|David L. Boren
Bend State Park, near Idabel, Oklahoma
November 22, 2010
Ada and Andra stayed at the car, owing to the light mist that had been falling for the last hour, and continued to fall as the car sat parked at the trailhead on Why 259A. Oursí was the only car there, which suggested Iíd not be seeing too many hikers on the trail today. I put orange bandanas on Makenzie and Henry, and we stopped at the sign to examine the map and decide where we should hike to. The trail ran perpendicular to the road. One direction made some mention of Lookout Mt, so that seemed as good a destination as any. Off we went, through wet leaves and over slippery rocks under the continuing drizzle. I had my light rainjacket on, but it was soon too warm to keep it on. I think the sweat I was accumulating was wetting my clothes down more than exposure to the drizzle would have. So, I scooped off the jacket and we continued down the trail, jogging at times to make good time so that Andra and Ada would not have to wait too long at the car. Entertaining a 9-month old baby is an art that I suspect few can perform at top level for very long.
The trail initially lead downhill through southern red oaks and hickories, most lacking leaves, to a dry valley where a family of 7 was resting. All were very happy to see Henry, as he frolicked around, basking in the attention of the young kids, who are apparently his favorite types of humans. The trail switchbacked uphill, and within a few more minutes we were on top of what apparently is Lookout Mt. Owing to the trees and the dense clouds/fog, the lookout part of the mountain was not particularly appropriate, but it was a pleasant spot with lots of fall color mixed with deep green Virginia pines.
The route led downhill through more of the same forest type to a creek, where both dogs drank: Henry from the edge, and Makenzie from her submerged spot in the very center. Moving on, the trail crested a short rise in the woods, then sloped downhill for a long stretch to the campground at South Park which was full of mammoth RVís.
At the road, and the very southernmost point of this 12-mile trail, we turned around and retraced our steps back towards the car, again jogging at times to eat up the time. A herd of white tail deer bounded through the woods, eliciting no reaction whatsoever from the dogs, though they stopped at length to sniff the ground the deer had run over. It seems that any animal smaller than a raccoon is completely uninteresting to them. The drizzle had abated, but it was still very cloudy and wet. I slipped on wet rocks and fell twice, but no harm done. Within a few hundred yards of the trail, I met Andra and Ada out for a walk from the car, and we all walked back to the car together.