Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oklahoma

Destination: Medicine Park, Oklahoma

Wow, he had zero expectations for Oklahoma, but this area in the southwest is absolutely beautiful! Home to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve, which is definitely one of the best national parks/reserves we have been to so far. Tons of hiking trails, and guess what? Dogs are allowed!! I would highly recommend it to anyone passing through.

-Hana


Wild longhorns
 We didn't know what to expect from Oklahoma, but got more than we thought we would. We stayed outside of Lawton, OK, which we only went to for groceries. We were across the street from the Wichitaw Wildlife Reserve with a beautiful view of  Lake Lawtonka and the mountains. From the tops of the mountains you can really see how flat everything else is. 

We saw plenty of wild buffalo and longhorns. Often they can be found crossing the street, and you just have to slow down and let them cross. They don't impose an immediate threat unless you get too close to them. On one hike we came across around 30 of them next to the path and we just kept our distance. I do have to say I was scared when I came within a few feet of a copperhead that was on the trail. He blended in to the sand, and almost looked like a stick in the path until I stopped and looked at him closer. From what I am learning about snakes, the ones you don't see are the most dangerous because you can easily step on it, or be in it's zone where it would feel threatened.

Wild buffalo
The Reserve for the most part is beautiful, and you just never know what awaits you around the corner on a hiking path. There are a lot of paths of different levels. Most are very rocky, and some are very steep. There are also some moderately level paths too. We came across some really scenic lakes and creeks that ran across large stones. It is a very peaceful place, and if you are hardcore into hiking you will get your exercise. There are also a lot of half mile to two mile paths. Mountain bikers also flock to a couple of the paths in one area on the outer edge of the reserve.  I also have to mention that the military owns a large part of the land next to the reserve. There was one day hiking that I heard quite a few booms and lots of jets tearing through the air. 

This week has also been exceptionally windy, more windy than anywhere I have ever been. I am not sure if it is just the way it is here, or just wind storms coming through. For the most part the days have been warm and the nights have been cool enough for me to sleep comfortably. I sleep best when the room feels like an ice cooler, and if anyone knows my wife they will know that she will be under an electric blanket while I am next to an open window. 

Almost blew right off the top of the mountain!
Wichita National Wildlife Refuge
Downtown Medicine Park - sculpture
Medicine Park - shopping
 In our week here there hasn't been much socializing or meeting people. I did talk to one guy fishing who gave me a generous amount of shad he collected earlier in the day, a catfish, and a few crappie.  There is a small cobblestone community called Medicine Park that has a stocked creek. Most stores are only open on the weekends or just make their own hours. I was never able to go in the bait shop because it was always closed. I also was looking forward to the bakery in town which was always closed. The one day I went in when it was open you had a choice of either four muffins or a brownie. That was about all she was selling. There was, however, a shop which sold cigar box guitars which is something I recently discovered and am considering making. There are two guys who make them in the town. 


   Ticks have been an issue since we have been on the road. We have been pulling them off the dogs as well as ourselves. I have found them in places you don't want to find them on my own body. They seem to like me more than Hana. This week I alone I have found five, and have bites in other places!

Downtown Medicine Park - riverfront

Frankie-Rock-Climber
  We haven't been to the dentist since being on the road, not that I went that regularly before. I always hated going to the dentist. Nonetheless, I have gotten into the habit of oil pulling. My teeth were stained from coffee, and I want to keep any potential infections at a minimum. I have also read that it has a lot of other health benefits as well. All you do is get a teaspoon of any type oil, I usually use coconut or olive oil, and vigorously swish it in your mouth for 20 minutes then spit it out. After three months I can tell you not only are most of the coffee stains gone, but my teeth are whiter than they ever were after a cleaning. This has saved us a fortune from having to get the under the gum scraping that dentists recommend. 

  I am now becoming active on RV forums, such as the Good Sam Forum. People on the forums are very helpful and more than willing to give any advice or feedback, which is greatly appreciated. It's definitely a good resource for travelers and full timers!

So far most RV parks we have been to are more or less filled with permanent locals, and are located on busy roads. We have been going to these mainly for the full hookups because it was a pain to run out of water every other day, and have to move the RV every day to drain the grey tank. You would have to shower less and not wash dishes often or very well to stretch your supply and grey tank storage. It takes an average of 15 or more minutes just to level the vehicle in most places, so moving it a few times a week in the beginning was taking up too much time. We aren't expecting perfection, and still the pros far outweigh the cons. I am finding it just takes a while to find what suits you best. Also, in the places where the people are more permanent there isn't as much socializing with your neighbors as there is in places where there are more travelers, or people camping for the weekend. Like everything, life is full of trial and error, and overall it is the journey which we most enjoy. 

-James


Weird RV of the Week:

Yes, this is an actual double length city bus converted into a home on wheels!


Next stop, Amarillo!




4 comments:

Southbound said...

I read your post on rv net and began reading your blog yesterday. I'm now caught up. I must say you guys have a unique style and I find it extremely refreshing! Wishing you nothing but good times ahead!

James said...

Thanks for reading, the compliment, and the encouragement! I have to say I am happy to hear that someone took the time to look at everything and appreciates it. I will wish nothing but good times for you as well!

lydia murray said...

I wouldn't have thought Oklahoma was beautiful, but you guys make me want to see it. Please keep away from those snakes and ticks! Is Lyme disease a thing there? Be careful. Beautiful pictures.

Hana Rose Pavlov said...

Yes, we were very surprised!