Friday, July 27, 2012

Another test run for the new RV

We are on another "test" run to make sure everything is working in the new RV.  This means that yes, there are no problems but we're having so much fun that we decided to take it out again for a short trip to another one of Oklahoma's beautiful state parks.  This time it's Greenleaf Lake State Park.

The other reason we decided on Greenleaf Lake was the fishing.  I have never done any fly fishing and always thought it was such a beautiful art form, and now that I've done a little, still think it's a beautiful art form, however it may not be the most effective nor efficient way to catch a fish.  But who cares.  It's all about beauty here and the natural beauty.

So the first the we do is set up our home away from home and trek out to take a whack at this fly fishing stuff.  Walt has purchased all the appropriate paraphernalia that is needed to at least look professional, and is hopefully going to instruct me on how to act like a professional fly fisherwoman, even if I don't catch anything.

And of course he's the first one to snag something.  It's the incredibly illusive and rare breed - moss!!!

But not to despair.  Walt has brought along all sorts of different lures and snares to catch fish, as well as changing location.  And I must say I was totally charmed with the next location and felt just like I was right out of A River Runs Through It.
Can you believe this is in Oklahoma?  It's a resort about 7 miles from the Tenkiller Dam. It is a beautiful quiet place and even with the popularity of the resort, this place was gorgeous and beautiful.

But alas, we caught nothing - we looked great.  I think I'm beginning to understand this fly look good, but don't catch anything!

So back to our mainstay:

But as the fishing isn't that good (it's so hot, we figure the fish are all at the bottom of the lake trying to survive the heat), we decide to do some photography - after all this is a beautiful part of the state with extensive woodland areas.  So here are some birds, bugs and snakes - yes snakes (fortunately at a nice distance!)

At our park one of the hosts (not sure they're hosts, but they act like it) are feeding the birds (which also not sure is a good deal), but it did draw in the birds, deer and other animals.  Here's a black-crested titmouse at a feeder the other side of where we are camped.

Nuthatches are common feeder birds, but these were positively tame. 

Not so common at a feeder is a Red-bellied Woodpecker.  This is a little female, primping for her close-up so who are we to deny her.

A nice swallowtail butterfly.  Amazingly enough there were a plethora of butterflies and hummingbirds, but we couldn't see any colorful flowers.

And as we learned in Red Rock a couple of weeks ago, there is a difference between damselflies and dragonflies - here's the dragonfly version.

And finally we close with a common creature around the swampy, shore areas of OK...a water moccasin.  Fortunately we were about 50 yards away in a very dry spot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

People have asked about our new RV.  It doesn't have a cute name like Casita or a great forum or club on Facebook, but we do like it. 

That said, I adored our Casita, possible made even dearer to me because Walt and I made so many memories in it, and also because I felt it was relateable in that I could do everything to set it up and take it down and move on down the road.  But it was small, and for Walt it was more than small it was cramping.  And that's no fun when your partner isn't having fun.

So while we were in Yellowstone this past spring, Walt and I trekked to Billings to look at some Arctic Fox models that we had heard were really well built - built for northern climates.  While there we ran across a fellow in a gas station who had one and asked him if he liked it and he sold them in Casper.  So on the way back we dropped by Casper.  We unfortunately didn't find one at that dealer, but Walt persuaded me (OK he drug me kicking and fighting the whole way) to another superdealer.  The whole idea reeked of used-car, slippery salesmen, fly-by-night, and I didn't want any part of it. 

Most all the units had the back and front of the walls, with no windows.  I always had visions of being in an RV and looking out over the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean (at Big Sur), and wonderful sites like that and without a great window how in the world were you going to do that?


I saw this one model - I walked in and it was instant love - and this place I was convinced had nothing!!!  Ain't it the way!

As you can see, there are AMPLE windows on the back side....and in case that isn't good enough....
Here we are at Red Rock Canyon last weekend with my two fav guys chillin'!

We love it.  It's 26' long which is a lot longer (almost twice) than the Casita and a foot wider.  It takes a lot more hp to pull it down the road, and it's a big guy's toy. But I do the inside and Walt does the outside and we are off.  The most important thing is that Walt feels like he can actually stand up and move, and he is so much more comfy in it.  So comfy, I might not see him for a while!!! (I still am working so gotta stay home and keep the $$$ flowing in!!!)

Here's a little video I took when we were looking at it up at Casper.  BTW, they don't sell these further east or south than Casper.  They are for cold weather climates, but they are built solid

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Red Rock Canyon State Park

We have our new RV and to do a simple "check out" which we like to do before big trips, we trekked about an hour west of our city and find a little gem of a state park.
It's just a quick 5 minutes off I-40 about an hour from the capital city.

We expected to spend most of our time inside the RV checking it out and making sure everything worked and what didn't and what did.  But what we discovered was a little gem of a state park.

Red Rock Canyon was a standard stop-over for covered wagons on the California trail.  It has plenty of shade and a quiet cool respite from the hot dry prairie and route ahead.  When you visit you can see why.  While the rest of the world is having 70° lows, it was at least 5 or more degrees cooler in the canyon floor which is where most of the RV sites are.  The unfortunate thing is that there are only 3 full hookup sites, however tons of water & electric sites available. 

The park has other amenities as well.  The first thing we noticed coming in were the Mississippi Kites that were flying all about, oblivious of the goings on under neath (the park is well used during the summer months).
 Upon entering the canyon we counted about 9 kites flying over the canyon floor

 Although they didn't seem concerned about all the traffic on the canyon floor, they did keep their eyes on us.

And you didn't want to be under one of them - although they eat bugs, you never can tell!!! ;)

There are a number of short hikes around the canyon and one we took led to a little brook that was a home to a lot of damselflies.  Damselflies are different from dragonflies in that the damselflies rest with their wings closed, and the dragonflies rest with their wings open.  That  said, it doesn't mean that while on a leaf they don't stretch their wings a little.  Walt of course made the most of the bad light and the Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies.

When the light was just so, he could catch a beautiful shot with the brook lite by the sun and the red dirt from the bottom of the brook in the background.

Here's the wonderful brook just outside our RV that has a fabulous peaceful sound every morning and late evening. 

As a parting gift, as if this place hadn't given up all for our fabulous stay here, last night an owl showed up close to our site.  Tonite, I was watching closely, and he showed up again.  Now granted this is not a great shot, but the best I could do with the light.  The sun had already set and this guy was out for his evening romp as owls are want to do.

In case you miss him - here he is in a close up - like, I said this is a horrible shot, but just one more fantastic part of our trip to this state park.

We stayed a lot longer than we planned, mostly because of the wonderful surroundings.  We can both tell from the trees and surroundings, that this will be a fabulous place to visit this fall when the trees turn colors.  

Both of us highly recommend this park (even Siggy our dog enjoys the nice walks through Red Rock Canyon), if you are coming through the state.  During the summer weekends it is used, but during the weekdays you should be able to get a nice site.  The park is well maintained and great care is taken to make all the camping areas as clean and useable as possible.  Almost all the sites we saw were level, and most of them had electric and water.  There are baths and showers throughout the park, and a nice swimming pool.