It was a joy to roll into south-central Oklahoma as the temperatures were 15-20 degrees cooler than Texas, and the woodlands were oak, hickory, red cedar, elm, and sycamore trees. Ah, shade and breezes. The area was a grand surprise with much to do at camp, in town, and throughout the Park. As I said following my last visit to Oklahoma in 2016, I could've used another day or two here (note to self).
I camped within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, adjacent to the town of Sulphur, a popular spot in the late 19th century for the waters' medicinal qualities. In 1902, in an effort to preserve the springs, the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations sold acreage to the Department of the Interior. This later became a National Park, and has now grown to nearly 10,000 acres of preserved springs, trails, waterfalls, and over 500,000 trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the '30s. While all too busy on weekends, it seems well cared for.
With just five days to play, I didn't have an opportunity to simply sit by the lake, relax in a spring, or lunch at a local spot. That said, I lost an afternoon when the sky turned black along the horizon, and I wondered if I'd experience my first tornado. I'd say this was my first serious weather scare in nearly four years! I was torn between seeking a safe place, and heading to camp to take my new tent down. Lo and behold, the thunderstorms went on for a few hours, but there was no tornado in sight. I spent the afternoon at the library, then returned to the homestead where everything was in tip-top shape. I must say that weather is my biggest fear this year as I continue north to cycle Nebraska, and tour the Dakotas.
Tomorrow, I leave my first stop in Kansas where it's been hot and humid! More to come on Kansas before I jump on two wheels next week.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover