Meers Restaurant and Mount Scott
We joined friends Hoyt and Bernice in Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma. Although Hoyt grew up in Oklahoma, and had visited the Refuge, he had never taken the time to explore it.
In spite of appearances, the absolute best place around to eat is Meer’s Store and Restaurant, just outside the park. The building dates back to the early 1900’s and the gold boom. Its specialities are the large Meer’s longhorn burger, big enough to feed two, and it’s homemade cobblers. No stay in the Refuge is complete without a couple visits to Meer’s.
The mention of Oklahoma may not bring mountains to mind, but the small range here offers excellent opportunities for sightseeing and hiking. After our meal, we drove up Mount Scott. The boulder strewn top looks out over many miles.
Flora and Fauna
The park lives up to its name. Visitors to our site such as these were common.
An early morning walk revealed footprints of more wildlife along the streams edge.
Our kitchen slide seal shredded shortly before reaching Oklahoma. We called the factory and had a new seal shipped to the park. The remainder of the day was spent putting in the new seal.
Hiking up Little Baldy.
It was a beautiful morning when we set out for Little Baldy, visible in the distance.
The hike begins by crossing over the Quanah Parker Lake Dam,
then winds over the boulder field, gradually getting steeper as you near the top.
Very little vegetation grows, although there are a few hardy souls stuck amid the crevices.
Although it’s usually windy at the top, it’s nice to just sit a while and enjoy the view.
The return trip always seems shorter than when you’re climbing.
Evenings were usually spent relaxing together with a competitive game of Pegs and Jokers.
Hiking The Narrows
One of our favorite hikes in the refuge is through the narrows. We got a bit of slow start this time as we had to circumnavigate this big fellow at the trailhead. The bison ALWAYS get the right of way.
There is more vegetation and water along this trail than most of the hikes in the refuge, lending beauty to the grandeur of the rocks. Join us for the hike.
No stay at Wichita Mountains would be complete without visiting the inhabitants of Prairie Dog Town.
Hiking Up Elk Mountain
Probably the most strenuous hike was climbing Elk Mountain. The hike winds through Charon Gardens. The name of gardens is a misnomer. I looked up the word Charon, it refers to Greek mythology. When used as an adjective, it can mean fierce, angry, curse. Aptly named, this area of Wichita Mountains contains some of the roughest wilderness areas of the refuge. There is a discernible trail going up the mountain, but none across the wide expanse of the top. On a previous hike, Ron and I had found a natural bridge (arch) tall enough for us to stand under, and we were hoping to show it to Hoyt and Bernice, but were unable to locate it on this hike. Here are photos from the hike.
The following day was our last day in the Refuge, spent resting and getting ready to head for New Mexico where we were to meet up with another set of friends.