April 18, 2011
Not a lot was done today. We basically just walked around some and then sat and read or in my case, did a little on the computer. Early morning Jo walked the dogs down a ways to see how many of yesterday evening campers were still in the park. Most had gone with the exception of two just south of us in what is called the California Campground.
Oh, by the way, while she was walking the dogs, I was sleeping in. Once I got up and had my coffee, I got ready and she and I took a walk without the dogs most of the way up the mile and a half park. Jo had an angioplasty done a few years ago on her heart and since then she has been on Plavix and Lipitor. Because of that we have extra precautions that we need to take.
We don’t walk when it is extremely hot, and usually if we are walking, we try to stay in the shade as much as possible. While we are at home, we tend to walk some in the cool of the evening around the neighborhood and usually there is at least a breeze to help keep her cool. While here in the park, we’ll need to be more conscious of conditions.
A second concern we have is that should she cut herself, she has a problem because Plavix is a blood thinner. Some time back, she managed to pinch her finger in amongst the computer equipment in a server rack and started bleeding. Believe it or not, while Band-aid strips helped, she still didn’t really stop bleeding for about three days. And, that was only a small cut.
So, while walking here, we’ll need to either carry an umbrella to help shade her or she buys a hat. She’s not real crazy about the hat idea since they have a tendency to blow off here in the Oklahoma winds. I got out one of our canteens so that we can carry water when we are walking here in the park.
Some time back, while researching online for information and pictures of Red Rock Canyon, I ran across one particular photo of the canyon wall and a very cool tree that was basically growing out more horizontally than vertically. We walked up into a branch canyon to where there are walls for rappelling to see what was up in there. Lo and behold, there was the tree. I took several pictures myself, but I need to go back and get more with morning or noontime sunlight rather than afternoon light.
While we were in there, we came across a rather shabby looking gentleman with a panel truck parked at the area near that tree. He was sitting at one of the picnic tables creating animal art using wire. He had two rabbits on the table, each standing about 1 ½ feet tall. He let me take a few pictures of his work and of him.
After taking that walk together, I drove up to the park office to get a trail map for the canyon area. In talking to the park ranger, I found out that Red Rock Canyon has more of a trail network than I thought. I knew of two or three nature trails, but there are even more. He even drew on a map with colored markers for the trails with each color matching the trail markers that we should find when we are walking.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there is another, smaller canyon paralleling the main canyon that has a trail through it. Plus, there are two other trails that run along the tops of the ridges that parallel that second canyon. Then, one of those also continues on past the end of the small canyon to run along the East ridge of the main canyon. I have certainly learned a lesson in being sure to ask park rangers for trail maps and other information.
More than likely, we will walk some of those trails while we are here in the park. After supper, we left the dogs in the coach and walked a short one along the West canyon wall. While on it, we saw some wild turkeys. Sadly, we weren’t close enough for me to get any pictures of them. However, now I know they are in the canyon and I need to watch for an opportunity to bag one of them. (With the camera of course; I quit hunting with other weapons long ago.)
Should anyone read this and at some time decide to visit Red Rock Canyon State Park, it is located right at the south side of Hinton, Oklahoma. As you would be driving through town, just as you run out of trees for the town of Hinton, the park entrance is right there. Keep watching to the east (or left side of the road if you are going south) and you will see a really big sign saying Red Rock Canyon State Park. I tell you this, because I’ve nearly missed the park entrance twice, and I know where it is located.
I will mention that if you are pulling or driving an RV when you come here, on the road going down into the park, it is steep and winding. On the way in, be sure to keep your right front steering tire close to the right side and when you come out, try to arrange to have someone drive to the top and stop traffic from entering while you exit. The reason is because as you drive back out, you need to do just the opposite and keep your front left steering tire to the very left as you go up. The ranger basically said that we needed to follow the same “track” coming out that we used going into the canyon.
Also, as you are driving through the park, be mindful of the trees lining the road. One large one, complete with reflectors attached, is immediately at the edge of the blacktop, and the blacktop has no shoulders.
Overall, with only one full day in the park, I have to say it is a pretty nice park. While it may not have the “It” factor for some people, it is still a nice park. I’ll give a better review of the park after I have a chance to get home to some imaging software for resizing photos, plus get to where we have more stable internet access for posting.
Another shot of the “horizontal” tree.