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Robbers Cave Stables in Wilburton offers the full day-to-night cowboy experience.
By Sheilah Bright
Published May/June 2017
Like many Oklahoma kids, Ray Wiseman nailed scraps of lumber to the limbs of trees so he and his cousins could have a space of their own. Unlike many adults, however, he didn’t let the dream of a more permanent arboreal dwelling slip away.
“We would build a treehouse and hang out in it until the city came and tore it down; then we’d build another one,” says Wiseman, owner and builder of Ra’s Eufaula Treehouse Tree-sort, located a short drive from the shoreline of Lake Eufaula. “I’ve been in construction most of my life in the cell tower industry, so when I retired, I decided to build a treehouse that I could keep and let other people enjoy.”
The Tree-sort opened in April 2016 with the Creek Treehouse, a 150-square-foot perch featuring a loft bedroom with a Murphy bed built from antique shiplap. A pressed tin ceiling and salvaged old growth pine from a house built in 1895 create a cozy common area with a few chairs, microwave, coffee pot, and a small fridge. Behind the sliding barn doors, guests will find a bathroom with a corner shower next to a window overlooking the forest of three-hundred-year-old oaks and cedars.
With some help from a friend, Wiseman built the Creek Treehouse to dance when Oklahoma breezes reach around forty-five miles per hour, since the structures need to move slightly with the branches for safety’s sake. Beneath the treehouse, two rope swings offer kids and brave adults a chance to enjoy a spin while a bouncing double-wide swing tethered to two giant oaks instantly sends stress into the wind.
“This is a remote location,” Wiseman says. “In fact, I don’t advertise the location, so when you book online, you make arrangements to meet me in town and drive here. I hope my guests feel the peace of the place when they leave the pavement.”
The gravel drive winds onto four acres of woodland. A second two-story, four-hundred-and-fifty-square-foot structure, the Choctaw Treehouse, will open soon. It will feature an additional outdoor shower on the balcony and multiple bedrooms, which means up to nine guests will be able to stay at a time. A ramp will make it wheelchair accessible.
A common area for both accommodations gives visitors a chance to cook out or enjoy a campfire. Old-fashioned board games and toys encourage family time, as does recreation on the nearby lake. But the best activity at Ra’s is hanging out—literally—in nature.
Thanks to Wiseman, guests can settle into a deck chair at sunset and watch the amber light wink through the leafy canopy as birds chitter rambling country melodies reminiscent of childhood. Come daybreak, there are cups of fresh-brewed coffee and time to linger on the swaying treehouse steps to watch the squirrels perform acrobatic shows through the oaks.
As a retiree who’s been dreaming of the perfect treehouse since childhood, Wiseman believes going out on a limb might offer the peaceful sway a lot of folks need.
Ra’s Eufaula Treehouse Tree-sort, eufaluatreesort.com.