Post 2 of 6: Red River Station Inn
Taking 35 north and after our usual stop at QT in Gainesville we turned onto highway 82 instead of continuing north to Oklahoma. Drove through Munster which looked like a ghost town with some promise (without covid). We turned onto Clay Street which is the old downtown area of Nocona, TX. The first thing we noticed was the beautiful white lights hung from the top of the century old buildings. As we're driving down the street we’re leaning forward trying to figure out where the hotel is and see a French Quarter style balcony up top and realized that’s our hotel! Michal exclaimed how beautiful it is as we pull up beside and park.
Walking into the lobby, it's very inviting and we see the cutest, tiny analog phone on the counter with a sign that says 'Call x number' to check in. We do. I personally enjoyed dialing the tiny phone. Before I got 1 ring in, Bob starts coming down the stairs to our right followed by his wife Kristal. They are the most welcoming couple we have met (aside from Cricket and Doug on our first trip to Bastrop… you can see that post here.) Bob happened to be wearing an LSU shirt, so I commented on it and asked if he was from Louisiana…come to find out we went to high school about 15 - 20 miles from each other! However Bob, I later realized my high school was built in the 1990s so sorry for any confusion. It's the newer high school in Mandeville.
They politely asked us what we were doing in town and we told them about The Dallas Weekender and that we hoped to write a post on our time in Nocona. Luckily Bob knew a lot of the history of this town and was happy to fill us in.
He showed us a framed picture of what the hotel looked like when they bought the place in 2015. They’ve put some serious work into it and we wouldn't have even recognized the place. As we start walking back towards our room he informed us that each room was themed based off of somebody from Nocona. Bob gave us the best historical run down of the town, via touring every vacant room in the hotel (which they leave open for everyone to see as long as they aren't occupied). He showed us the Quanah Parker room, whose father was named Peta Nocona. He showed us the Enid Justin room. She’s the daughter of the Justin Boots entrepreneur who founded Nocona Boots (which later was bought by Justin boots and moved to El Paso). He showed us other rooms focused on others-cowgirls, a famous quarter horse and even a Mardi Gras themed room which tied into Nocona perfectly.
We stayed in the Roberts Storey room, named after the gentleman who founded the Nokona Athletic Goods company, which produces baseball gloves. As a matter of fact, Nokona gloves are the only baseball gloves still manufactured in America today. They had to change the spelling to Nokona instead of Nocona due to a copyright issue.
Prior to retiring for the evening Bob gave us a map that he gives to most of his guests. This map takes you on a drive around the area to see historical markers (where the Chisholm Trail crossed the Red River), by scenic venues and some awesome wineries. This drive was to be one of adventures for tomorrow.
The Red River Station Inn has a very relaxed reservation policy. You email them, tell them your dates and that's it; no credit card to hold the room and no confirmation number. We emailed a few days prior to the weekend just to check in and we were good to go.
In closing, Bob and Kristal were incredibly welcoming, beyond knowledgeable, and all around fantastic hosts. They even offer free beer and soda in their upstairs lounge. If you have the opportunity, drive the hour and a half north west and stay at the Red River Station Inn. You won't regret it.