Miscellaneous Hiking Post with a List
In this post there is a 15 before 50 list, I am happy to write I am done with almost half of what I listed. I am surprised that I have done as many as I have done. I focused more on trail running than hiking the last two years but still do some hiking in between races. I am not going to change my list but will recap my progress.
4. I hiked to the summit of Elk Mountain on my father’s birthday.
5. I actually hiked to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain twice and the second time was a great solo hike.
7. I had an amazing hike to Cedar Falls in Petit Jean SP. The waterfall was everything I had hoped to see.
8. Canyon Loop Trail in Caprock Canyon SP was awesome and dangerous due to the quick temperature rise.
9. I am counting hiking the Lighthouse Trail in Palo Duro SP even though it was cut off. I hiked all of it that was open.
14. I found Twin Falls in Pedernales SP last week. It was a fun short hike.
15. The Moss Lake and Echo Canyon trail hikes were fascinating and one a my many times I got lost hikes.
2. and 3. I had it planned for this summer but my schedule is getting crazy.
6. Mountain Top trail has not been in my plans. I will look to get this one in early next year.
11. and 12. Hiking Old Baldy and Crystal Cave Trail are in the plans for summer of 2020 because this might be a family trip.
13. My East Trail hike is planned this week. I will be heading to Lost Maples SNA and another state park in the San Antonio area.
As for #1, I had a chance to do Mount Scott hike today. I have also had two previous chances but did other hikes. I am thinking about a day trip to get it done. I also want to do it as an overnight trip for the stargazing
Great Plains State Park is located in Mountain Park, OK., which is about about 45 minutes west northwest of Lawton. The name of the city is an ideal name because it is surrounded by mountains. It is between the Wichita Mountains and the Quartz Mountains. The Great Plains State Park is miss named because it is nothing but hills and mountains. This was also my headquarters to go between the two mountains ranges. I unfortunately did not make to the Quartz Mountains. The prior day I spent more time than I thought at the Wichita Mountains. Plus this being the first trip with my camper I had some “forgot some stuff issues.” I did get some hiking time in this state park.
The park had the usual lack of trail markings I come to expect while hiking in Oklahoma. This time my hike to an unusual turn for the worse. I headed to the trailhead which was marked by an orange bucket with a flag in it. I had a map, it looked like somebody just drew it, and a compass so I felt comfortable. I also started the hike with plenty of sunlight and the park was not that big. At the first split in the trail I went in a direction that would take me back toward my campsite. The trail had no markings but there were cairns on the side of the trail every few feet. I quickly realized that this trail was not taking me up the mountain but around it. I wanted to get some elevation change plus look down on the park and see other mountain ranges in the distance. I back tracked to the split and headed the other direction.
This trail was a bit more defined but still no markings. I started to see blue tape on trees by the trail. I was guessing this was the trail marking. I followed them up to the top of the mountain overlooking my campsite. I got to see everything I wanted and had markings to follow to get back down. I followed the blue markings and quickly realized this is not the way I got up here. Then the markings went away, I tried to backtrack but I could not find the trail I was on originally. The trail map was no help at all. I went back to one of the higher ridge lines of the mountain and found the dam that was close to my campsite. I decided to take a direct route to the dam. I was on a trail most of the way down until the trail started to circle back up the mountain. I stayed the steady course downward and I had to bushwhack a bit to get to another clearing. As the sun was setting and trees were now blocking my view of anything, I thought of calling 911. I gave myself fifteen more minutes of straight hiking to find something I recognized. I continued in a straight line and I saw a campsite. It was the one in which was camping at but I did not know at the time. I finally get to the road and feel good. I see my camper and now I know I am about a half mile from the trailhead.
I hike the shoreline trail back to my car and the trailhead. I make it safely before the sun sets. The funny thing is I was not prepared to camp in a camper but was prepared to get lost hiking. Trail markingsMore trail markingsMaking my way upThe reason I hiked to the topThey were waiting for me.My way back downhill.Finally the Shoreline trail.
I survived to hike another day. Next up, I went back to the Wichita Mountains to finish a hike I started over a year ago.