Sunday, September 11, 2016

Oklahoma: Goodbye dry desert heat, hellllooooo humidity!

We quietly entered OK via Hwy 33, the red rock of the desert states having given way to grasslands somewhere along the line in Texas. After our usual few hours of nap time driving, we pulled into a small campground to check it out. Pretty, but too close to the road. And LOTS of semi trucks on this route. Our map showed us to be in Black Kettle National Grassland, with an official campground just 20 minutes from where we were--and it looked to be tucked way back from the highway. We made the short jaunt and were pleased with what we found. A quiet spot on a little lake with plenty of shade to park in. And no fee!
Once we nestled in, Kavi quickly made friends with our nearby neighbors, a couple from Pampa, TX and their 5yo granddaughter. Fishing, as they had been all day. Kavi & Sydney easily took to one another, playing in the water, squishing in the mud and occasionally checking Sydney's fishing pole. Andres made us dinner and we dined lakeside while the kiddies chased fireflies--Sydney even caught a couple--Kavi stopping in now and then for a few bites of food.
When the sun finally set (nearly 9pm!), we gathered up our dishes and chairs and bid farewell to our new friends. After a truncated bedtime routine, Kavi was in bed, still wriggling a bit, and the noise started up! Though there were only a handful of people in the whole campground, we were sandwiched between generators! It was loud enough that Andres looked for a place to move us. But the place was too small to get any space. We all fell asleep anyhow, though the night was fitful for all three--a combination of the running motors, intermittent wild winds, heavy air and lots of little biting things. A bit bedraggled the next morn, we went through all our morning routines and again hit the road for a nap time drive.

We meandered through several small highways til landing in Guthrie, where we stopped in at the library for a little internet time while Kavi explored the books (and the bonus Lego hour happening in an adjoining space!!). The air was still so hot and heavy it was painful to imagine cooking. Dinner on the town! After a too heavy Italian meal, we scoped out our next campground--along Lake Carl Blackwell. It was a large recreational area run by Oklahoma State University and was very well kept. After an amazing sunset amidst the many bird and insect choirs, we settled in for the night, lulled to sleep by the crickets.
The first sounds to wake me was the early morning bird choir--many species chiming in. Drift back to sleep. Next up, patter of rain on the roof, steadily growing louder, heavier. Long, low grumbles. Lightening. It quickly became a big, loud, windy storm--so fun to watch out the window and be grateful e're not in a tent (poor neighbors!). Kavi slept through much of it (til 8am!!), then we all enjoyed watching the show and the growing waves on the lake.
The storm settled within half an hour, leaving behind bits of outdoor furniture and knick knacks strewn about the large lawn. And the place felt so empty--so many dwellings, but no people! We cleaned up our camp, took a little swim and left. Goodbye to our camp and within a few hours, goodbye to Oklahoma. We didn't experience much of this state, but what we traveled through was green, clean and beautiful!

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