Saturday, October 25, 2014

Camping in at the Wichita Wildife Refuge... Take 2

Earlier this year over Spring Break the kiddos and I took a short camping trip to the Wichita Federal Wildlife Refuge down near Fort Sill. It was gorgeous during the day, but we froze our tushies off that night. I think the thermometer in the van read 38 degrees when I finally turned it on about 6:30 a.m. Needless to say, it was a rough night. And a long one.

We decided to make another attempt over Fall Break last week. The weather was much better, which meant by the time we got there all of the campsites that had electricity were taken. Fortunately we were at least able to get one right next to the bathrooms. Considering we had a newly housebroken potty trained kiddo, this was a Very Good Thing.

We stayed two nights, did a couple of nice hikes, saw great scenery, and some really cool animals. Here's a list of some memorable things from this camping trip:
  • A couple of deer took up residence in the grassy area next to our campsite the first evening. 
  • I almost hit a deer and some wild turkeys in the van, despite following the speed limit. 
  • We got to watch some longhorns and a prairie dog cross the road.
  • Olivia almost stepped on a snake during our first hike.
  • I had terrible anxiety on the first hike every time Maddox started climbing on rocks anywhere near the edge of the gorge.
  • The stars were awesome, and we got to see the Milky Way above us.
  • Kelsey accidentally burned Connor with the tip of her fire-poking stick (which was burning and red, of course) and Connor spent the rest of the time trying to guilt-trip her about it. 
  • The wind picked up about 4 or 5 a.m. our last morning there, and we got to sleep in a cozy tent with the trees rustling all around us.
  • We drove to the top of Mount Scott and while listening to "On Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons.
And now for the pictures... We were a little sparse on our photo-taking, but we ended up with a few good ones. This first set were taken by Olivia:

The beautiful view from our campsite.

The Lost Lake (near the beginning of the Kite Trail)

The dam (on the Kite Trail)

The view from our resting spot (Kite Trail). You can see why I had anxiety attacks, right? That's a BIG and STEEP drop!

Longhorns crossing the road. There's no question who has the right of way on the Refuge roads.

It got pretty warm on Thursday afternoon, so we make a Braums run to Lawton for ice cream. We pulled in, and Olivia noticed this.
You had ONE job...

Gorgeous sunset!

View from the road on the way up Mount Scott

View from the "top of the world" (i.e. Mount Scott)

More views from the top of Mount Scott

The rest of these pics I took on my phone:

Resting along the Kite Trail

The hole that got burned in Connor's shorts from the tip of Kelsey's fire poker. Those were his favorite shorts, too...


Smile said...

You are a super Mom! Fun memories! Love you all!

Amy said...

Fun times for the Ervins! You are an awesome mom. I would never try that on my own and you did it with flair. Go girl!! PS - I'll take your painting skills any time you are in town :)