Beaver’s Bend State Park, OK
Have you ever loved something so much, but had to give it up due to the season of life you were in? Wouldn’t you just love to have the opportunity to go back to that first love and re-experience it all over again?
Well, that’s right where Richard and I (Chris) found ourselves! Our first love was cross country motorcycle travel on the back roads of America. But when we went through our child raising years, the motorcycles were converted into boats and jet skis – things more conducive to life with kids.
Now that the kids are grown and gone (for the most part), not only have we ventured back into motorcycle riding, but also into camping.
Can you truly teach an old dog new tricks?
We were about to find out by venturing out on our first camping trip in 30 years – on the back of our motorcycles. With an upcoming epic adventure to Montana we were testing the waters to see if we still had it in us to sleep on the ground, cook over a fire and live out of trailer that’s smaller than most bathtubs. After dusting off our old tent, purchasing new sleeping bags and even splurging on a new air mattress we felt we were ready to give it a go.
We tried not to overload the bikes beyond their limits, but camping requires a near ridiculous amount of survival gear. And yes I did bring my pillow! A girl has to have priorities.
Beaver’s Bend, OK
Our destination was Beaver’s Bend, a quaint state park in the mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma. The ride to Beaver’s Bend was miles of backroad beauty. Not as many curvy roads as we would like, but this trip was more about the destination than the journey so we were good with that.
Once there we quickly secured the last campsite alongside the Mountain Fork River and proceeded to establish our residency – which is a fancy way of saying we pitched our tent.
Our youngest son was also camping in the area with some friends and they wandered by to assist with the set up. In just a matter of minutes we had a home away from home. In our haste and enthusiasm of getting everything set up we should have paid more attention to how the tent came out of the bag. During the breaking camp period, we discovered that it’s much easier to pull the tent out than it is to roll it back up into the correct size to fit back into the bag.
It took us three attempts to get it right!
A bit of a panic set in when we couldn’t get our camp stove started at first and visions of tearing into raw steak with our hands and teeth flashed through my mind. But Rich pulled a McGiver (as usual) and we soon had vegetables and steaks sizzling away.
The goal of Beaver’s Bend was to determine whether or not we could handle living off-grid with bikes and tents. Not only did we accomplish that, but we also rediscovered our simple passion for exploring places unknown. We camped right next to the river in one beauty of a State Park. The campsites were well- spaced, and we didn’t feel crowded or stacked on top of the other campers. At some point during the night we awoke to the sound of a hooting owl, and then some super wild screeching…which I’m guessing was dinner. At the lodge there was a pretty little walkthrough museum regarding the local landscape. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for hiking the fantastically tempting trails – but that sounds like a good excuse to come back!
Personal Word of Warning!
This is for anyone going to BB and doing some underage drinking. There’s this Stealth, Ninja, Infrared Packing Park Ranger trolling around handing out $330 tickets per person. Finally – old age found an advantage! Actually this policy has greatly reduced the number of drownings that were occurring on the river.
We were elated by the end of our trip…
Motorcycle Man vs. Raw Nature and we totally ROCKED IT! Too bad somebody wasn’t filming us for an episode of Survival.
Till next time. Ride safe!