Monday, June 16, 2008

A Road Trip to Southern Oklahoma

I hope everyone had a happy Father's Day weekend. Dianne and I took a couple vacation days to make a road trip down to Southern Oklahoma. We had hoped to get out and paddle both the Washita River and Arbuckle Lake in addition to visiting Turner Falls. Due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, we never made it onto Arbuckle Lake or the Washita River.

Moonlight Bay Chalet

We rented a cabin on a small private lake for our two days in Davis, Oklahoma. The Moonlight Bay Chalet sits right by the waters of a tiny lake surrounded by cabins. The cabin offered 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a hot tub on the back deck. Also, a canoe and kayak come with the cabin. You can launch and land at a small wooden dock. It sounded perfect for our family.

The cabin was clean and the beds were comfortable. Sadly, the hot tub never really got hot and the cabin never really got cool. Although I enjoyed paddling my kayak around their tiny lake briefly, there really is not much to see.

Checking out of the cabin took longer than expected. When we arrived we were greeted with several signs stating that we were expected to clean the cabin and launder the towels and linens before departing. Although we often wash the towels and stuff before we leave a cabin, this was the first time we arrived to find a task list. The same postings warned that large sums of money would by charged to our credit card for any rule violations.

Despite the rather non-luxury policies at Moonlight Bay Chalet, there is much to enjoy. The cabin is just about two miles from Guy Sandy Creek Boat Ramp on Lake Arbuckle. It is also a short drive to Turner Falls or the historically stinky springs and travertine stairs of Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Turner Falls - Gem of the Arbuckles

If you have never visited Turner Falls Park near Davis, Oklahoma you should make plans to visit soon. The crystal clear waters of Honey Creek cascade down a 70 foot waterfall and form two sparkling blue swimming holes. The waterfall has a beautiful, zen-garden look to it that draws in visual artists from all over the area to capture it in photographs and paintings.

In addition to the two great swimming holes, Turner Falls Park offers a number of scenic hikes, tent camping, teepee rentals and ice cream shop and some light toobing on Honey Creek. To my knowledge, no boating is allowed.

Turner Falls Park is also popular with fun-loving kids and beer-loving adults, so my advice is to try and make a trip during the week. On the weekend, Turner Falls becomes extremely crowded. Also, don't come to this park if you are broke. It cost Dianne, Dylan and myself over $30 just to enter the park.

The Washita River

We drove over the Washita River in a number of places not too far from our cabin. I was expecting the Washita to be clear like Honey Creek or one of the other spring-fed streams in the area. I was surprised to learn that the Washita is as red and muddy as the Deep Fork River that flows through my part of Oklahoma.

The brochure at our cabin stated that the canoe trips down the Washita would cost $30 per person. Since our cash flow was running low and the weather was looking unpredictable, we didn't make the Washita River trip. Hopefully, we will be able to make another trip to this area to float the Washita River and the local lakes.


John said...

A task list? I've never seen that before. lol

Alan Scott said...

Where did you find the Washita River to be deep enough to float? LOL! Wow!