Hiking in Beavers Bend State Parking

I ended 2017 by spending two and half days in Broken Bow, Oklahoma attending one of my oldest friend’s bachelor party. I first met Ben in middle school through my dad who at the time was Ben’s bus driver. We became friends in high school and although he migrated south to Baylor for undergrad, we continued to keep in touch mostly through football games. Medical school plus residency moved him back to the Oklahoma City area and I’m thankful that we’ve continued to stay close. The older I become and more childhood becomes a distant memory, I hold on closer to those who have seen me through; a number that I can likely count on one hand.

Beyond the enjoyment of spending quality time with people I love, this trip coupled with a few days on the opposite side of the state spending the holidays with my wife’s family, was a much needed and well timed wind down from twenty seventeen.

I dabbled in photography around the time my oldest daughter was born. I bought my first DSLR camera for my birthday three months before she was born and utilized the time in between to teach myself through various YouTube videos and blogs. It’s indeed true that anybody who’s anybody can call themselves a photography based off of a very minimal amount of time spent learning the craft. In fact, I previously owned adamcroomphotography.com where I posted galleries of photos that I had taken. Since buying my camera, camera phone quality has increased dramatically and I find myself dragging out the DSLR less and less. Now it’s mostly just birthday parties and holidays. But knowing that I was about to experience a very scenic part of Oklahoma, I decided to work out the rust in my camera skills and play dad-with-a-camera for the trip. I’m sure nobody minded. ;-)

A fun tourism fact about Oklahoma: despite the stereotype that Oklahoma is flat and barren, it’s one of the most ecologically diverse state in the US. Virtually any type of terrain is within a few hours drive for me. From an archive TravelOK.com page:

Mile for mile, Oklahoma offers the nation’s most diverse terrain. It’s one of only four states with more than 10 ecoregions, and has by far, the most per mile in America. Oklahoma’s ecoregions – or, terrains/subclimates – include everything from Rocky Mountain foothills to cypress swamps, tallgrass prairies, and hardwood forests to pine-covered mountains. Each is graced with wide blue lakes, rivers and streams. Plus, there’s one man-made type of terrain: urban turf.

Ecoregions of Oklahoma

Ecoregions of Oklahoma. Source.

Broken Bow feels like more like a small Colorado town than an Oklahoma town. Somehow, I had never made it down to southeastern Oklahoma to see it for myself (it’s actually closer in distance to Dallas than OKC), so that in and of itself was a real treat.

On the second day, we spent a few hours hiking a total of five miles. A freeze was about to enter the area that night but we lucked out with it being in the 40s for that day. We hiked various portions of the David L. Boren Hiking Trail in Beavers Bend State Park, a trail that is a 12 mile hike with seven various smaller trailers inside of it.

We took Beaver Creek Trail down to Lookout Mountain Trail and then went ahead onto Deer Crossing Trail before taking the road back to the visitor’s center.

David L Boren Hiking Trail and our path overlayed

Beavers Bend State Park hiking trails with our path overlayed

To keep ourselves occupied, we packed a football and a frisbee. The football came out early on Beaver Creek Trail which had level paths. In the middle of Deer Creek, we found a clearing for a telephone line and stopped there for about half an hour to throw the football and frisbee. We also converted a sizable tree branch and some pecans into a little stick ball home run derby.

Below are my favorite shots from that morning and the following hike. As the “photographer,” I felt fortunate that it was an overcast day, which meant I didn’t have to deal with harsh shadows from the sun. Grays work very well with greens and browns, so these definitely have the whole winter hipstery family photo colors one would hope for. As you’ll see, most of my favorites are just us playing around like little boys on the trail. Super fun. All and all, super happy for how both the day and trip turned out!