God's Glorious Creation in Turner Falls, OK
Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
57Trip End May 14, 2010
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Our current question to people who don't believe in God - how do you explain beauty? Why do people see nature, see earth, see art and recognize beauty unless a creator, in whose image we were created, created us with an aesthetic appreciation? Feel free to respond, I do wonder.
On a tip from my Aunt Diana, Michael and I stopped at Turner Falls National Park on route from OKC back to TX. We were so thankful for the tip, Aunt Diana! We had a lovely day and a half of exploration, relaxation and inspired awe.
The park is nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains in Davis, OK. It takes no extra miles than just traveling down I-35 if you dare take the exit onto US 77 and bypass the main freeway. Even if you just stand at the overlook, the detour is well worth it. But the adventure is down by the river.
There is a castle built in several sections right into the side of the mountains. It was built as a summer home in the 30's but now is just awesome ruins to explore.
Honey Creek runs through the mountains, pouring out into a 77 foot waterfall cascading to a natural pool before continuing as a river. The site is beautiful from the ground, but from high up, it is breathtaking.
Our favorite part of this park was the hiking. There were hand drawn maps and posted signs hinting at caves and sights to see, but there were no trails. Everything we found, we found through climbing, hiking, and exploring. We weren't the first, nor will we be the last in these places of unmarked beauty - but it felt for a moment like we might be. It was so special. We climbed up the mountain by the water fall to a series of caves there. We hiked over the back of that mountain down to a secluded cave by the river's edge and stole a few lovers' kisses in the secret cave before climbing back up and out.
We hiked along a small creek to the end of a path. When we looked at the moutain wall facing us, we saw a cave at least 80 feet up the face and began our accent. It doesn't look it in the picture, but this was a very steep, very high climb. The cave that awaited was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. Past the large opening which had been defaced by graffiti and hundreds of hands, a tunnel went into pitch darkness. We crawled on our knees with a small flashlight. Soon, we were being dripped on by "cave kisses." The presence of the water told us that this was still a living cave. It was not done growing and changing. We were in a place rarely touched by human hands. About 15 feet in, we were able to stand up as the tunnel split. There was now a tunnel above and below, like a double-decker bridge. We didn't venture further as we were not equipped. But what a sight it was.
The weather was wonderful. We were comfortable in sweatshirts and long jeans. While we may have liked it warm enough to swim, the cool kept away tourists. Aside from a passer-by or two, we felt like we had the whole park to ourselves.
At the end of our explorations, we could not help but stand in awe of God's creation. I believe he created all of this and more for us to find, and maybe never find, all to point us back to Him. We stand in the midst of the grandeur of nature and it cries out for its Creator. Our hearts cannot help but join in the chorus.
Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands."