Exploring Oklahoma Together

Exploring Oklahoma

I am fortunate to have a job that I can walk away from for a day or two without too much fuss. Even better, I have a son who is more than willing to hang out with me. Recently, I burned a day of paid time off so we could go exploring Oklahoma Together

To The Refuge!

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a favorite day trip of ours. That said, I don’t get there too often. My son, on the other hand, has camped there a few times and really enjoys it. Leaving before dawn, we made a rough plan for our visit en route. With key spots to visit selected, we arrived just as the sun was peaking over the horizon.

Exploring Oklahoma Wildlife

My favorite part of the refuge is the wildlife. It can be a bit hit or miss, but the early morning hours proved to be ripe with opportunity. Almost immediately, we see elk and white tail deer. Prairie dogs are usually easy pickings, but the Northern Flicker at one stop was delightfully unexpected. On one of our short hikes, we even spotted a couple of young elk bucks locking antlers just inside the tree line of a distant hill.

  • Exploring Oklahoma

Aircraft, Artillery, and Terrain

Beyond the wildlife, exploring Oklahoma in this area isn’t complete until you hear the distant thunder of artillery echoing in the mountains. As we attempted to tackle one trail, the familiar thump gave way to the sound of jets. We found a high point along the trail and watched a flight of fighters circle, then dive, then climb swiftly into the sky. It appeared they were running a pattern on one of the watch towers in the distance. I will not say it was anything like the Mach Loop, but it was a thrill to watch the maneuvers.

If you haven’t made it down to the Wichita Mountains in a while, plan a visit soon. It is a nice little getaway. Even if you never see any of the larger game animals, the views are pretty nice. Especially if you take time to get off the beaten path and walk a trail or two.

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