By Craig Day, News On 6
MUSKOGEE, OK -- The azalea festival is underway in Muskogee, with the big parade and a chili cook-off on Saturday.
This year is a very good year to take in the sights of Honor Heights Park. One Oklahoman gets that opportunity everyday and loves every minute of it.
"It's not really like a job," said Bob Halvorson of Buffalo River Carriage Company.
Bob Halverson sometimes feels sorry for folks cooped up in cubicles and mired in meetings. He says he has the best job anyone could want.
"The horses, the people, the weather, being my own boss," said Halvorson.
Along with his horses, Waylon and Willie, Halvorson takes people on carriage rides around Honor Heights Park in Muskogee.
He gets to enjoy the park every day.
"The azaleas, the tulips, the dogwoods, they are all very beautiful. I don't know if I have a favorite or not," said Halvorson.
"If you're going to drive horses, you ain't going to find a nicer spot to do it in," said Halvorson.
This hasn't always been his job. Years ago, Bob was in the corporate world and had the stress that came along with it.
"I was a state manager for an insurance company and had a heart attack at 42, so I got tired of that life and took my horses and made a business out of my hobby," said Halvorson.
And he has never looked back.
Bob has been giving rides in his restored 1889 carriage at Honor Heights Park for a couple of years now.
"Downright beautiful, we have nothing like this up north," said Halvorson.
He's a transplanted Oklahoman, originally from Minnesota.
After working for a season in Muskogee, he fell in love with the beauty of Honor Heights Park and moved.
"I decided it was just getting too cold in Minnesota," said Halvorson. "When you get up in the morning and you don't care if it is Sunday or Monday, that's when you're happy. That's when you've got a good job."
A good job he says he'll keep doing, as long as he's able to climb into the carriage and get behind the reins.
Bob's business is called Buffalo River Carriage Company. Carriage rides cost $5.00 a person.