I got a late start... noon... with plans to make it to far northwest
Oklahoma... perhaps to Woodward... to a state park that looked surprisingly nice for easy
hiking on Google Earth -- or to Laverne
("Home of Miss America, Jayne Jayroe") where I'd heard that overnight parking was allowed
at the town park-- or to Ft. Supply Reservoir -- a Corps of Engineers lake... one of the
several preserved national land systems where dispersed camping is allowed.
I wanted to make the trip to Colorado an easy one... not pushing myself too hard.
Hwy 281 north was good driving and relatively easy traffic for a Saturday. I made several
stops along the way to get out and move around and get refreshed.
Near Woodward was Boiling Springs State Park. Access roads went through an old
section of town. I became skeptical, but went ahead and checked it out. I wouldn't want
to drive this route on a Saturday night, I thought to myself (with partiers going back and
forth to town). On arriving, the park office was closed and I went ahead and drove
through the camp areas.
The few tent camping sites offered at the park were shaded but were separated from
the parking areas and were placed close to a semi-dry creek. This wouldn't work for me.
Tent camping cost $12.00 ... more for RV sites which were mostly in the sun. There were
signs with warnings about snakes and other predatory critters, but there were nice trails
and streams and group picnic areas... and all-in-all... this was a decent recreation area not
really very far from town. But... it didn't suit me. I headed back through town to go north
for the short drive to Ft. Supply Reservoir.
There was a swimming beach at the lake, but signs warned of blue algae... not to go in the
water or eat fish from the water. I read the notices on the bulletin board and nowhere was it
posted "camping allowed only in established sites"... so I followed a east-side lake road toward
another beach area and along the way found a short winding side road where I could park
Near dark... I noticed lightning to the west and turned on the radio. Weather reports
warned of severe storms with large hail headed towards Woodward-- and the lake!!
I moved my van back around to the beach area near the cement block restrooms
to be aware in case the area was evacuated...
OR IN CASE THERE WAS A TORNADO!!!
(Does living in Oklahoma's "tornado alley" qualify a person as INSANE???)
Luckily, (after a couple of hours watching this slow storm approach the lake) the storm
passed just north of the lake and we only got wind and a little rain.
For my first night camping... this was no fun. I slept sitting in the driver's seat and awoke
at early dawn.