Red Rock Canyon State Park is located about an hour's drive straight west of Oklahoma City. It's an easy and quick place to get to and yet feel like you are far away from everything. It is a perfect place for camping, hiking the trails, and of course, exploring the natural world.
My dad, Mike and Reed took the "big kids" (ages five and up) to the top of the canyon to explore. It was a little too treacherous for the two year olds, so Nikki and I walked the base of the canyon with them. You can see why the name "Red Rock Canyon" fits the area. In Oklahoma, red dirt is everywhere.
We climbed over fallen trees, crunched through the leaves, and even found a few natural caves to explore.
I thought this old tree trunk was an interesting shape. Like a roaring river had rushed through and carved out a perfect wave like shape.
In the middle of the canyon, surrounded by steep red walls on either side, was a perfect area to play and set up our food for a picnic. The grass is green here and the skies were bright blue. It made for a beautiful day. It was a little warm, though. 90 degrees in fact! That's a record for the first of April!
Hannah and Leah doing some climbing.
PaPa pushing Lucas on the swing.
Daddy was tickling him too. Does Lucas look happy or what?
We found a little playground near our picnic site which kept the kids busy while we prepared the food. Of course, after we got a good fire going, we realized none of us brought a utensil for turning or flipping the burgers and hot dogs on the grill. We couldn't use our bare hands, so we had to put our heads together and come up with a solution. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, and we were able to make a spatula out of sticks and duct tape. It worked too! I guess you really can fix anything with duct tape.
Nikki and Me
After lunch, we all went for a hike to the top of the canyon wall. This trail was at a gentle slope and perfect for everyone to walk on. It was really hot by this point, but we made it. A little sweat never hurt anyone. And the view from the top was worth the effort.
The six kids standing victorious at the top of the canyon.
We ended our trip by finding a shady spot under a tree, spreading out the quilt, and watching the kids run and play for awhile. The adults chatted while the kids had hula hoop contests, played freeze tag, kicked the soccer ball around, and practiced their cartwheels in the large grassy field nearby. Eventually, the kids wanted to have rely races, so the adults joined in. Our competitive natures kicked in and we ended up racing each other. I cannot remember the last time I ran at an all out sprint, but after a few races I was so tired. And I was SO sore the next day! We had fun, though, and laughed pretty hard during the process.
Sometimes a day with no schedule, no technology, and no work obligations is exactly what is needed. Instead we filled the day with family, friends and fresh air.