"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Rock Canyon

This morning, I decided to head about an hour west to spend some time in Red Rock Canyon, an Oklahoma State Park.  It is just a little box canyon that drops down off the plains but it has some lovely red rock and interesting trees that don't grow everywhere else close by.  Seems like everytime I have been there, I have skipped lunch and been starving.  So this time,  I grabbed a burger at Sonic before I drove down into the park. 

I have mentioned that one of the things I love about Oklahoma is the variety of the land.  There are little surprises, everywhere.   When I lived in Oklahoma, before, I tried to hit a different state park most weekends when the days were long but this was the first time I felt well enough to continue the tradition.  Red Rock Canyon is a small place that doesn't put on airs.  They have a sweet little gift shop but don't charge a day entry fee even though they have nice bathrooms, campgrounds and showers.  I assume they charge if you reserve a campsite but can't be sure.  I should have gone back by to donate something out of appreciation but forgot to.  I'll do it, next time. 

Spending time in the outdoors is something that makes me settled and happy and I plan to make sure I find time to do it now that I am back.   I took a ton of pictures but didn't take time to commune with nature the way I like.  I'm still not feeling all that great and knew that just the trip out there and back would take a toll. 

We had beautiful blue skies, today and I'm glad I didn't waste the sunshine by staying indoors:
It is a dormant time of year but I still saw signs of life:
The canyon walls are really red:
It's a sweet, easy trail:
The rock looks alive the way it shifts and curves.
There was a lot of moss on the north faces:
If someone isn't too spry, it is a nice place to take a nature walk.   There are hills but it really isn't too strenuous.  This is about the worst of it and there weren't that many hills this steep:
I liked the reflection in this shot with the red rock behind it:
Admittedly, that is one sad looking little tree.
I was surprised at how many patches of snow remain under the eaves of the rocks:
This feather was right in the middle of a very treed part so I am not sure what sort of white bird would have left it.  I assume it was a water bird but really have no idea. 
BOO HISSS!  Poison ivy.  I don't think it got me but I was a bit paranoid.  Probably not paranoid enough since I headed right back out into the woods and it is all over the place.
Some of the ponds still had ice tops.
I think this looks like the side of a nice steak:
I assume these toe holds are man made:
See that slice of blue sky?  The rock in front is just standing next to the canyon wall: 
I like the shadows on the rocks:
I fell in love with this little patch.  The light was wonderful:
This place felt like god lived there:
I think this looks like a dinosaur track:
I used to get really aggravated at graffiti but I think I have learned to appreciate it for what it is:
There were lots of holes in the rocks.  You can't see it in this picture but it went really deep and was about three inches wide at the front.  I didn't stick my hand in there.   Could be poison ivy or something waiting to get me. 
The trees look like they are somehow related to the rocks in the way they all curve and twist: 
Once the leaves come, it will look completely different. 
Of course, I wasn't too tired to swing by my now favorite LQS in El Reno, K's Quilting Studio.  It is only about 25 minutes from home and on the way so it was well worth the trip.  Look at this yummy fabric:
They also had a very good sale on silk thread so I bought some.  They talked me into buying a scarf, too:
$11.99 and worth five times that much.  It is gorgeous.  And I am not even a scarf person.  They are expanding their store and will be offering classes in the future.  I am jazzed about that. 

I think I am going to go take my nap.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


tisme said...

The park is absolutely wonderful!!!
I love it. I hope when spring comes and the trees are in full bloom, you will get more pics and share. I will be waiting. :)

Miriam said...

Wonderful photographs! I am very glad you avoided that poison ivy.

Yay for fabric shopping!!

Shogun said...

I need to get out west - it looks beautiful. We have an arboretum out here that has similar steep wooden steps in the side of a ravine.

OklaTwister said...

That fabric looked just like the rocks. Did you purchase any for an art quilt?

Penny said...

OklaTwister, I think my mind is running to art quilts and it is affecting my fabric choices, but I didn't think of Red Rock Canyon. But... duh! Must have been on my mind when I went into the shop directly from leaving the park!

Sherry said...

Beautiful canyon! I too thought the fabric looked like the walls of the canyon.

Palo Duro Canyon in Texas is very similar in color.

Don't be jealous, but I'm not sensitive to poison ivy. ;o) Before the annual Easter egg hunt at Mama and Daddy's, my son (who was little back then) and I made sure the edge of the yard was free of the stuff. One of my nieces could see it a mile away and break out in a red, itchy, oozing rash.