There are beach people and mountain people. You know, what’s your ideal location to get away from it all and recharge? While I’m not opposed to a little beach time, I’m most definitely a mountain person. I’m a frequent driver on the Kansas and eastern Colorado plains. As soon as I clear Limon, my senses are trained on the horizon for my first glimpse of the Rockies. When I get it, endorphins flood my body.
Interestingly, another favorite mountain range are the Wichita’s in Oklahoma. Located in southwestern Oklahoma, some would laugh at the description of mountains that are closer in size to hills. But this is because the Wichita’s are among the oldest mountain ranges on Earth and we all get a little smaller with age. 😉
Seriously though, this mountain range formed about 500 million years ago according to geologists. The Wichita Mountains have seen it all. Plains people who hunted and camped here. Spanish conquistadors looking for gold and outlaws hiding themselves and their gold. There was even a short-lived gold rush. The Wichita’s were the last home for warriors like Geronimo and Quanah Parker and briefly the home of buffalo soldiers.
Today, part of the Wichita’s are a wildlife refuge and home to bison, elk, longhorns, an active prairie dog community, and dozens of other mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Hundreds of bird and wildflower species also vacation here.
When you hike the Wichita’s, you can just feel the history of the place embrace you. I get the same feeling at Mesa Verde when I hike the ruins. A great feeling of rightness in the world comes when you realize that all life is connected.