Friday, January 25, 2013

Hiking Bootcamp

Since the weathermen predicted a gorgeous weekend, I pulled out my best salesperson skills and pitched the awesomeness Oklahoma's hiking adventures has to offer. A couple people showed interested in going on Saturday; the same guys who probably thought I was trying to kill them on the last hike (Eagle Mountain). It turns out that when most people hear "hike," they understand something different from what I consider a hike. I've learned this early on, so to make the decoding process easier and more accurate, I usually offer the explanation that hiking means no trails, lots of climbing, and potentially some low-crawling. Oh yeah, and amazing views! They bailed on me. On Friday, I was able to convince some others to go on Sunday. After the Sunday plans were made, I even managed to sweet-talk the bailees into going. Plus two unsuspecting victims. They later suggested that I should add blisters and muscle soreness into my decoding help. But, I just don't think that's a great way to convince people to go.

Sunday rolls around, and, wouldn't you know it, the weathermen had actually predicted accurately. I guess that is possible once in a while, or maybe it was just a lucky chance happening. Either way, I pulled my Ballistic pants over my hiking jeans and rode out to the visitor center on the Wildlife Refuge. I have to say that the ride all the way to the hiking spot was one of the best rides through the refuge in a long time. On the way to the visitor center I passed through many herds of longhorn. Everyone and everything seemed to be enjoying an awesome chillaxin' Sunday morning. Arriving early, I seriously thought about getting gas since I was really starting to run low. Laziness won, and Blueberry and I stayed put. Eventually, I wasn't waiting alone; four of the guys had shown up. Just before we decided to leave, one rider pulls in. After turning on the road heading to headquarters, the last rider joins us. Impeccable timing, if I do say so myself. We saw all kinds of coolness. Buffalo were chilling on the road in many spots. I slowly cruised through as quietly as I could. Had an elk run out in front of me, too. I slowed down because I figured there were more. A few seconds later, a huge elk with a gigantic rack runs out to join the others on the side of the road. He was an amazing sight. Saw some deer on the side of the road, too. I was surprised that they didn't run out over the road. The only animal we didn't see on the road that morning was turkey.

The hike was a blast. We didn't do a big round, but enough for the suggestion that I should offer a hiking bootcamp. Now, there's an awesome idea! I think it was meant more as a dig and came from a decoding process gone haywire.

Victim Hiker #1:"I thought we were going on an easy hike!" 
Me: "This is an easy hike."
Hiker #1:"My foot!"
Hiker #2:" On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the hardest, how would you rate this hike?"
Me:" A solid 2."
Hiker #2:" The hike the other guys went on last time?"
Me:"Three. It would have been a 3.5 if we'd scurried up the other side of the Narrows."
Hiker #1 and #2:"You're crazy!"
Me:"I have yet to be diagnosed."
Our group divided into three groups. One group stayed back, and the other two split up half-way up the mountain to take different routes to the top. We ran into a buffalo half-way up (and half-way down), I managed to get stuck in a little opening (I was,however, determined to get out the way I wanted), we didn't run into any hiding serial killers or angry wild hogs, didn't run into any treasure hunters looking for Jesse James' loot or the Spanish Gold (people are so unadventurous these days),and I had a porcupine scare the living daylights out of me. Yes, I saw a porcupine! Those who made it to the top ended up saying that the hell I put them through was worth it just for the view. I even got asked when we'd be going again. Who'da thunk that?

After a greasy cheese burger, Blueberry and I actually made it home with the little fuel we had left. Figured we'd baby it to a gas station another day. Pictures can be found on Facebook album.
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!


  1. Looks like a good time was had (minus the blisters). Nice post. Pretty pics on the fb album too.

  2. Was wondering where you got the pic of cars sitting in front of Old Plantation in the 80's posted on facebook? Cool pics!

    1. My mother took them when she was here in the early 80s. It's amazing what one finds when sorting through ancient pictures :)

    2. Me or my brother was driving the mustang the day your mother took the pic. Thanks for the memories:)

  3. That's funny. It really is a small world.