Monday, September 23, 2013

Campground Hosting at Chickasaw N.R.A.


There’s a lot of history here in the Sulphur, OK area.  We assume we’ll get to exploring more of that one day.  For now, we have been focused on the wonder that is Chickasaw National Recreation Area. 


The seventh National Park created and once the smallest of them all, Platt National Park (with it’s natural mineral springs) was created on land purchased from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in 1902. 

The Arbuckle Mountain Range (pictured above) is one of the oldest ranges in the country and once stood at close to 20,000 feet tall.

In 1976, the Platt area was combined with Lake of the Arbuckles and other surrounding lands to become the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.  It’s name honors the Chickasaw Nation whose foresight in fearing the healing waters would suffer from uncontrolled use prompted them to sell it to the government so that the springs would be protected.


As of our arrival, the springs are flowing but not full.  They have gone dry in the past sometimes for years at a time.  So, we are thankful to have seen them with at least some water.


Meanwhile, we’ve been focusing our exploration energies on the Lake of the Arbuckles area which is where our campground host position is located.

Thanks to the National Park Service we are a two car family for the next few months.  This little GEM (pun intended) is a sweet, street legal, electric car / campground workhorse and we thoroughly enjoy tooling around in it.


There are four campground loops and about the same number of day use loops within short drive of our site.  We make a point to explore them all whenever we have time.

                                          Our favorite ‘get away’ spot

Two of the campground loops are actually closed for the season and we have taken a special interest in ‘Loop A’.  A wonderful breeze blows off the water in this cove so that is where we head on our days off to lull under large shade trees and watch the critters.


                            So far, we’ve mostly spotted various birds

                                              like this Osprey,

                                              a Great Egret,

                                                Black Vultures,

                                     the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher,

                                     and a juvenile Great Blue Heron.

               We also saw a roadrunner but he was too fast for our camera!

DSCN2554 DSCN2553
Well preserved evidence of four legged critters is found in the mud each morning.
We’ve been told that there are big cats in the area.  Hopefully we’ll catch site of one of those soon.


The campgrounds have been busier than anyone expected for this time of year.  In just our first week we’ve logged over 70 miles on our GEM car.  It’s nice to see folks getting out to enjoy the cooler weather.  After two weeks of temps nearing 100, we’re welcoming some that prompted us to get our heater out.  We never thought that 80 degrees would feel chilly!

These cute little flowers popped up on the beach the other day sporting some pretty big pods considering their demure size.

         Well, it’s almost time for yet another beautiful sunset over the lake.

                          So, time to wrap this post up and take it in.


“Let me say to you now that to do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the
     world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.”  - Oscar Wilde  (1890)