Bye, Bye Bison (S)

Over the past few months, we have been trying to check things off our “Oklahoma Bucket List.” Some are things we have always meant to do but never seemed to get around to. Others are part of our greatest hits list.

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is a bit of both. We’ve been a handful of times and always enjoyed it, but we have never done any substantial hiking in the refuge.

So one our last weekends in Oklahoma, we hoped in the car for the 1.5 hour drive to the mountains. It was an absolutely perfect day to spend outdoors. We got lucky and saw more bison than we had ever seen before in the park. One even crossed the road right behind us! We also got up close to some longhorn cattle. Leo got a bit closer than I would have liked… and I stayed a bit further back than he would have prefered. See photos below for evidence of our different styles of being photographed with wildlife 🙂

After driving around for a bit, we set off to do our hike. We were intended for a short hike along this Elk Mountain Trail, but got lost and walked along a stream for awhile until we met up with the Charon Gardens Trail.

Can you spot Leo in this picture?

We didn’t know anything about this trail so we assumed it would be relatively smooth sailing to get back to our starting trailhead. We were a bit surprised when the trail turned into boulders. Leo bolted across and I slowly but surely crossed the boulders to get back on solid ground. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of this because I was too focused on not falling!

After our hike, we went to Meers Store and Restaurant for some food. The restaurant is the only original structure remaining from the gold rush town founded in 1901. They are famous for their Meersburger, which is the size of a pie tin. We opted for a smaller cheeseburger, onion rings, and some bbq to share. We also couldn’t leave without trying their peach cobbler and homemade ice cream.

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