A few weekends ago (my, how time speeds away), four of us met together in the chill of the morning and rode north into Oklahoma to spend a three-day weekend camping, hiking and exploring. Our destination was one of my favorite places: the Wichita Wildlife Refuge in southern Oklahoma. Although having spent time there previously, March in Oklahoma was a bit of a surprise. It was cold. Windy and cold. We all underestimated the weather (as did the weather forecasters). Regardless, we enjoyed it immensely.
|The foursome and the three bikes in front of Meers Restaurant.|
I was hoping to see bison calves on the ground, but they are not born until early to mid-April. Except for one Longhorn calf, the adult bison and Longhorns were biding their time waiting for spring and that flush of green prairie grass. Oklahoma is also about two weeks behind north-central Texas in tree bud burst. Other than a few tree species (such as red oak) breaking leaf bud and long pendulous flowers, all the trees were gnarly and bare as if they were still asleep and waiting.
|Our tent space in the Cross-timbers.|
Betsy and Ed joined me in my hunt for animal tracks and other signs. I think my interest and enthusiasm for relearning tracking rubbed off on them. We found several signs of which I recorded with the camera. I will relate these experiences in a separate post, starting a new category on animal tracking and sign.
This was my first long bike ride since before breaking my pelvis a little over a year ago. The doc was a bit concerned and pleaded with me to 'take it easy,' considering that the pelvis was acting up again for the past month. All in all, the trip went well, despite riding the 180 miles back in near freezing wind and cold. I didn't have to pack any clothes for the return trip; I was wearing all of them. A good dose of ibuprofen, layers of warm fleece and a blanket soothed the aches after the trip home, and a sound sleep cured it all.
A few posts with photos and narrative will follow as soon as all the videos and photos are uploaded. You will get to see a tom turkey herding his harem of hens, a squeaking prairie dog sentry, the view from Mnt. Scott, lunch at Meers, and tending camp dinner. So stay tuned!
Labels: Adventures, Oklahoma