Tag: hiking (Page 1 of 3)

Chickasaw National Recreation Area Part Three

This little pool of water was downstream from Antelope Springs.

Travertine Creek

And just around the corner was Buffalo Springs.

direction sign

This spring had a definitely sulphur smell to it.

Buffalo Springs

I tried to get a picture of the water bubbles as they came up from the spring, but failed. It was very cool to see, though!

Buffalo Springs

We followed the trail (and sometimes the creek) back to the Travertine Nature Center.

Travertine Creek

A little ways beyond the nature center was Little Niagara. Having seen the real Niagara Falls, this hardly warranted the name, even with the “little” qualifier!

Little Niagara

I loved the way these leaves pooled along the side downstream from Little Niagara.

autumn leaves in a pool

And then there was a second small falls.

Little Niagara

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a November afternoon. I anticipate many more trips up to that area, as there is a lot more to see. More hiking trails, more lake parks, and several Indian cultural attractions.

The only downside to the day was our attempt to find supper at one of the several casinos on the way home. We chose to stop at the large casino on the state line (I won’t mention its name; we don’t intend to ever stop there again!), thinking the buffet there would be decent. The casino is touted as the world’s largest, and we got the grand tour by heading in the wrong direction upon entering. We were both amazed and dismayed at the number of people sitting in front of slot machines; I would be willing to bet we saw at least a thousand people there, if not more. By the time we found the buffet, had endured the noise of the casino floor, the cigarette smoke, and discovered the price of the buffet (it was seafood night), we decided to leave. We drove another 10 minutes into Texas, found a Cracker Barrel, and both had good meals, simple meals, for less than half the price we would have spent at the buffet. We were well pleased with ourselves.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Bill and I recently took a Saturday day trip and spent the afternoon at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma. It is actually easier (& just about as quick!) for us to drive north into Oklahoma, than it is to drive south to Dallas or Fort Worth, due to the crazy traffic. We just hop onto I-35E, a short mile or two from our house, and drive due north.

Saturday started out cold, cloudy and blustery, but by the time we were into Oklahoma, the sun came out and it turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon. We at lunch at Subway in Davis, Oklahoma, and then continued east for about 7 miles to the Lake of The Arbuckles. Yup, that’s the name of the lake in the Recreation Area. We drove down to one fishing point/boat launch area and did some hiking.

We noticed this one bush growing along the water’s edge, which we have yet to identify.

wetlands bush in Oklahoma

Here’s the trail we took:

hiking trail

And some views of the lake along the way:

lake view

Lake of the Arbuckles view

Lake of the Arbuckles view

Lest you think we have left the desert of Arizona completely behind, here’s some cacti!


arbuckles lakeview

And our trek back up the trail:


Did I mention it was a gorgeous afternoon?

Grand Canyon Day Two

Sunday was a lovely day – clear blue sky, a few white puffy clouds, very little breeze, and a whole lot warmer! Our plan was to leave Williams and drive back to the South Rim, then take the Desert View drive from the Grand Canyon Village to the East Entrance of the park. There were several overlooks along the way, although truthfully, we skipped a couple of them.

After a while, you get sort of overwhelmed with gorgeous views everywhere you look and you just give up on the idea that you will ever really be able to capture it in a picture.

Bill remarked several times that the view looks like a painting. It is very difficult to get a real feel for the immenseness of the canyon, both in depth and width, even while you are standing there.

I had more than one moment of fleeting panic when I watched people leave the trails and climb out onto the edge of the rocks in order to have their picture taken on the edge. And Saturday night, just as I would begin to drop off to sleep, I would have this falling sensation and then jerk back awake. That was one of the things I remembered most about our trip to the North Rim in 2002, the ever-present fear that someone of us would slip and fall down the canyon. We spent two nights in a cabin on the edge of one of the side canyons. The wind was ever-present, blowing through the pines. It was lovely and at the same time terrifying. Both nights there, I dreamt of nothing but falling, falling, myself or one of the kids or Bill. Even this trip, as we hiked along the rim, there was one brief moment where my mind thought, “Bill is going to fall!” It’s weird how your mind does that to you and you are suddenly filled with fear and adrenaline. It was a relief to get off the rim hike we were on and back up to the road, away from the edge.

At the eastern entrance of the Grand Canyon Park is The Watchtower, which you can see here on the extreme right of the picture. Off in the distance you can see where the Colorado River is just beginning to carve its way through the ground, creating the Grand Canyon.

Here The Watchtower is again on the right, with more of the canyon showing.

Panning just a bit more to the west, now you can see the Colorado River where the Grand Canyon Park begins.

Here is a closer view of The Watchtower. There are 85 steps and, if you care to climb them, you will then be able to see the canyon from a higher vantage point, as if 7400 feet was not high enough!

We did climb the stairs. At the first level there is an outside terrace from which you can take pictures. Here is to the east, where the Grand Canyon begins.

And here is to the west, looking deep into the Grand Canyon Park.

Inside the Watchtower are sketches and paintings representing the ancient Indian peoples that inhabited this area.

Just to prove that I was really there!

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