Off to Oklahoma!

Rob and I usually only have one day off together each week, but with the 4th of July and Rob taking Monday off, we ended up with three! We had debated staying home since we just got back from a big trip not too long ago, but knowing this would be the longest weekend we would have together for the rest of the summer, we decided to make the most of it. So, after some deliberation, we decided on Oklahoma.

Hello Oklahoma!

I had read about Autograph Rock in Boise City, OK, as well as some dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstone just up the road in Kenton. Black Mesa State Park is also in the area, as is the highest peak in Oklahoma. If you go just a bit further, you run into a fun tri-state marker. All of these things are only about five hours away, so the panhandle of Oklahoma was our destination.

We arrived at Black Mesa State Park at about 3pm. After setting up camp, we decided to go find the dinosaur tracks. There are no markers or street signs for the tracks, so you definitely have to have an idea of where to go. Before we left home, I wrote down every hint I could find as to their location. We found the creek bed, but went the wrong direction at first. We found the tracks just down the hill from the car. Apparently when the tracks were discovered back in the 80s, there were 47 footprints. You can only see about a third of them today. What an amazing find, though.

When we left the footprints, we continued down the road towards the tri-state marker. We were on a little country road that turned to dirt, and we did not see another car the entire time we were out there. We arrived at the state line marker for Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado out in the middle of farm and ranch country. It was absolutely beautiful.

We had contemplated hiking up the Summit Trail, but it was getting too late to start the 4-hour hike, so we went back to camp for the night. There was a thunderstorm heading towards us, so we ended up hanging out in the car for a little bit while all the thunder and lightening passed.  Once it passed, the sky was amazing.

After the storm

Upon waking in the morning, we noticed that we had a flat tire. This kind of altered our plans just a little bit, but we found ourselves being extremely grateful that it was Monday and not Sunday, or the Tuesday holiday, when most repair shops would be closed. After dropping off the tire, we went to a little cafe for breakfast. Great food at a great price. Of course we were the only non-farmer/ranchers in the place, but that was fine with us. After we picked up our tire, which they only charged us $10 to fix, we were on our way again.

Our next stop was the Cimarron Heritage Center. Unfortunately they were closed. I was a little bummed because Autograph Rock is on private property and requires permission from the Heritage Center. I had the number for the manager, so Rob decided to give her a call. She was extremely sweet and even offered to have someone come open up the center so we could see the museum! We declined that offer so that everyone could enjoy their day off, but she did give us verbal permission as well as directions to Autograph Rock.

“Cimmy” at the Cimarron Heritage Center

Autograph Rock was incredible. It was a common stopping point for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. There was year-round water, so it became a well-known campsite. Over the years, people carved their names in the sandstone bluffs. The oldest known name is from 1806, but we did not find that one. F.B.Delgado is the most popular, as he was the owner of a mule and ox train that used the trail, and he carved his name several times. We were the only ones out at Autograph Rock, so we were able to take our time and enjoy the history of the area.

On Tuesday morning, we broke camp and headed for home. We stopped at Fort Union National Monument on the way back. Another quiet spot with only a few visitors. We walked around the fort for a while, then loaded back up to finish our drive home. We arrived home in time to unload our little trailer, take showers, and head back into town for the 4th of July fireworks. We were all very tired when we got back home at almost 11pm, and it felt good to sleep in out own beds.

Before we left home last Sunday, we had worried that perhaps we would not be able to get a camp site, or that things would be crowded since it was the 4th of July weekend. Our worries were quickly put to rest, though. The campground at the state park in OK was almost empty each night. There was no traffic at all. There were no people at the places we visited. Even the playground we stopped at for the kids was quiet. I guess the panhandle of Oklahoma is not a tourist hot-spot for long weekends. For us, though, it was wonderful. A quiet get-away was just what we were looking for. Not to mention we were able to add Oklahoma to our state map.

I am still organizing pictures, so I will share those over the next couple of days. For now, here are a few random pictures I came across this morning…

Catheryn took this picture of Charbie at camp.

The kids really liked the glass coke bottles…

Nathan with his “You’re seriously taking my picture again?” face on.

Liam loves to photo bomb.

Eleven

Being down in the canyon, our house gets very little direct sunlight. But every afternoon, for a very short period of time, the sun shines in the living room window, landing perfectly on Charbie’s kennel. And for those very precious moments, that kennel becomes Charbie’s favorite spot…

dsc_0968

Charbie’s ‘little patch of happy’

I’m Dreaming of a…

We woke up this morning to a few new inches of snow, and it has snowed lightly off and on all day. With no temperatures above freezing in the forecast, I think we are pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas.

DSCN0360-1

The kids are officially out for their winter break now, so a part of the day was spent outside playing in the snow. Charbie loves the snow about as much as the kids do, so he had a great time romping around, too.

DSCN0362-1

The kids even had me outside sledding with them. The hill behind the house is small, but it allows you to get up enough speed before crashing, which is always fun. Just for fun, I recorded a little video. If I were you, I would save my ears and turn down the volume before you watch it. 🙂 (I hope this works, I have never loaded a video before!)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

Walking in Winter

It was absolutely beautiful out today! Amazing sunshine, calm winds, temps above freezing (finally!) Charbie and I decided it was a perfect day to go for a walk. We walked the half mile to Montana and then went up the trail to the Bodmer Overlook.

The trail was still snow covered, but except for the drifted areas, it was pretty easy going. Apparently nobody else has been out hiking lately either. There were no other prints on the trail except for deer, pheasant, and coyote.

From the house, Bodmer Overlook is only about five miles round trip, but it felt oh, so good to be out there today. The next few days are supposed to be warm as well, so Charbie and I are looking forward to more walks. I think tomorrow we will head down to the river.

Happy Day!

Well, there goes time, getting away from me once again. Is it seriously mid-December already? I obviously have not been paying attention. Again…

I am currently baking cookies for school parties, doing laundry, crocheting a monkey (or at least I was until I started typing) and rubbing the dog with my foot, so I have my hands (and feet) full at the moment. And I absolutely love it. There is no possible way to complete everything on my list today, but I sure am having a good time trying. If I can manage to save enough cookies to send to school tomorrow, I will consider the day a success! (Om nom nom…) I just wanted to stop in to wish everyone a Happy Day!!

I hope you all are ready, ’cause Santa Claus is coming to town! Better keep your eyes open. 🙂

DSC_1015-1 2014-18-12 12-24-