In keeping with the Oklahoma adventure theme, this month I wanted to check in with some folks who enjoy venturing out in all directions of our state.
Meet Randa and Paul, a young Tulsa-area couple who have an appetite for adventure! With no plans, they took to the road over Independence Day weekend, taking in the sights of Southwest Oklahoma, and made a stop in our fair city to enjoy the Trade Day activities and see just what Frederick is all about.
After their weekend jaunt in God’s country, I quizzed them on their Oklahoma travels, their impressions of Southwest Oklahoma, and – most importantly – what their honest thoughts on Frederick were.
1. What did you enjoy most during your trip to SWOK?
R: What I enjoyed the most about my trip to SW Oklahoma was the Wichita Mountains. We always enjoy seeing the different landscapes and terrain of Oklahoma, and SW Oklahoma did not disappoint.
P: I really enjoyed the Wichita Mountains
2. What do you think was most surprising about your trip to SWOK?
R: The most surprising thing about our trip was being able to view the Crawford Collection in Frederick. We had no idea that this amazing place even existed, much less in a small, southwestern Oklahoma town.
P: How busy a little movie theater in Carnegie, OK is on a Sunday. People just wanting a Show Coke and Dog.
3. What was your overall impression of Frederick?
R: My overall impression of Frederick: An old, established Oklahoma town with an up-and-coming atmosphere. It seems like a town where its citizens are committed to allowing the town to grow without losing connection to its roots. We visited during Trade-Days and every single person we met at each booth was nothing but nice.
P: I really enjoyed the small close-knit town where everyone seemed to know each other. I also enjoyed that collection of wildlife - I can’t remember the name though. (Ed note: Crawford Collection)
4. Though your visit to Frederick was brief, what would you say might deter other travelers from stopping here?
R: Something I thought was interesting was that there were not many restaurants or eating places open on the Saturday that we were there. I am not sure if it was that particular Saturday, or if it was every Saturday... but I think it would definitely be a benefit if more places were open on the weekends.
P: One thing I noticed is that there were not many restaurants open on a Saturday.
5. Other than Frederick, where did you stop and what did you see?
R: Other than Frederick, we drove through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, drove to the top of Mt. Scott, explored Medicine Park, stopped in Carnegie, OK where my great-grandmother and grandmother were born and raised and watched a movie in the Liberty Theater while having a Show Coke and a hot dog, and we also went fishing at Ft. Cobb Lake. And of course we had to try our luck at all of the casinos down there.
P: Carnegie, Meer’s, Medicine Park, Lawton, Wichita Mt, Lawtonka Lake, and Ft. Cobb Lake, casinos
6. Thinking back on your various travels across the state, where/what is most memorable and something you would always want to do/go to again?
R: Our most memorable trip in Oklahoma was to the Black Mesa State Park in the panhandle of Oklahoma. We really wanted to go camping during Memorial Day Weekend in 2015, but the rainy weather across most of the state prevented that from happening anywhere close to home. So, at 9:00 pm on a Friday night, we decided to make the 7 hour trip to Kenton, OK. We got pretty sleepy once we reached Guymon, so we pulled over and slept in our car for a few hours in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We woke up right before sunrise and made the last hour drive to Kenton. There is absolutely nothing in that part of the state for miles and miles. We watched the sunrise as pronghorn deer were grazing in the distance. We had to stop for cows in the middle of the road numerous times, because there are no fences. We finally arrived, set up our tent, and began exploring. We went fishing and hiking. The state park was so beautiful and peaceful and it was trip we will never forget.
P: The Black Mesa trip was my most memorable not very often on a whim you decide you want to drive 7+ hours to western Oklahoma. We really wanted to camp for Memorial Day weekend and the flooding that was happening around SE Oklahoma was just terrible. So at 9pm we decided to head west we kind of had an idea where we wanted to go so we just went. Loaded up the Camry and took off. We made it to Guymon where we were about tired and pulled in to Walmart took a little nap woke up a before dawn and finished our drive. The land was amazing flat land and then giant mesa in the distance. We saw pronghorn, deer and cows just roaming free, no fences anywhere. Stopped and watch the ground hogs play. Finally got to the campground set up our tent took another short nap then started our avenger. Did some hiking little fishing, and started looking for dinosaur’s tracks and found them. It was just great. Then we decided to drive another 30min to Clayton, NM in search of more dinosaur trackx and found them there too. Pitched our tent there woke up the next morning to one of the most beautiful sights I have seen to sun rise was reflecting off the mountain and lake just outside our tent breath taking.
7. Would you ever travel back to SWOK and/or Frederick?
R: We would definitely travel back to SW Oklahoma and back to Frederick. The hospitality was great and I loved the pop-up boutique at Trade Days (I can't remember the name of the boutique!) We would like to camp at Medicine Park and spend more time in that part of the state, and we would probably have better luck getting a campsite on a non-holiday weekend!
8. As a young couple, what community offerings are important to you when travelling and relocating? (Restaurants, access to medical care, schools, shopping, bars, etc.)
R: Things that are important to us when travelling or taking road trips (and we might be different in this aspect) are good, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that offer food options that we can't get back home (so non-chain restaurants), antique shops/flea markets, and unique experiences. Trade Days in Frederick was perfect for this. We ate from food trucks and wandered down the street to check out the crafts and things in all of the booths.
P: Good Restaurants, Schools and Medical care. Small town festivals
9. What route did you take to/from SWOK and what interesting places/things did you find along the way?
R: We took I-44 the entire way to Lawton and stayed in Lawton during our visit since there were no open campsites anywhere we went. On the way back, we drove through the Wichita Mountains and Medicine Park, and then stopped in Carnegie. We then drove from Carnegie to Ft. Cobb Lake, and from there we went through Anadarko and Chickasha before getting back on I-44. We took a detour and went to Norman to another casino :) and then took I-35 to I-44 back to the Tulsa area. We saw lots of windmills which is something we don't have near Tulsa. We stopped at Meers to eat a hamburger which was really good (Paul wasn't impressed but I was, lol)
P: To SW Oklahoma we took I-44 entire way to Lawton. Home we took the back way through Wichita wildlife refuge, Medicine Park, up to Carnegie, Ft. Cobb Lake through Anadarko and Chickasha before getting to I-44 the another detour to Norman then I-35 to I-44 to home. Went through a windmill farm which was cool. Lost at the casino in Norman ☹ saw a big storm roll in while getting to Norman.