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Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

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Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby apasquel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:37 pm

Hi guys...just went camping and hiking this past weekend at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. It's nothing like Colorado 14ers...but it's somthing different. And it's definitely worth the trip if you are from Texas, Kansas, or around just happen to be around the area...check it out on my site...

http://seekingtheburningbush.blogspot.com/

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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby Shawnee Bob » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:54 pm

Looks like you had a great time! I've been there a lot, and going to Crab Eyes is a favorite hike of mine. I feel like a bit of a Wichitas geek because I've written a lot about that place, particularly Charon's Garden.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby steelfrog » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:31 am

Love that place--we spent Thanksgiving there, doing some rock climbing; here's the girls climbing the south approach up Elk Mountain to get to Apple and Pear:

Image

Backside of Apple and Pear:

Image

And a surprise on top!

Image

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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby JayMiller » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:08 pm

Having grown up just 60 miles south of the Wichita Mountains in Wichita Falls, I loved camping in the Lost lake area (closed to overnight the last time I was there).

Steelfrog, your buffalo picture reminds me an occurance way back in 1967 or 68. There was a fool in a volkswagen beatle who decided it would be fun to chase a few buffalo. After chasing a herd for about 300 yards, one of the bulls had had enough. As the beatle was running along beside the bull, that bull suddenly turned and hooked that car. It must have raised the car 2 feet off the ground of the driver's side. Well the driver panic and immeadiately killed to car. That bull hit that car 5 or 6 time raising off the ground each time. I thought he was going to flip the car on every charge. To make matters worst, the driver not only had a nearly totaled car, but was arrested for chasing the buffalo.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby apasquel » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:24 pm

A couple of years ago, I was speaking with one of the Park Rangers and he informed us to make sure our flash was off when taking an up close picture of the Bison. He said that a man was run over and killed by a Bison on the top of Elk when the flash startled the Bison. There were children and other hikers around that witnessed the incident...

As many people know, the refuge is beaming with wildlife...and I think people get lulled into this safe sense of security because the Animals are so calm and used to Human and human traffic. In the end, these animals are still wild...even though it feels like they are not...

p.s. I've heard of Elk Bulls in the area smashing into people's cars for the same reason as mentioned in the previous post!

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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby Shawnee Bob » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:45 pm

I've seen a bunch of buffalo, Elk, deer and such when I've been there. One time I was solo hiking to Crab Eyes and had a rather close encounter with a buffalo. I wrote a bit about that encounter and the trip overall. I think it's an entertaining read, so if you're curious, here's a link:

http://proactiveoutside.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/the-beauty-and-peace-found-in-going-solo/
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby apasquel » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:13 am

That's awesome...couple things...

1) I think your nuts for going out to the Wichitas in the Summer...that place Heat index in the Summer is regularly triple digits...and i swear their rattle snake per capita is higher than anywhere I've been...In the Summer, ther out full force.
1a) I went to school in Wichita Falls...and I spent every other weekend climbing at the Narrows, Meadows, and everywhere on Mt. Scott...I hated the Summer. I told myself I would never be back in the Summer...
2) I spent over an hour on your blog yesterday...you are a very good writer and do an excellent job painting a picture for us...keep up the good work. I dont know if you can add me to an e-mail list or not, but I would like to recieve a notice anytime you update your blog. Keep up the good work!

alfonsopasquel@yahoo.com or you can PM on this site

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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby Shawnee Bob » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:34 am

Thanks, man! It was a little cooler out there that day (because of all the rain), and I agree -- the Wichitas are pretty rough in the summer. I'll PM you some info.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby hotrod » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:23 am

I was there in late March many years ago. Our tent looked like a spider, as the wind was so constantly strong that we had numerous guylines all around. The weather, except for the wind, was okay, but we were told spring winds are not unusual. We also had "problems" from drinking the local water.

While driving through the refuge, we stopped to look at the wildlife and were approached by a herd of large longhorn cattle. Our dog barked at them, and one came menacingly close to the car. I was hoping he would not gore our vehicle with those two very long horns, but it just stared at the dog from two feet away. Our dog then decided it was time to quit barking and to hide on the floor, and the bovine left. I wouldn't want to be hiking and run into those huge aniimals.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby Shawnee Bob » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:33 pm

Man, what a great story! Yes, Oklahoma spring winds can be wicked. It's not unusual to have an entire day where the south winds blow constant at 30-35 mph.

I've run into the longhorn down there -- they are not quite as temperamental as the bison. But like anything that big, when they get pissed you don't want to be close by.

Did you filter/treat your water? Unfortunately, water flows there rather seasonally, so much of the water in the Wichitas is stagnant.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby hotrod » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:48 pm

I do not recall just how or where we got our water, as this was a number of years ago, but it was not "raw" water. But after several days of dashing madly to the outhouse, we drove into a town and bought some distilled water for drinking, which took care of the problem. It also affected the dog, poor thing. We were told that it was the minerals in the water that we were not used to.
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Re: Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

Postby Aug_Dog » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:41 pm

apasquel wrote:That's awesome...couple things...

1) I think your nuts for going out to the Wichitas in the Summer...that place Heat index in the Summer is regularly triple digits...and i swear their rattle snake per capita is higher than anywhere I've been...In the Summer, ther out full force.
1a) I went to school in Wichita Falls...and I spent every other weekend climbing at the Narrows, Meadows, and everywhere on Mt. Scott...I hated the Summer. I told myself I would never be back in the Summer...
2) I spent over an hour on your blog yesterday...you are a very good writer and do an excellent job painting a picture for us...keep up the good work. I dont know if you can add me to an e-mail list or not, but I would like to recieve a notice anytime you update your blog. Keep up the good work!

alfonsopasquel@yahoo.com or you can PM on this site


i just knew Bob would be all over this thread. I just wanted to pop in and echo your thoughts on Bob's blog. He is a great writer and I actually had the great priveledge of working with Bob. Bob and I used to sit around late nights listening to police scanners and sharing camp tales. Ahhhhh the good ole days. Bob is also responsible for my love of the 14ers, so yeah, big ups to Bob.

The Wichitas are truly a gem. When I was still in Oklahoma City, I spent a lot of time out there "pretending" they were The Rockies, longing for the day when I could come back to CO. I have much love for the Wichitas. Oklahoma can reveal quite a few gems, actually. I've explored just about every nook and crannie of the state in search of adventure. When I seemingly exhausted all opps, I moved back to CO. The Kiamichis hold some rare beauty in the US. The land down there in the SE seems lost, ancient. As majestic as The Rockies are, I miss the SE of Oklahoma spanning into Arkansas, the sleepiness of those rolling "mountains," the streams that seem to be taken straight from a River Runs Through It. It's also land of Bigfoot!

Bob hurry up and get your butt out here!
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