since," he says.

Mark 'Fretjoffson' (his Viking name) came along as camp cook to what is now Heavener Runestone State Park.

His scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon aren't exactly kale porridge and pickled herring but he does get to eat with his hands.

"Is it important for you to be authentic," asks a park visitor?

"As close as possible," he responds.

Other modern Vikings call Ralph Brody 'The Horn Man'.

It's been more than 15 years since he saw some examples of this kind of work at a Renaissance Fair.

His custom drinking vessels are sought after items at events like this weekend's Viking Festival where Norsemen of all ages will gather to see the stone and trade stories over warm mead and light up helmets available in the park gift shop.

If you're going to hold a Viking festival, this is definitely the best place.

"It's absolutely gorgeous," says Ralph. "It's actually surreal. It's a spiritual place."

Once camp is set up Ralph is well-known for taking a special horn he made to another rock overlooking the valley.

Every morning he blows a salute to Vikings who might have come before.

That trail of history often grows cold after what could be a thousand years.

But up here, on a weekend like this, the call to believe is a bearded siren.

Brody concludes, "We celebrate history, ancestry, and just life."

The Heavener Runestone Viking Festival is held in April and October every year.

For more information call the park at (918) 653-2241 or visit the Travel OK website at http://www.travelok.com

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