One Corona Drinker in Sulphur, OK

Trip Start Feb 22, 2006
Trip End May 2006

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Flag of United States  , Oklahoma
Friday, March 17, 2006

March 13, 14, 15

Rejected Titles:
Traffic Jam in Chickasaw
Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!
Children of the Corn

After braving the snow, wind, ice and crazy drivers, I managed to escape Colorado and New Mexico (without visiting Mesa Verde-but honestly, how different can cave dwellings be?). I never expected to be back in Texas so soon, but I was way past ready for a climate change.
I spent the night in Amarillo, TX and then drove via 40 to Oklahoma City to see the bombing memorial. It was pretty impressive (for $6, it should be!). Not only was there a reflecting pool, a children's corner with tiles painted by kids and a chalkboard for other kids to write messages, a survivor's tree and a "field of empty chairs" monument, there was a museum.
It covered every aspect of the bombing-how the day, April 19th, 1995, began, background information on all the buildings affected, a recording of a trial taking place in a building nearby that morning, things removed from the wreckage, news coverage, photos, survivor stories, the search for the person responsible and Timothy McVeigh's subsequent trial, the aftermath and quotes from politicians, survivors, victim's families and messages of hope. Kleenex boxes were strategically placed around the museum because it's a real tear-jerker!
They also had a temporary exhibit in place chronically terrorism in America from the British burning down Washington, DC during the Revolutionary War, to the Klu Klux Klan, to the suspicion of espionage during World War II (Japanese Internment Camps...then Reagan signed an act issuing a government apology and $20,000 to each family. But it also mentioned that the Italian and German families affected by this suspicion got nothing!), to September 11th. I learned a lot (mostly about the KKK, really). Yay for the educational trip!
So, anyway, after that I headed to Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which is about 90 miles south of Okla. City, right by Sulphur, OK (named for the springs).
Since I reached the park so late, I spent the night in Rock Creek Campground for $8/night since it was the closest one.
The next day, I packed up early and went exploring to see the different springs (Antelope and Buffalo) Speaking of buffalo, or bison, I guess, (you say elk, I say moose) I guess there is a herd of them in the park, and I spotted them when I first got to Sulphur and took some pictures.
Though Chickasaw was kind of a let down (after Zion, what isn't??) and the landscape is very similar to the south, I did learn that during the 30's and 40's (Depression Era), the Civilian Conservation Corp. worked there planting trees, building campsites and construction wading pools.
Later, I headed away from the springs towards the Lake of Arbuckles where there were several more campgrounds. I settled on a site right on the lake with a gorgeous view.
Not only did it get warm enough to lay out but I bought some corona and a float in Sulphur and spent a few hours drifting on the lake.
It would have been perfect and not at all embarrassing if these 10 year old boys hadn't purposely come to my beach to watch me.
I really heard one of them say "I'm watching the girl on the water balloon." I almost felt like the lifeguard chick from The Sandlot. Well, not really at all. But I could have.
The next day was windy and cool. No matter how much I psyched myself up to go out on the lake again, I couldn't do it because it was too cold. So I packed up my hot pink float and coronas and headed to Tavertine Creek (spring fed). It seemed several other families had the same idea I had, but the weather disappointed us all, so not many kids were swimming. I was just about to give it up and head into town for some lunch when I passed a deserted section of the creek called Bear Falls. The water looked so inviting, and I was so determined to make good on spending $15 on a float, that I went for it. I got in the frigid water (think Wakulla Springs), and popped my corona open. Seeing as how my float is hot pink, no one else was in the water and Bear Falls is in perfect view of the passing cars, I caused a bit of a traffic jam. About four SUV's deep. As each car came around the bend, they spotted my float and hit the brakes in surprise. Most people stared unabashedly and some stopped to ask me how cold the water was. In the end, I attended up attracting two other families to brave the waters with me. Of course, I had to pretend it felt good and stop shivering. But it was good fun.
Back in the car, with the heater on full blast (as Shayla thinks to herself, "crazy white people"), I got some hot lunch in Sulphur and went back to my campsite.
Next morn, I got up early, took a shower in solar heated water at the next campground over (as ours were out of order) and headed down to Dallas.
Dallas is a pretty city, and I decided to stop at the zoo and check it out. This was before I saw the line of cars backed up around the block.

Dallas Zoo
Parking (in another time zone): $5.00
Adult Entry: $8.75
Monorail Ticket (only way to see entire Wilds of Africa exhibit): $2.50
Leaving three hours later with a headache and complete hatred of little kids: priceless (or, at least free)

Now, Hot Springs for St. Patty's Day and other unknown (but warmer) adventures!
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