May '08 Page 1 | back | index | forward |
Well, here it is May and we have decided to go west this summer. After Mom died, there was little pressure to go towards Montreal, and Patty started thinking that we should try to go to California to see her brother, sister and aunts. It would be nice as well to take the trailer instead of the truck camper, but the price of Fuel (now about $4.50 a gallon for diesel) suggested to us that we stop thinking about pulling a trailer that far. So, the California trip is delayed till this fall or next winter. We decided on a shorter trip - one which would take us to Colorado Springs for a Sower project at Navigators for June and July, and another project at the Lone Tree Bible Camp in the Capitan mountains of New Mexico for September. On the way up, we could stay at the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma near Ft. Sill and visit with daughter Aimee and son-in-law Gary during her birthday (May 20), spend some time vacationing in Colorado while visiting two neighbors who were hosting Forest Service campgrounds near Durango, Colorado, and possibly have granddaughter Amelia stay with us for a while. At least that is the plan. Let's see what adventures He arranges for us.
Monday, May 19 - Wichita Mountains
We leave home. It's not long before we realize that this will be a hot day. The weather forecast at home predicted a high of 90, but the thermometer in the truck kept on rising: 90, 94, 98, then a high of 106 near Wichita Falls! It was over 100 when we arrived at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Cache, Oklahoma just west of Lawton and Ft. Sill. The truck was panting (you could hear the auxiliary radiator and transmission fans working) a good deal of the way.
We are parked in spot 54, the same spot we have taken at least two times previously. We had been here fairly often, when we were full time in the trailer, for Thanksgiving reunions of the Simmons family. On two occasions at the refuge, we were also with Mel and Nyla Brown, Sowers, who camped here on a regular basis during the Thanksgiving weekend.
With the "geezer pass", lodging was $8 per night with full electric hookups, and we decided on 8 nights until the day after Memorial day.
We were treated with the presence of a few deer, and a tanager when we first stepped out of the trailer. Aimee and Gary came up to the refuge to spend the evening. Gary was having to travel to D.C. on his job in the morning, and not back until Friday about noon, and he offered us his car for the duration.
Tuesday, May 20
We had a quiet day straightening thinks up in the trailer, spent the afternoon and evening with Aimee on her birthday, then went out to Mike's restaurant with Gary's daughter Diana and son Michael. That's Aimee in the middle. Did we mention that Mike was going to graduate from high school this Saturday? We get to go since we will be here!
Since Gary was not going to be here for Aimee's birthday, he left a present for her for every day from Monday to Friday!
Wednesday, May 21 - Walk Around Wichita Preserve
In the morning, we took a walk through the campground across the stream of Quanah Parker Lake to the Environmental Education Center, then to the Visitor center. Saw buffalo crossing the road.
At the Center is this stuffed raccoon. The story is that this raccoon was found one day by a ranger close to the candy machine. It had eaten lots of candy and was very sick, was taken to a vet, then released far from the Center.. It was found dead the next morning, again next o the candy machine, after having eaten too much chocolate!
This is a sculpture at the Visitor Center, showing the longhorn, buffalo, elk and deer found at the refuge..
Flowers are great this time of year. Cactus and indian blanket.
If we haven't said it before, Patty's folks now go six generations here, having mad the trip before OK was a state. Her grandpa used to play with Quanah Parker's children. Patty remembers older Indian men in their long braided hair, hats and blankets sitting in downtown Cache.
Thursday, May 22 - Longer Walk
Today, we took many pictures. In the morning, we drove to the Boulder picnic area, then crossed the stream to take a service road up the side of the mountain towards a fire tower. It was an easy walk, and we were rewarded at the top with a broad view of the park.
This first picture is at the start of the walk. The next page will show some of the things we saw this morning.
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