Friday, August 5, 2016

Vacation 2016: Little Sahara State Park

Location: Little Sahara State Park, near Waynoka, OK
Date: 8/2/2016
Fun Facts: Little Sahara is not a desert, it was created by sand deposits from Cimarron River; It is famous for dune buggy riding...which we didn't do, of course. 

This park was only tentatively on our agenda, but the existence of the state parks passport system and an extra hour or two of time put it on the radar.  The park ranger here was slightly less excited to see us, but did have a live rattle snake rattling away from the front desk... he also gave us the passport stickers we were missing from Gloss Mountain State Park.  He was less good at directions so we drove around some rather run down picnic/camp areas for awhile before seeking out more help in finding the overlook. 
Here we are walking up the winding, beautiful path to the overlook complete with nearly stormy Oklahoma sky. 
Panorama from the outlook --- yes, the dunes are strangely far away and kind of small looking --- it is weird. No idea why the outlook is so far from the thing we're looking towards.  Brent and I think this may be a situation where grass/forest is taking over the dunes.
Can you see them? 
Ok, here is a more zoomed in view.  There were a bunch of telescopes where you can see all the tracks on the dunes from the dune buggies.  The dunes are 25 to 75 feet tall for reference. 

This was the last stop on the trip and the kids were a bit punchy.  They were having a great time in their own way though. 
The telescopes intended for those in wheelchairs are also the perfect height for 4 year olds!

We observed, discussed, and pondered if dune buggy riding is something we might do if the park were open longer.  We did get to watch some other people on dune buggies. I am told there are 1600 acres of dunes... apparently not in sight?

So, we made our own sand fun. M create this sand cake with shiny rocks and sticks for candles (hint, her birthday is this week). 
E joined in the fun.  The sand was delightfully soft. 

 There were lots of beautiful wildflowers  - most of them seemed to be yellow.  It also smelled distinctly of sage.

And then we were off for a 2.25 hour drive home through the land of oil wells and wind mills.  The drive happens to be about the length of Hamilton so we listened to that one more time and everyone was happy, if tired. 

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