Author Topic: Northeast section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail  (Read 498 times)


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Northeast section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail
« on: July 27, 2016, 08:38:19 AM »
This past weekend my son and I explored some more of northeast Oklahoma. This is the story of that trip.

On Friday afternoon we started out at our home in northwest Oklahoma City. In an effort to stay off of pavement, we headed west for a couple of miles. Form there we headed north on a county road. The thermometer read 104 outside. The Xterra’s A/C was not doing the best. I pulled off in some shade and hit the low-pressure port with some more R134a. Life was much better after that stop. When I was sure I was north of Edmond I found a gravel section line and headed back east. We ended up back on the Oklahoma Adventure Trail at the intersection of W 80th street and S Cottonwood Rd. This is a section of the trail we did last summer. We followed the trail to E0630 Rd SW of Yale Oklahoma. Here the bridge is still out from the flooding in spring of 2015. This caused a 3-mile backtrack to get to the paved road that still has a bridge. We took pics at several places along the route including Frog Rock. We topped off the fuel tank at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Cleveland, OK. We arrived at Osage Point Park about dusk.

Osage Point Park is a now abandoned state park on the south side of the town of Osage, OK. When the state closed the state park they gave it to the town. It has not been maintained in several years. The formerly nice restroom facilities are now missing their roof. The casement toilets by the boat ramp are surrounded by four-foot high grass. A doe and her spotted fawn crossed the road ahead of us. The shelter house is the only area that has been mowed this year. The ground was covered in the remains of a party. There was a picnic table but it had been moved to the tall grass. We set our hammocks up under the shelter house and cooked dinner. It was one long night. A motorcycle and a couple of other vehicles circled the area several times during the night. After dark two large explosions somewhere to the west shook the world. Three species of owl, Great-horned, Barred, and Eastern Screech-owl, called throughout the night. Hordes of mosquitoes did their best to breach the nets over our hammocks and Kaleb was the recipient of about 20 bites on his lower back. I was wide-awake from 2-4 am watching and listening.

The sunrise, and a Carolina Wren singing on my hammock ridgeline, woke me. I proceeded to cook breakfast, ham and eggs, and break camp. During pack up we were able to see all the litter round the shelter house much better. There were razor blades and syringes on the ground next to our hammocks. I resolved that while free camping is good, it would be much better in a larger group.

Back on the road we snaked north on dirt roads. Several were single lane that crossed cattle guards. Through the prairies and cross-timbers. The trail ran long the back side of Frank Phillips’ Woolaroc, and several high fence game ranches. My son saw some exotic sheep. North of Bartlesville the trail put us through the town of Dewy. I lived in southeast Kansas during most of my childhood and have been to Bartlesville hundreds of times but had never left I-75 in Dewy. It was kind of cool to see how unfamiliar a town that I have been through countless times can be. In Dewey, we decided we needed a few supplies. So, back to Bartlesville we went. A Wal-Mart stop later we had Benadryl spray for Kaleb’s bites, charcoal for the Dutch oven, and more insect repellent. Then back north we went. The original plan called for us to go up to Copan Lake and camp that night, but we were almost there and it was not even noon.

The Oklahoma Adventure Trail turned east off of I-75, and with much daylight remaining we decided to press on. I was unhappy with the route. The riders had chosen to press east on a good paved two-lane road.  Shortly the pavement disappeared. I was driving on a dirt road across a vast stretch of tallgrass prairie. I started watching the barbed wire on both sides of the road. I still need to see a few of Oklahoma’s breeding birds and this looked good for Henslow’s Sparrow. Ahead I saw four birds on the wire. I put my binoculars on them expecting the larger two to be Dicksissel. Instead I saw that the two larger birds were a pair of Bobolink! Now in case you do not know that is a good bird anytime in Oklahoma. It is the wrong time of year to see them, they usually only pass through during spring migration. But, they are a bird of grasslands. I highly suspect this pair may have raised a family in Nowata County this summer. The trail snaked southeast through more valleys. We ate lunch in the shade of tall oak and cottonwood trees near a creek. A couple of hours later we were at I-44. That marked the end of the NE section of the trail that we had planned to drive. We stopped Woodies truck stop and got some ice cream. (I really need a fridge/freezer in the truck.) We called a friend that said he may join us on Sunday to update him on our progress.

We were at decision time. After talking it over we headed to Grand Lake of the Cherokee’s. We drove by Disney but decided to hit a campsite and swim to cool off. This time we chose to camp at a current state park. Bernice area is highly recommended!

More about Bernice and Sunday’s adventure in my next post!

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Re: Northeast section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2016, 12:16:56 PM »
Excellent.....I'll be right back with more popcorn!!!!
Good Stuff!
Being a kid again is fun!!


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Re: Northeast section of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 03:01:34 PM »
Nice write-up!  Looking forward to reading more.

I really like Bernice State Park.  I've camped there many times, although it's been a few years since I was there last...  It's less than an hour from my house in SW MO.

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