On to the Arbuckles

Saturday morning, after waking up casually with no plans for the day, my hubby and I spontaneously decided to grab our cameras and head north. Just the day before, I made an unplanned trip to over the border of Texas into Oklahoma (read Wildlife Conservation with No Life!) and it was enough to stir the desire to head that direction once again.

We packed up, gathered our little Lucy (our Yorkie who just thoroughly enjoys taking road trips and was very excited to take this adventure with us), grabbed some breakfast, filled up the car with gas and drove. We have a list of a few places to visit but due to getting a late start and not wanting to be gone all day and night, we decided to head toward’s the Arbuckle Mountains in Oklahoma – a short two hour drive from our home.

While on our way, I noticed on the map a placed called Price’s Falls just outside of Davis in the Arbuckles. Turner Falls is the

well known park that is also outside of Davis, but that is a trip I’d planned to take with my FrenzyFriends. Not wanting to spoil that trip, my hubby and I decided to see what Price’s Falls would be like. So we plugged it into our gps and away we went.

Falls Valley is only a few miles off the interstate and we almost drove right through it without realizing. It’s housing is gated and appears as if it was a military base. The main drive through a park area where the falls are located, had signs posted Private Property. Why on earth would it be showing on the map as a park if it is private property? Once we stopped and looked around, noticed that it is a Baptist Youth Camp area and this historic marker explained it’s history and why it’s considered private.

The falls are small, yet beautiful. There is an old water wheel sitting near the falls that adds to the uniqueness of the place and makes for interesting photos.


After leaving the falls area, we decided to continue east and take a look at what the Lake of the Arbuckles were like. On the map we saw that the Chickasaw National Recreation Area resides on this lake and since we enjoy camping, knew we would just have to check it out and see if has potential to house our tent in the coming months. What we found is that it meets all of our criteria for a perfect camping ground. We will be back when warmer temperatures make their appearance.

This day ended up staying cold and cloudy despite the forecast of partly sunny. We thought for sure the sun would make an appearance by the time we arrived in the Arbuckles, however it never happened. It didn’t matter though. The area is so beautiful and it was such a peaceful day that we didn’t mind having to wear our jackets the entire time.


We met a park ranger who stopped by to see what I was finding to capture. He had noticed my long lens and thought I was spotting something very interesting across the lake and proceded to tell me that Bald Eagles reside in the area from early January to late February or early March. This, of course, excited us and we immediately began to eagle hunt. Oh, how I wanted to get at least one shot of our national bird. But all I saw were a few ducks, buzzards, an occasional hawk and gulls.

This ranger was very informative and provided us with maps of the lake and sharing the best places to visit. Although we had planned to leave the area by this time, we just couldn’t resist the drive to visit these additional places we had just learned about. Once again, we got in the car and drove. We would tell each other that we’d go visit one more area and then head home. And with each stop this same conversation took place.

One of the stops was at Veterans Park and Lake. This is a small lake (I’d call it a large pond) that was merged several years ago with the much larger Lake of the Arbuckles to form one complete National Recreational Area. This area is the oldest part of the park system and had some interesting sites of it’s own. A beautiful park with flowing streams and small falls and a very old, rock bridge named Lincoln’s Bridge that dates back to the early 1900’s.

As we were completing our tour of the lake and traveling to the last recommended stop by the ranger, we encountered a very interesting sight on the side of the country road. It was such an interesting sight that my sweet hubby willingly pulled the car over, made a u-turn and drove back to this sight as it was something that just had to be photographed. It was definitely something you don’t see every day!

This photo really doesn’t do the Shoe Tree justice. I took several shots but this one I think gives the best impression, although not the best photograph. There were shoes everywhere and it was impossible to get one photo that would shoe – I mean, show them all! This is just one of those places where “you just had to be there!”

With the last recommendation from the ranger, we knew we had made it 3/4 of the way around the entire lake and could not leave without making it the full circumference. On our last leg, we saw a dirt road with a sign that read Catfish Bottoms. Oh why not! Let’s go!

We drove down the dirt road and could tell we were getting close to the lake and in a wooded area that was somewhat hidden from the main public. As we neared the end of the road, we were quite surprised to see what lay ahead. It was the lake, of course, and an area of the lake that was obviously a great place to find catfish. But the surprise came in the trees that surrounded the area. This would be better named Beavers’ Diner.  OH MY! I have never in my life seen such a site. Nearly every tree was either on the ground or close to falling to the ground. It made us just a little nervous driving through the area. We just prayed for no great gusts of wind! It was quite frankly a very interesting site and one I’d enjoy going back to just to see the progress these tree teethers make!


We then headed towards the interstate to make our treck back home. What a fun and wonderful day we had. I’m so thankful that I have a husband who supports my desire for spontaneous Photo Frenzies and one who doesn’t mind getting in the car and going to wherever. I have a hunch this trip has stirred up the interest to do this more often for quick weekend trips. As a matter of fact, we are already planning the next – and you know just where to come to find out all about it. So, until next time…

Let Your Light Shine,

Debbi

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