Showman's Rest - Hugo, Oklahoma
Over the last year or so Darrell and I have ended up at a lot of cemeteries. From New Orleans to dusty New Mexico to foggy spots in the Ozark mountains, we stop when we come across them or spend a little bit of time researching if we've heard of one that might be extra special. Showman's Rest in Hugo Oklahoma is one of those spots.
I'm not sure where I first heard about it. I think I was on a road trip with my parents and we saw it on a map and after a little of searching online I found an article on Atlas Obscura. But it's one of those places we've wanted to visit for a long time. One cold wintry afternoon Darrell and I made the drive down through small Oklahoma towns, stopping to take photos of abandoned places along the way, to the place where circuses winter over.
Showman's Rest is in a corner of Mount Olivet Cemetery and it's pretty easy to spot; the markers and stone elephants are very distinct. It's a popular spot, even on the cold day we weren't the only visitors.
There's a lot of personality here and I loved the unique headstones. I loved the little bits of story and reading about the person's life. One of my favorites had Give life the best that's in you for it's only a one night stand there are no repeat performances brought back by popular demand. Another favorite said I'd rather be in California. It made me smile, looking at the remembrances of these lives, at the humor so many brought to something that is usually very solemn and reserved.
When the time comes I want an outrageous marker. I want someone to walk by randomly and laugh out loud.
From Hugo we headed north along highway 259 and if you're headed back that way I highly recommend it. We stopped at a completely random spot to look at the Mountain Fork river and it was a beautiful spot. We almost didn't stop and I was so glad we did. I took one of my favorite portraits of Darrell there. The drive to and from Showman's Rest made for a great little Oklahoma day trip and you should absolutely add it to your list of places to visit.
And that's my one piece of travel advice: always stop. If you see a cool spot stop, if you pass it turn around, you might not make it back and who knows what you could miss. It's advice I need to get better about taking myself.