Skywatch Friday – Wichita Mountains Getaway

We took a few days off last week and headed to southwest Oklahoma to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge just north of Lawton, Oklahoma.

We stayed in a beautiful spacious cabin on top of a hill just a little ways out of town.

Talk about dark skies. We were able to track satellites as they passed overhead including the International Space Station. It really flew. Our Cabin was about a half mile from Fort Sill, on of the Army’s major training sites. They shot artillery all day long (big echoing booms) and at night hell really broke out. Some sort of big automatic gunfire and helicopters. We couldn’t see anything because of the mountains but we could sure here it. They keep those 20,000 stationed there busy, it sounded like.


We drove to the top of Mount Scott and made a shadow selfie.

We saw lots of longhorn cattle.

Bison HDR

And grumpy looking bison. This was with a telephoto. We are not tourons when it comes to critters.


This critter wasn’t too happy about it. I have a strict no handouts policy.


We even saw some wild turkeys.

The Ferguson house, rebuilt by the Friends of the Wichitas.

We looked at a recently preserved homesteaders house that burned down to the walls about ten years ago.


We checked out the Holy City of the Wichitas, home of a long running passion play.

Bird Houses of Medicine Park II

In nearby Medicine Park, OK we saw some birdhouse cottages going up right by a lake. Aren’t they the cutest things? Or maybe they are the most darling things? You tell me.

We did lots of hiking. Some of was kind of rocky. This is not a spoof. See the trail marker by my wife’s left hand? This was the route.

But we were rewarded with some great views.

Canyon View V

And magnificent vistas. Have to tell you though, on our last full day Heather tripped twice on our last trail and is feeling it. She’s an exercise instructor so she has cancelled her more demanding classes.

And now a blast from the past. I took my father down here in 2007. He’d always wanted to see the refuge and we did. He’s an old Forest Service guy and the refuge was started by the Forest Service and he made sure to set the record straight with the volunteer at the visitor center.


Anyways we visited the Holy City as part of our trip and I found a geocache in a boat they had as part of their set. Dad was pretty amazing. His mentor when Dad was a young Forest Ranger used to be Supervisor of the National Forest that included what is now the refuge. Dad knew the whole history. He could also look at woods miles off and spot old forest fires and guess at how long ago they ocurred.


And here I am fourteen years later, older, older, a bit plumper, and still geocaching!! The one they had in the boat is gone though. I think the boat used to represent the Ark and now is the boat that the disciples were in during the storm and Jesus walked across the water to them.


Here is another photo from our trip. We got into Fort Sill and got lost looking for Geronimo’s grave. Went down lots of back roads with ominous military warning signs saying we were off limits. but hey we got there. Geronimo’s grave is out in the middle of nowhere. It was a virtual geocache so at least I could use my GPS, I just couldn’t figure out the roads. Dad’s been gone a few years now and I sure do miss him. We had a good time on our little road trip.

So anyway we had a great time, my wife and I. One thing I’ll leave you with is: Oklahoma is no Colorado or Montana, but…

Mount Scott Sunset

Don’t let anybody tell you that Oklahoma doesn’t have mountains.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

20 thoughts on “Skywatch Friday – Wichita Mountains Getaway

  1. Vicki

    That sounds like such a neat place to visit! Love the photos, especially the last one. I hope Heather is feeling better soon!

  2. Angie

    Alan – I am glad for you that you got a getaway! The first time I ever saw satellites was around our fire circle here in Montana. Amazing! I think those birdhouse cottages are adorable! I am sorry that Heather got injured on those trails, and I wish her a speedy recovery. And thanks for sharing those Oklahoma mountains with us! We have been told ….

  3. kwarkito

    particularly like this rebuilt house, the wooden ones on stilts which I think are really cute and then Geronimo’s tomb must be a very moving and charged place. Thank you for this wonderful travel diary

  4. Peter B.

    And here I was thinking all of OK was perfectly flat!! Great photos and a fun trip. I particularly like the rocky vistas in photos 12 & 13.

  5. Nancy Chan

    What a wonderful getaway. Nice cabin and shadow selfie. Beautiful Ferguson house and Birdhouse cottage. Great view at the Wildlife Refuge.

  6. Alana

    You brought back memories. Back in the mid 70’s my husband was stationed at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX and my father flew out to visit. We took him to Ft. Sill and yes, we got lost trying to find Geronimo’s grave (we did find it). No activities there that day. I loved those birdhouse cottages – I’ve never seen anything like that. My son used to track satellites when he was younger.

  7. Rosie Bailey

    Great photos. The bison reminded me of my uncle’s property in Saskatchewan where he has bison on his property and we enjoyed a great meal of bison, something we don’t have here in Australia.

  8. A ShutterBug Explores

    Wonderful photos and memories ~ what a lovely time for you and your wife ~ Great little bird houses ~ XX

    Did not feel well most of the weekend ~ so no posts or comments ~ slowly on the mend.

    Living moment by moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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