A day of hiking and contemplation in Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
I’ve been hiking and exploring the Wichita Mountains for more than 50 years.
I spent much of my time practicing route finding, poking around old routes and finding new ones. I also thought a lot about all those years exploring and photographing this place.
Amazingly, when my friend Michael and I hiked in the Wichita Mountains decades ago, we drank from potholes and never got sick.
I saw a sign on the way in saying “Burford Lake,” but I honestly didn’t recall ever hiking there. I turned in and parked at the trail head, where a kiosk informed me that, “…in the 1920s the lake was named in honor of Judge Frank Burford… but it never made it onto the map, and was largely forgotten for many years. Burford Trail was ‘rediscovered’ after the wildfires of 2011 .”
I had an interesting encounter with longhorns on the Burford Lake Trail. A couple of people coming the opposite direction told me, “when you see the cow patties, they’ll be on your left.” They were on the way in, but on the way back to the trail head they had moved down to drink from the lake.
I wasn’t really there to photograph longhorns or I would have brought a bigger telephoto, so I made just a couple of images with my FujiFilm HS30EXR.
My last stop for the day was Jed Johnson Lake, which I had passed many times over the years, but never stopped to photograph until now. I was impressed with the high layers of stairs above the dam.