Great State: Antlers for the Holidays?

Great State
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ANTLERS, OKLAHOMA -- When her father and grandfather ran the Rebel Hills Ranch Becky Franks had to watch out for mean rodeo bulls and 'snuffy' bucking broncs when she walked through the pasture. "Oh my goodness. Yes," says Franks remembering when the ranch when it raised rodeo stock.

Becky's chores consist of checking on the cabins that now dot her 600 acres, including the first cabin she put in several years back just to see if her new idea for the old place would work. "I paid $200 for it," she boasts. "It was just a condemned, old house."

A good farmer/rancher hates to let anything go to waste. When others saw the old house Brit Trotter lived in rotting away on the highway Becky saw an opportunity.

She bought the house at auction and went to work. "People used to come visit and say, oh. It's so beautiful," she recalls. Once she'd fixed it up she opened it for paying guests.

"So I just thought I'd try it and see," The Franks placed an old railroad car on another spot. It used to be a hamburger joint in Antlers. After it closed down Becky bought it and turned it into another cabin after the first one proved so popular. "This is the back of the car where people used to get on and off," she says on a quick tour. "I left these handles in."

Again and again she found places to salvage and move. Her grandparents old homestead, a burned out house in Hugo, a honeymoon cottage, all once condemned, now part of the ranch. "Well we've got a lot going on," says Becky. "Everybody is always pretty active around here."

There are still a few cattle around but they aren't mean. The Franks keep some horses for riding. There is a dog everywhere you look, some tame deer, and even a herd of elk that have developed a taste for stale bread.

It's off the beaten patch but quiet. Hard to find but worth the search if you're a traveler who appreciates a good night's stay in unique surroundings.

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