More Bears? (Post #578) 5/9/2018


When did bears become a thing in the first place?

Actually I’ve known the bears were back for a few years. We were down in southeast Oklahoma around 10 years ago and all the trails had bear warnings.

These aren’t grizzly bears, they aren’t even brown bears, they are black bears. Think of them as smaller man-sized bears that, like there ferocious cousins, will kill you if you are stupid. Imagine the scene from The Revenent but the bear is smaller.

When in bear country, read that as Oklahoma and Arkansas, you should always take bear precautions. As always keep your food up high, make plenty of noise when hiking trails.

Apparently there are many misconceptions about bears. Some people think taking a selfie is a great idea. There was a recent news story about a bear enthusiast who was killed along with his girlfriend while trying to take a selfie with a grizzly bear. I call that natural selection at work. It’s just dumb.

In the unlikely event a bear charges to attack, you should aggressively fight back against the bear, according to the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Do not attempt to “play dead” during a black bear attack, the agency says.

Good to know. I’m pretty sure after fighting a bear for 5 to 15 minutes I might appear to be “playing dead” but trust me I’m laying down because I’m out of shape and need a rest. I may have also run out of bullets. Maybe I will give a class on defending yourself from a bear attack by fighting like a rabid ninja turtle.

That quote from above is from KFOR who posted a news story about the increasing population of bears in Oklahoma. The heat map is a good start but be aware if you are on a river bed you can encounter bears.

Mountain Lions and Big Cats

I for one am much more afraid of our mountain lion population in Oklahoma. They have been seen all over the state, even in semi populous areas like the South Canadian River south of Norman and north of Newcastle Oklahoma. I recently saw the carcass of a small mountain lion in the median of highway 62 a mile and a half north of the river. I emailed the Oklahoma Wildlife Department and it was gone the next day. The OWD has had a stance in the recent past the denied the existence of big cats in Oklahoma. It’s hard to deny when you hear one at night.

So if the ice storms, tornados, earthquakes, prairie fires, bears, and mountain lions don’t get you, feral hogs just might.

Don’t even get me started on Bigfoot!

To wrap up,

  • bear selfies are a “hard no”
  • take bear precautions when camping east of I35 and up near Black Mesa
  • while less likely to be encountered, mountain lions are out there and they will mangle you too
  • feral pigs have a mean streak a mile wide and there is no daily limit

I feel better that I have provided this very valuable public service announcement.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

Coatsworth Road, Johnston County, Oklahoma (Post #370) 7/22/2013

On my last long drive home from the Fort Washita Rendezvous; I wandered into Bromide, Oklahoma (Wikipedia). Its a small town just north and west of Wapanucka. It straddles Coal and Johnston Counties in Southeastern Oklahoma. Before the great depression, it was famous for it’s mineral springs and a limestone quarry.

I decided to take the road less traveled out of town. I headed west out of town on Coatsworth Road, aka E1790. This gravel county road wanders westerly through some very rural country. You will pass Camp Simpson, a Boy Scouts of America camp with its own private lake. You’ll also pass some very colorfully named geographic features.

You will pass Deadman Springs Road. Just north of the intersection of Coatsworth and Deadman Springs Road is the Pilgrim Cemetery. Eventually you will get to the ford across the Blue River. The Blue River (Wikipedia) winds its way through our state to dump into the Red River. When I say wind, its course might actually define the word meander. Its course is 141 miles long to the Red River.

As I cleared the mount just on the left a Great Blue Heron distracted me as it went into the air. I must have interrupted his fishing. I wasn’t sure of the depth and took it easy across.

I took shots out both windows and continued to the other side. I know I’d like to come back to this spot and see if any fish could be caught here. I’m almost sure of it.

The first road you come across on the west side is Buzzard Road. What great names!

I continued on until the road came to a “T” at Highway 99/Highway 377. Once I was back on the blacktop I headed north on to Ada. I love to take these little side roads when I can. These types of roads are the same type of roads I expect to find as we circumnavigate this great state.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Rovering.

Somedays Google is your friend (Post #103) 9/2/2008

What a wonderful thing Google is. I thought this was a really funny picture.

