Monday, 1 July 2013

Day 13 A Tour Around the Local Area with the Kinder's

After a bit of a lie in, I set off with Jimmy and Margret-Ann to have a look around the local area and to see some sights typical of the South West Oklahoma region.  On the way to get a tyre fixed we spotted a newly planted cotton field; a second crop after the wheat harvest.  It's a bit of a gamble and will need favourable rains to make a good harvest but obviously someone thinks the risk is worth it.  We also spotted the harvester and bale compactor so I had to have a look at them as well.  
After the tyre repair we headed to a wildlife reserve to have a look at the history, native plants and wildlife.  We were very lucky to meet a herd of Bison (or Buffalo) crossing the road.  When the settlers moved west there were estimated to be about 60 million Bison migrating the plains but mass slaughter, nearly brought around their demise.  Conservation started in the early 1900's.  It was a very special moment to get this close to a bull Bison weighing in at approximately 2,000Lb's!
We headed off to the next stop, Medicine Park where we stopped for lunch.  Jimmy recommended a local dish from The Old Plantation which was delicious.  Chicken Fried Beef, is a tenderised cut of beef, medium rare, dipped in a Southern batter and fried.  It came accompanied with fully loaded (onions, bacon, tomato, sour cream) mash.  It was a job to finish it but I just made it! (just to help the DLW gain)
We saw some long horn cattle along the way depicting a scene that would have been very frequent over 100 years ago.  It really was like being transported back into history.
We headed up Mt Scott, located in the Wichita mountains to the summit at 2,464 feet.  The winding road seemed to go on and on with Turkey Vultures gliding on the thermals below the car.  The view from the stop was stunning, looking down on speed boats in lake Lawtonga and the Fort Sill artillery range.  Fort Sill is the last remaining operational fort built during the Indian wars and is home to the Field Artillery School. 
After Fort Sill we headed to Lawton and had a burger at Braums which is a chain of burger and ice cream stores started by the farmer who was not getting paid enough for the milk he produced.  It is a great success story and shows what can be achieved!
We also managed to catch up with some prairie dogs along the way, although a native species they are a bit of a pest but rather fun to watch!  We headed home and sat out in the evening sun talking farm support, Common Agricultural Policy verses The Farm Bill.  A very busy but enjoyable day!

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