From Pawhuska we set out for Norman and a long overdue visit with Janelle and Bill, Dos Okies. We also looked forward to seeing John and Carol who we met on our last visit. You would have thought we were visiting royalty! Janelle had a succulent beef tenderloin and asparagus dinner for us the first night and Carol and John made us delicious New York strip steaks and baked potatoes with corn and bean salad on Sunday. What did we do to deserve the red carpet treatment?
The Fairgrounds in Norman was a good base for visiting. We got to meet their new puppy, Taylor who Janelle described as “forty pounds of trouble.” He is actually very smart and responsive, he’s just a puppy. A very cute one. Look at his cute eyebrow.
We spent our twenty-seventh anniversary watching OU football, drinking wine and visiting on the porch on a beautiful day. A delicious stew dinner followed that. A good chance to catch up.
Sunday we all went to John and Carol’s where John immediately led us to his building where he shared his treasure trove of rocks, fossils and sculptures. He has a two floors full of cool stuff and of course the second floor has a highly reinforced floor. Lotta rocks there. He gives talks to local schools and youth groups. I bet the kids love it. He used to live in Alaska and has several interesting items like walrus skulls displayed in the house. Some of these sculptures are made using his polished and rare rocks. He gave me a few (small) ones to go in my rock drawer.
Carol’s table was beautiful too and the meal was out of this world. The company could not be beat.
The Okies had told us about an area they were both familiar with and had spent much time in, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge so we decided to head down there together for a few days. They had both spent many happy days there as kids and continued to visit after that. We love being shown the special sights by the locals! And mountains? In Oklahoma?
On the way we stopped at the Meers Store for lunch. This is a funky little place where it looks like they have been adding on for decades. They serve Longhorn beef burgers and I found out that they sell Longhorn skulls! They were out at the moment but now I know where to get one once I convince Jim that we should mount one on the bus. Wonder how long that’ll take…
With our senior pass, camping was just $10 a night! The sites are very large and even when the campground was full it was nice and quiet and private. We saw buffalo and Longhorn cattle and wild turkeys roamed the campground.
We toured all around the park, went up Mt. Scott where the very colorful lichen adorn the very large rocks.
We drove to the small town of Medicine Park and strolled around the town. Photo opp!
And we found the Rockin’ J Ranch! Hi J!
We didn’t eat there since we planned a meal of hamburgers and potato sticks when we got back. Jim and Bill played some music, we drank more wine and had a fine campfire and evening.
And I got some great wildlife shots. At the Visitor’s Center…
This area is beautiful and we took a couple of short hikes so we could see the place as these guys know it. This one was taken above the swimming hole where Janelle learned to swim
many a few years ago. She climbed to the top of Boulder Mountain here for her 50th birthday!
Above the swimming hole.
This is a beautiful area and we are so lucky that we got to enjoy it with good friends who know it well. We ended up staying an extra night so we could have a “day off” before we headed out.
We had a wonderful time in Oklahoma but it’s time to start wending our way back to south Texas. Texas is a little short on bike trails except in the cities so we will go back to Mineral Wells and ride the trail there before we start heading south. Eagle’s Nest campground has the best big sky views of the valley. This is the view from our site. Night and day.
Then on to New Braunfels to see Judy and Warren. We always have a good time with them. Plus they have two new puppies too so we get to rile them up. And they bring Bloody Marys to the bus! What’s not to like?