This blog post was supposed to go live during the summer. Because I failed at my State Parks project, I got disappointed and didn't post it. There will be a blog post on that failure soon. Until then, here is what you should have seen in the summer time.
I am a planner. I always have been. I like having an idea of where I am going to be at certain times, especially on road trips. So before I leave out on one of my adventures, I make a rough schedule and list of things to see. On occasion, the plan is flawless. Everything is open, the weather is perfect, and all of the gear works. Sometimes the plan fails. Circumstances outside of your control, weather, or general acts of God keep you from doing the thing that you planned on doing. This is a trip that falls into that category for me. Here was the plan:
Friday- Travel to Dripping Springs/Okmulgee to camp.
Saturday- Travel to Turner Falls and camp that night.
Sunday- Drive back through Thunderbird in Norman and have lunch on the way home.
One day of that agenda completely fell apart, but I will get to that.
Day 1: Dripping Springs/Okmulgee State Park. If you haven't seen my blog post and gallery from this park, you should.
Day 1 went as planned. We camped in the park in sweltering heat and got on the road at a decent time on Saturday morning.
Day 2: Saturday began like many others have with a healthy breakfast, a bike ride, and a loaded down car pointed toward the next adventure. The next adventure was supposed to be Turner Falls State Park. I have visited this park before as a young adult on a family spring break trip. You can see the images from that trip here! We turned off of I-35 onto State HWY-77 toward Davis and as we approached the park around 10:30AM, we saw something strange...a line.
We have been to several state parks over the last few months and nearly all of them have been weekend trips. Never before have I seen a line JUST TO GET IN to an Oklahoma State Park. There were over 100 cars in line on the highway just to turn into the park. The park is massive, there are numerous parking lots and campgrounds scattered across at least 100 acres of land and yet we managed to make it two cars from the entrance before the Sheriff closed the gate due to being at capacity. We pulled over at the overlook and devised a NEW plan. We would travel to Ardmore, OK and visit Lake Murray State Park instead and continue back to Turner Falls on a different trip. This turned out to be a great decision.
Lake Murray was fantastic! I am amazed that I have lived in this state most of my life and have never seen it. Lake Murray is the oldest (1933) and largest (12,500 acres) state park in Oklahoma. The park offers nearly every type of campsite, room, lodge, or bunkhouse that you could need at a park and all appeared to be in excellent shape and very clean while we were there. We stayed in campsite just opposite of one of the marinas.
There was a beautiful sand swimming beach at one of the public access areas that although it was extremely busy, it was a great break from the heat.
After a long swim, we road our bikes back to camp, took showers and made dinner. After dinner we went for a walk and enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the marina. I can only imagine the fun one could have on this lake with a power boat full of friends or a party barge loaded down for the weekend. For more information on renting boats or dock space at the marina, visit them here.
The sleeping was warm. However, it was the middle of summer, 20 miles north of Texas. We attempted to rig up a battery powered fan in the backpacking tent to no avail. This trip sparked our interest in a mobile camping vehicle of some sort (spoiler alert: we buy a school bus). I can't say enough about Lake Murray State Park. It was gorgeous, well managed, and simply the nicest state park I have ever visited in Oklahoma.
As always, you can see all of the images from this trip here!
Also, to keep up to date with where I am and what I am doing, follow me on Instagram @okienomads!