Yesterday was overcast and not quite 70°F (21C), and already the ticks are biting. This is going to be a rough summer for ticks. But it stands to reason I would see them first in a nature preserve like this, where deer are abundant and know they are safe. You can look on any mapping service at OKC; slide west to Lake Overholser and this swampy stand is just north of that lake.
You can reach the main entrance off NW 50th, and the only way in is off Council Road. Right away you see from the parking area this lovely pond (above) and off to your right (north) is this highly improved dirt road. It’s normally closed to motor traffic, but there has been some major flood control work done on it. The surface was recently packed while still somewhat damp, so it was a smooth ride that felt like a couple of miles.
Somewhere short of the first mile the road meets the river. Keep in mind: This is the North Canadian prior to urban contact. It runs across open countryside and through a few small towns, but this is above Overholser and any exposure to urban pollution. It does pass through a couple of reservoirs, but those are out in the plains. The North Canadian River is sourced way up in Des Moines in northeastern New Mexico and runs down through the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Another half-mile along is this spot where the river tried to take a bite out of the road. This first shot is looking downstream. The river smells a whole lot better above OKC. Here’s another shot from the same spot looking upstream. I had the place to myself and it was awfully quiet. I could hear just about all the various bird calls you could possibly hear this early in the spring.
It wasn’t nearly as dreary as the images suggest. The road stops suddenly against the woods and some old concrete culvert sections pulled from somewhere. I pushed through the underbrush and thorn vines to where a trail near the highway runs across a ford. Here the water was quite noisy. I wonder if they’ll ever connect this with a bridge of some sort, because there’s another decent road running on the other side of the reservation down toward old US Highway 66.
This is an open field alongside the nature preserve. I heard the golden stalks of grass calling my name, suggesting it would make a nice picture. This grass greens up later in the season. It was a nice visit, but a short ride that wasn’t really worth much. The place just didn’t speak to me very much.