Write Anywhere Venues

Write Anywhere #38


I love making time for creativity. Sometimes it is spur-of-the-moment and sometimes there’s an elaborate plan, but carving out space for creative pursuits always pays off for me. I hope you’re inspired by these weekly Write Anywhere venues as well. This week I went to one of my favorite places. If nature inspires you, I think you’ll like it, too.

Write Anywhere #38: Wichita Mountains

Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, near Lawton, Oklahoma

After the encouragement of a weekend with writers at the OWFI writers’ conference, I drove about 1 1/2 hours south of Oklahoma City to the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge to explore and write. People are surprised that there are mountains in Oklahoma. They aren’t huge, like the Rockies, but they are mountains nonetheless. Other mountain ranges in Oklahoma include the Kiamichis and the Arbuckles. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge became part of the National Refuge system by order of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905, two years before Oklahoma became a state.

I am writing what I hope will become a novella with the Wichitas as a setting, so I needed to do research in the area. It was the perfect time of year to visit. I took over 100 photographs, so I tried to pick the best ones to let you get an idea of what a beautiful place it is.

The mountains makes you think of ancient things

The drive to the top of Mt. Scott is scary in a tiny car that blows in the wind, and I was  impressed with the many motorcycles and bicyclists tackling the mountain.

Beautiful birds danced on the wind.

A wildfire in September of 2011 burned almost 50% of the refuge’s acreage.

The rocks in this creek continue to bear the scorch marks.

The wildflowers were at the peak of their bloom.

Off the beaten path…

Prickly Pear Cactus bloom

I think this is a Mississippi Kite. He watched me with wary eyes as I tried to get close to the tree he perched in.

This lone buffalo decided to entertain me.

A Prairie Sunset

Shot gold, maroon and violet, dazzling silver, emerald, fawn,
The earth’s whole amplitude and Nature’s multiform power consign’d
for once to colors;
The light, the general air possess’d by them–colors till now unknown,
No limit, confine–not the Western sky alone–the high meridian–
North, South, all,
Pure luminous color fighting the silent shadows to the last.

-Walt Whitman

The scenery inspired many notebook pages of writing. As I drove home at the end of the day, I felt at peace, satisfied, and productive.

Where did you write this week?

Question: Have you ever gone mountain climbing?

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7 replies »

  1. Very inspiring. I grew up in Poteau, along the Arkansas border surrounded by beautiful, worn mountains and the highest hill in the world called Cavanal. To say I found my thrill on Cavanal Hill could be overstating the obvious, but the view is spectacular and very inspiring. We live in Arizona in the 1990’s and the diverse scenery there is something I long to see again soon.

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  2. Incredible photos. I love the buffalo rolling around in the grass. When I was a kid, we would drive through Turner Falls–which I think is in the Arbuckle Mountains–and it was always the highlight of going to visit my grandmother in Oklahoma City.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    • Thanks! That’s an area I’d like to check out in the future. I’ve never been to the Arbuckle Mountains, but everyone I know who has tells me it’s magical, particularly Turner Falls.

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  3. I love the mountains! The worn trees remind me of some of the ones I climbed in southern Utah, especially around Bryce Canyon. Maybe we need to make a follow-up research trip, LOL.

    I have defintely gone mountain climbing. I’ve been to Zion National Park and hiked a lot of the trails, Sequoia NP, and Yellowstone. It’s a long-term dream to have a hermit cabin on the side of a wooded mountain somewhere…with internet access, a charged laptop, a stocked fridge, and nothing but time to write. One of these days….*sigh*

    Your trip sounds amazing. I had no idea we had free-range buffulo still running around the Plains. 🙂

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  4. Unfortunately, this trip I only saw the one buffalo, plus a couple Texas Longhorns. There are pretty sizeable herds of both, but I think all the mammas and babies were hiding in the woods. There are elk and deer here, too. Plus prairie dogs! 🙂 They’re all beautiful creatures. Great for photo-ops, as long as you don’t get too close.

    Ooh, you’ve been to the big boy mountains. The only other mountains I’ve been to are the San Bernadino Mountains in CA when we lived nearby in Corona and Riverside, CA. Follow-up research sounds like a plan, as long as it’s not in the depths of summer. There’s a reason soldiers train for desert deployment at nearby Ft. Sill. Hot and dusty for sure!

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