It was 11 in the morning and I wanted to purchase a bottle of water. The Merc was certainly closed as no lights were on inside. There must be a sign here displaying the hours.
It said something like....
"We are usually here by 8 in the morning in the Summer, sometimes as late as 11 or noon in the winter. We try to stay up late but sometimes the kids wear us out. If the river is running high we won't make it in at all."
Jen - I think you would like this town.
Snacks, information, soda, and water. Fishing and Hunting licenses. Someday I might like to buy this place.
Black Mesa State Park has two seperate parts. One is Northwest of Kenton and includes a trail to the highest point in Oklahoma at 4973 feet in elevation.
Along the way pay attention to the landscape around you. Three different types of cactii are predominant here - the Yucca and Western Prickley Pear among them. The trail is a 7.8 mile out and back hike with a gain of about 700 feet in elevation. As you start climbing from the arroyo look at the geology and see why the mesa is here. You can see a softer layer of Tuft that is overlain by a layer of basalt. The harder basalt is protecting the softer rock beneath from erosion. When you reach the marker be sure to sign the trail register. Look for my comments from Jan. 24th 2004 if they are still there.
The view covers four States on a clear day.
It's nothing more than a marker. It's when you know about the history behind it when the landscape starts to reveal the true meaning. The marker nearly half-way between Boise City and Kenton on Oklahoma Highway 325 has a pullout and a historical marker.
The Santa Fe trail was a 775 mile trail that linked the then-Western frontiers of the United States with the Northern Mexican settlements surrounding Santa Fe in present day New Mexico. Caravans full of goods crossed the hostile environment of the Plains between the years 1823 and the 1880's (the trail angered some Native American tribes) in the hopes of making a profit.
Then the railroads came.
The Cimarron cut-off passed through present day Cimarron county and saved roughly 10 days from the trip to Santa Fe. This route - once established eventually carried roughly 75 percent of trade.
Also known as the Jornada (Desert) route.