Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Searching for a Vacation Site

Due to wanting to post other things first, this posting is a couple of days late. We actually did this on Saturday, March 26. Jo is in a situation where she needs to take a few days off. While we both work at the same place, in her division they earn compensatory time for any overtime that they perform. They have six months in which to use their comp time or they lose it. If she doesn’t use it before the end of April, she will start losing. Since she already has enough time to reach her limit of regular vacation days, she doesn’t see any sense losing more.

Since out house hasn’t sold yet, we are in a position where we don’t feel we can afford to take a trip to Colorado, or much of anywhere else, due to the issue of not wanting to break into our cash reserves. So, we decided to see if we couldn’t find a nice place right here in Oklahoma to camp this year.

We had kind of considered the area over around Tahlequah, Oklahoma along the Illinois River. Then there are some beautiful areas down around SE Oklahoma at a place called Beaver’s Bend. However, that area has some dangers involved with it as there are some in that area that grow marijuana or even have Moonshine stills. Yep, that stuff still gets brewed.

I had been considering Lake Thunderbird State Park as I had never been there before. We contacted our youngest son, Eric on Thursday evening and he wasn’t sure whether he could go. He and his friends had been considering golf for Saturday. But, on Friday afternoon he called us back and said that it looked to be too cold for his friends for golf. So, he decided to go with us after all. He likes doing photography, although he doesn’t do as much as I have done.

Saturday came and we met up at the house and took off to Lake Thunderbird. When we finally got over there, we were surprised because we had forgotten the tornado that came through last year. There were a lot of trees broken and twisted and on the ground. That tornado had also torn up a major marina at the lake.

We weren’t too impressed with the lake area campgrounds, and we certainly weren’t impressed with the lake. It was awfully muddy. Eric told us that Thunderbird Lake has the nickname of Dirty Bird Lake. I can see why. So, we left the lake area and drove back into Norman for lunch. Never go across Lindsay Avenue on a Saturday at noon. Lindsay crosses through Oklahoma University’s campus and it was busy with traffic, especially because it is only a two lane street.

While we were eating, we decided to drive over west of Oklahoma City to Red Rock Canyon State Park. It is just on the South side of Hinton, Oklahoma and is basically a gash in the countryside. Eric and I had driven over there on one other occasion to do some photography, but because it hadn’t greened up at the time, we weren’t really impressed with the area. But, we decided to go anyway.

After a stop at a sewing shop in Oklahoma City, we headed west to Hinton. When we got there, we were fortunate that the trees are greening up and it looked a lot more impressive. However, since we were on a scouting trip, we didn’t stop to take any pictures. We were busy with driving up and down the canyon checking out which campsites would be big enough for the Mobile Suites and the F450.

There are roughly 50 to 60 RV sites with almost half of them being big enough for our 38-footer. So, we decided that it was pretty enough for us to use next month. We are both taking off the week of April 18-22. (Those days are the work days.) I called this afternoon and while the sites are first come-first serve, they don’t do reservations. But, the lady didn’t think we would have any problems with the days we are interested in.

Most of the sites have both 30 amp and water, about three sites have 50 amp and water, and about five sites have electric, water and sewer. Since the full service sites aren’t really in a pretty spot, we probably won’t get one of them. There is a dump station in the canyon and there is another up on the flats by the park entrance.

I mention the flats because the road into the canyon is steep and twisty. I can’t even describe what the percentage of grade is, but in about two half loops a driver is dropping down into the canyon. Hmm, I wonder if I will require help getting back out of the canyon. It definitely will need Jo going down first and blocking any traffic coming up when we go into the canyon and the same when we come back out. The road isn’t that wide

We will have the chance to do some hiking and biking. There are 3 or 4 hiking trails in there as well as the rappelling cliffs. So, there should be a good chance for some photography as well. It has been a while since I did any nature photography, so I am anxious to get in a little bit of that.

Since we didn’t get to take any pictures on Saturday, I’ll post a few of the canyon that I took from some websites. Then, after next month’s outing, I’ll post a few of my own if I like them enough. While a number have said all of my photos are good, I tend to be more critical than that. Anyway, here is a small taste of photos of Red Rock Canyon State Park.

Red Rock Canyon2

Red Rock Canyon4

Red Rock Canyon1

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