Since my life has been a kind of race to see as much of this gorgeous nation as possible on the salary of a working class laborer, I have not seen as much of it as I want, but more of it than most people I know. However, there are strange little corners and out of the way geographical eddies that I want to see but have so far not been able. I figured I’d write about a few of these locations as my wife and I make currently vague, but increasingly more detailed plans to see them.
For some reason one of the spots I want to visit is foremost in my mind. The reason for this involves just reading about this geologically interesting spot, but also an image I saw that weirdly corresponded to a recurring dream I used to have as a young man. The dream was simple. I was at the foot of a huge granite dome of a mountain and just beginning a hike to the summit. The weather in the dream was always sunny and the mountain was always rather bare and imposing. My suspicion is that the dream was inspired by childhood visits to see Stone Mountain just outside Atlanta, but the real Stone Mountain never corresponded to the images in my dreams. However, one day in researching the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma I saw a photo of Quartz Mountain/Baldy Point…and damned if it did not look exactly like the mountain that had featured so prominently in my old recurring dream! (I haven’t had a repeat of that dream in decades, in case you’re wondering.)
|Baldy Point (aka Quartz Mountain) the carbon copy of a mountain I used to see in my dreams. (Photo by Allen Ellis, from Summitpost.)|
When Carole retires in two years we are likely going to sell our Casita travel trailer. We love that trailer, but we have discovered that on trips that exceed two weeks in length we begin to get a bit stir-crazy using it. A wonderful trailer, and I am not knocking it, but we realized that we will need a slightly bigger travel trailer when we do hit the roads for trips of one to two months, which we are going to take when Carole retires. So, one of our first trips west we are going to try to fit in a stay in at least a couple of locations at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The place has some great camping and hiking opportunities, and I will definitely scramble to the summit of Baldy Point, aka Quartz Mountain.
If you’re curious, just do an Internet search on the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. It’s a series of funky little granite summits, the highest of which break 2,000 feet above sea level. To me, they present a fascinating and impressively rugged terrain of peaks and canyons. It doesn’t hurt that there is quite a variety of animals roaming the area, including elk, bison, longhorn cattle, prairie dogs, ringtails, coyotes, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and other critters. (They even tried unsuccessfully to reintroduce the pronghorn.)
At any rate, even if I’d never had those weirdly pleasant recurring dreams featuring what I figured was a mountain merely a product of my youthful imagination, I would still very much want to see these strange, out of place mountains. They remain very high on my bag-list of interesting locations.