Trip to the Mountains- Part 2

Medicine Park was a hive of activity when we arrived early on Saturday morning with Mom’s dog, Bella, in tow. Unbeknownst to us, there was a wedding to happen that day and a car show under way. After we parked and were shuttled over the river to the old town built of round river-rolled sandstone, we decided to just take off walking to see what the town had to offer. It was mostly just small tchotchke shops and restaurants. But the river drew us back down to it.

Cort walking Bella after she dried off from her 'dip' in the lake.

I love the sounds of water and the ever changing life it takes. The river was damned up in the middle of the town to make a swimming hole. I walked down to the dam to get a closer look with Bella following on a red leash. I stepped on to the dam which had backed up the leaf covered water. Bella stepped right on to the leaves and fell right in the water. She wasn’t fazed but I thought it was funny. We walked a few steps more and I stepped over a two foot gap in the dam which let the water out. I looked back to make sure Bella could jump over the gap in the concrete but before I could tell her to jump, she crashed in to the water. I doubled over laughing as she used her front legs to pull herself out of the water. She was so surprised that the land just dropped out from under her! It was hilarious and Cort had seen it too! She shook and wasn’t any worse for the wear. I was glad for the good laugh!

The Old Plantation restaurant in Medicine Park, OK.

The walk along what looked like a river through the town, but was called Bath Lake, was relaxing and refreshing. We just moseyed our way up to the dam that joined Lake Lawtonka, stopping and looking at whatever struck our fancy. We made our way back to the center of the tiny town to The Old Plantation restaurant, (,which the naked lady who shared our shower in the bathhouse recommended. Since we had the dog, we couldn’t go in to eat. I ordered the food to go and we ate the deliciously delightful food a few steps away down by the river watching the geese fly in and land.

The view from across 'Bath Lake' when the Old Plantation building was built in the early 1900s.

The sights and sounds of Medicine Park came to a close as the boys’ tired eyes and legs let us know it was time for some quiet rest at the camp site. The Hubby and the boys lay in the tent while I wrote the first part of our trip adventure up on the berm overlooking the lake. Then, my boys began to play quietly with the boy from the next campsite as I closed my computer and The Hubby started a camp fire for dinner.

Hot dogs and s’mores filled our tummies as we watched the sun go down behind the tall hill. The boys from the camp site next to us began fishing, letting my boys have a turn to cast now and then. I drank hot cocoa and enjoyed being outside, listing to the evening bugs begin to chirp as the moon slowly rose.

Reading books in the tent. Always the last thing we do before sleep every night.

This time, Cort and Asa really were ready for sleep when they told me they wanted in the tent. Asa wanted me to read books because we hadn’t in all the excitement of the night before. Cuddled in their warm pjs, with the propane heater softly blowing over their thick blankets, I read “Tractor Mac” and a mini Laura Ingalls Wilder book. They drifted off without a sound while The Hubby and I lounged entranced by the fire.

I was grateful the tent was warmer that night since we dropped the rain fly lower. Both boys slept well and the dog didn’t move the whole night. The next morning, The Hubby fixed bacon and eggs while I let the air out of the mattresses and folded all the blankets. (We really need to invest in sleeping bags. We took a lot of blankets with us! Maybe a Christmas idea for the boys? And me…)

“Hey boys,” I called as I carried blankets to the car. “We need to do a trash hike and pick up all the trash out here. We always leave the campground better then we found it.”

“Can I put all the trash in the fire,” Asa asked. I looked at The Hubby who nodded.

“If you pick up the trash, you can burn it,” I said, shaking my head. As long as he was doing what I asked him to do. If burning the paper and wrappers he picked up made him follow through with the trash pick up, then so be it.

Let me tell you – that was a great incentive. He picked up every piece of trash in our whole area! Whoever camped before us left a lot of trash and he burned it all. I was proud of his dedication to the task.

He was very worried about putting out the fire because we already packed the water. Everyone around us had already left, so I told the boys, they could pee on the fire to put it out. I didn’t have to say that twice. Believe me, that fire was out. All of it! And then some.

We said good-bye to the campers on the other side of the berm who the boys enjoyed playing with and headed to the bathhouse. The Hubby took the boys this time and I could hear them hollering the whole time I was in the shower.

It was past mid-morning by the time we were ready for the day. We wanted to see The Holy City and the prairie dog town by it. As we drove by Mount Scott again we saw it was closed and (very brave (or crazy) people were running up it. I bet that is a big adrenaline rush, and maybe if I was healthy, I would like to walk up it. That’s a big maybe, tho…

One of the buffalos we saw.

We wound our way through the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Preserve observing buffalo and long horn cows. We turned the corner to head to the Holy City and I saw prairie dogs running all around. We slowed and watched them from the car, knowing we’d see more when we got to our destination. As we made another right the road was blocked and the sign said The Holy City was closed on Sundays. We were disappointed and made a mental note of the closures for the future.

Instead, we followed the other brown signs to see what the area offered for our next visit. We saw hiking trails, smaller fishing holes, a trail to a look out tower and got information about the camp site on the other side of the Preserve. As we drove back through the area to get on the highway, we talked about our next visit to the Wichita Mountains and all the things we wanted to do.

It was time to head home now. We wanted to make it home with enough time for the boys to take a nap. I hotspotted my phone to the iPads and set the boys up with shows. I struggled to get comfortable the whole way home. My back, butt and calf were yelling in pain. I really had fun. I was able to relax (a bit) and have a change in scenery. Yes, I would pay for it with elevated pain levels, but I loved spending time outside with my family. And I would totally do it again. I think I need better shoes…and remember to really look at the weather before packing. 😊

After the boys woke up from their nap, they asked when we were going camping again, so I know we did something right.

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