Friday, October 18, 2013

On to Ok-La-Ho-Ma

We left Hutch on Tuesday morning and made our way south, helped along by a brisk, really brisk, north wind.  John got us to the Oklahoma border, then I took over the driving at the Oklahoma Welcome Center.  With a little help from my friends, I handled the rig all the way to our new campsite in Great Plains State Park west of Lawton.

This is a beautiful little park with full hook-ups and 50 amp service at several of the sites.  We are camped here with two other couples who attended the HDT Rally in Hutchinson.  It’s probably the first time this park has seen three HDTs in a row.  

As you can see, the campsites have enormous “yards,” with plenty of grass and trees.  The park is 1100 acres and the sites are nestled between granite outcroppings on one side and the lake on the other.  It’s a little off the beaten path, but well worth a visit!  

There are miles of trails through the granite boulders.  We had planned to hike some of them,   but that will have to wait for another visit.  While we were out exploring we visited the ruins of the Gold Bell Mine and Milling Company.  Beside the ruins, we saw where a couple of large snakes had shed their skins, and decided that tramping through the boulders wouldn't be such a good idea.  

The history of the mine was recorded on this sign at the site, and it seems the "gold rush" in this area was a hoax.

On Wednesday evening, we traveled to Meers Restaurant in the small town of Meers, Oklahoma.  Actually, the restaurant is the town.  It has been featured on the TV program, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri on the Food Network.  It’s not a diner or a drive-in, so we decided it must qualify as a dive.

The restaurant is unique, and its menu offers something for everyone.  With our friends, Rocky and Sheri on the right and Steve and Gail on the left, we sampled ribs, BBQ chicken, chicken fried steaks and an enormous hamburger that covered an entire pie plate.  The food was good, the prices right, and the home-brewed beer cold.  Here we are with the remains of our feast, some of which went home with us.

But our adventures didn’t end there.  On Thursday, the park began to fill up.  The space next to ours was taken by a family with two young girls about 9-10 years old.  In addition, a young hound that lived in the neighborhood came by to visit.  The dogs and kids wanted to play, so we let ours of leash to enjoy themselves.  For 30 minutes or so, the back yard was filled with whirling dogs and squealing children. 

Just as we thought they might be getting tired, the hound took off into the bushes, followed by the other dogs and kids.  Before we could stop them, all four dogs were happily swimming and splashing in a small pond located just beyond the campground.  But that wasn’t the worst part.  The area surrounding the pond was thick with cockle burrs (pronounced cuckleburrs by all true Southerners)!  Fortunately, Colt spent most of his time swimming in the pond and only got a couple.  Kota came back with quite a few, but Rue was absolutely to bottom and head to tail.   

After we managed to get the dogs out of the pond, the girls helped me to de-burr Kota and we started on Rue.  She had over 100 burrs matted in her fur, and the girls soon lost interest.  it took both Rue and me a couple of hours to get them all out.  Rue did her part, but many of them she couldn’t reach.  She lost quite a bit of coat in the process, but she is now burr-free.

Thursday night we shared dinner with our friends.  Gail made a great pot roast, and after dinner we sat around the campfire and visited for a while before turning in.  Friday dawned cold, windy and rainy, and we were very glad we had opted not to travel.  

Sheri and Rocky hosted dinner Friday night in their lovely Teton fifth wheel.  After a fantastic dinner, we all retired to pack up for our departure Saturday morning.   It has been a great 2+ weeks of pre-Rally, post-Rally and recovery-Rally companionship.  Happy travels to all!

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