My friend the Evil German Dude (EGD) came over on Sunday and wanted to scout some new places to ride his evil ATVs.

He owns one of these, a Suzuki King Quad 700.
And in true German fashion he has already modified it to meet his own evil standards.

Back to the plan, which was once again, for us to take MY LAND ROVER down to the river. And by river I mean the South Canadian river south of Norman, Oklahoma. We didn’t take HIS JEEP CJ7, we took MY LAND ROVER Discovery.

This is an excellent example of the river from the Central Oklahoma ATV Club.

It should not be misconstrued that you can ski on the river. The water this guy is skiing in is less than a foot deep.

This is a much better example of the river.

So you can get the picture that it is mostly sand bars and very little water. This type of ATV riding is very popular in Oklahoma City area.

So EGD wanting new places to ride should be expected. The North Fork of the Canadian river, AKA North Canadian river is just a mile from his home. And as you all know it gets old just riding the same old spots. So he wanted to scout some new ones.

He was all prepared with Google satellite pictures.

View Larger Map

Our first tack was to head south on 24th Avenue SW. We came to the end of the pavement and met a very imposing pipe gate. No go. So we went to exit and met a very muddy pickup coming down the road. They went straight into the church parking lot next to the closed road. We turned around an found they had disappeared into the back of the lot. We followed their grass tracks. The pipe fence was down and heavily trodden on some 100 feet off the parking lot. I wasn’t comfortable going back there but we figured what the hell.

We found a rutted path we traversed easily. We finally caught up to the pickup who was traversing a dangerous bit underneath the highway bridge. I didn’t want to test my mostly malfunctioning ABS/Traction Control that hard so I turned us back. We were looking for a way to get a trailer down to the river so that path was not going to work for us anyway.

We were off to the south side of the river to see what approaches were available. We saw the well traveled road that crossed under the I-35 bridge but the signs were serious about NO TRESPASSING. So we wandered down some of the other roads and found little to nothing.

At this point I said there was another path on the North side near the “trailer park”. We crossed again over the bridge and found ourselves entering “State Property”.

View Larger Map

Right at the trail head we stopped to talk to a couple of locals in a Jeep CJ to ask about access. It is bad form to motor by the locals in your Land Rover without stopping to be friendly with the locals. You never know when you might be asking them for assistance after a bad bit of driving on the trail.

The younger one was burning a cancer stick and was f@#%ing excited to see a f@#%ing map from the Google. He asked if it was in f@#%ing color. We showed him the f@#%ing map and asked about access to the river. He said we could f@#%ing go up the end of the fence and when we got closer to the f@#%ing river we would see the f@#%ing culvert and the trail right f@#%ing there. No f@#%ing problem man.

The older fellow was telling us through badly needed dental work, loudly over his friend, that the trail was along the fence. Right down there, etc… The younger guy was very impressed with the f@#%ing map and asked if he could f@#%ing have it. EGD responded with, “he didn’t f@#%ing care, sure.” “Winning of the hearts and minds,” I thought as we headed on down the trail with the fresh stench of cigarettes in the cab.

We got down to the concrete tank trap/gate. It was probably a gate at one time. The recent rains had made it a very narrow track with a ditch 18 inches to 2 feet deep on one side right through the former road. We skirted that with no trouble, just missing the concrete on the left side. We took the trail on in and toward the river bridge. We saw the path of the pickup truck and then took the only path left to us. It was very narrow and edged on both sides with the tall river grasses. I honked the horn a couple of times to notify any potential on coming riders of our approach.

We got to the river where another ATV’er was packing up. We talked to him a bit about trails and riding down there. He was helpful. We smelled a fuel leak on one of his rigs and looked in vain for it’s source. “he’d get to it later”, he informed us. So we headed out the same way we came in and stopped a serious looking Jeep Cherokee with snorkle and roof rack and warned him of the fellow coming out with the trailer.

All in it was a nice afternoon putzing about with my friends. We only rubbed the trailer hitch once on a steep incline. We got muddy sand on the tires and all in all the Discovery did not disappoint.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.