• If you are northbound on I-35 take exit 47 and go north on US77 a couple miles.
  • If you are norbound or southbound on I-35, take exit 51 and go south on US77.
  • If you are southbound on I-35 take exit 55 if you need to go into Davis for supplies or anything, then go south on US77. Otherwise, take exit 51.
  • It was only $3.00 per vehicle in 1998.
Turner Falls Park at Davis,OK
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It had been a long ride that day, or at least it seemed like one, but not a bad one at all. It was early June. Jim and I had met as agreed at Santa Rosa, NM; he was coming up from El Paso and me down from Seattle. We were headed to Knoxville, where we'd split. He'd head down to South Carolina, and I was going up to Maine. We'd each find our own way home.

It was one of those weird weather times. I rode all day the second day before across Utah and Wyoming, to Laramie under mostly clear skies with temperatures in the 50's and 60's. There'd been one of those hard north winds all the way though, you know the kind; it cuts a little, and sends low, fluffy clouds scudding across your path. It means weather, and I damned sure found it east of Laramie.

I crossed the 8,500 ft pass outside Laramie in a fog so thick I couldn't see three center stripes, and the temperature was 37 degrees in Cheyenne. When I got to Denver it had warmed up to 40, but I stopped anyway.

The next day it was calm in Denver, but the temperature was still only about 45 when I dropped in at Two Wheelers of Denver to say "Howdy" to Arland and Bruce. By the time I pulled out clouds were down on the deck again. I figured on a day of mild misery, but by the time I got to Pueblo on I-25 the clouds had broken and it was severe clear. And windy again. It had shifted to the west and was keeping me weaving across my lane with gusts to 40 mph all the way to Las Vegas, New Mexico. I don't like the Interstate much: as a friend of mine observed once, it's a great way to get somewhere, and a lousy place to be. Yeah. If you're ever in the neighborhood though, U.S. 84 between Las Vegas and Santa Rosa is a mighty nice way to go. It's a gently winding road, and smooth, running through the slight hills and draws of eastern New Mexico. And next to no traffic. That's 'cause nobody lives there. There's only one tiny settlement the whole 37 miles, Anton Chico, about halfway.

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Jim and I got together at a local bar (we always agree to meet at the nearest bar to the town hall where ever we go), then because it was late, we wound up at a KOA. Let me tell you here, pass it on by, the KOA in Santa Rosa. I checked us in, telling the girl that we were one party in two tents. She said OK, that would be $17.50 for a site (which is outrageous in itself). I paid her. While I was grabbing some grub around the corner the manager came along and told Jim that since we were two tents, we'd have to pay for 2 sites. Jim's easy. He paid, and I didn't find out 'til later about it. By that time we were settled in with a little JD and cigars, and didn't feel like moving out. But I won't be back, and I hope you won't either.

It got cold overnight when the front caught up with me again. We heard the radio at breakfast - it had been 105 degrees in Ok City a couple days before, but the high today was to be in the low 50's. We bundled up and headed for Amarillo.

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Well, the day turned nice after all. We headed southeast out of Amarillo on U.S. 287 to Memphis, Texas, where we headed east. By early afternoon it had warmed up some, and by 2 or 3 o'clock we were in southwest Oklahoma on U.S. 62 enjoying sunshine and shirtsleeves, barely.

The road was good, wide and smooth, two-lane mostly, with very little traffic, damn few cops. We moved right along. The scenery through there is mighty pretty, rolling green hills, with well-kept farms and horse outfits. I had never crossed that part of Oklahoma, and didn't expect much to enjoy. Wrong. It's a worthwhile ride, the south-central part anyway, and on over toward Arkansas.

Anyway, come quitting time we came to the little town of Davis, a couple miles east of I-35 on Oklahoma 1, the Chickasaw Parkway. When we stopped for gas at a shop 'n rob I asked if there was a campground around. The kid behind the counter said I must be looking for Turner Falls Park. The turnoff was just back a few blocks, and the park was about three miles south. Yup, I told him, that's just what I'm looking for. We went.

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Well, it is just what we were looking for. Now lots of folks figure Oklahoma's just flat: not so. Turner Falls Park is 1700 acres atop a limestone mountain, and from the top you can damn near see Dallas, or so it seems. There's a beautiful stream that runs through it, and the stream has cut pools, some of 'em big enough to be swimming holes, and that's how folks use 'em. There's a store and a lodge, and there are some RV sites at the bottom, but as you climb up the mountain (I'm gonna guess it's 1,200 feet high) things thin out and the first thing you know there are just firepits around, and a few tables. No shelters though, on top.

And I'm serious as a heart attack in Bulgaria. If you even think there'll be a thunderstorm or lightning, DO NOT go there. It is high, with some nice trees, but it is mostly grassy and bare. I'd be willing to bet that if you were





Bad ole Mr. Electricity



  in a tent up there in a thunderstorm you'd have a long, serious talk with God before it was done. And maybe an up-close encounter with bad ole Mister Electricity.

I've been there and done that - no thanks.

It was a real surprise to this traveller, and a nice one at that. Beware though, if you partake of the evil weed. It is a city park, and there are some cops who patrol it. Since they don't have a lot to do in a small town, the smell of dope attracts 'em right away. Jim and I don't, but we watched 'em "interact" with some other visitors. They were professional, but, shall we say, "firm" on the subject. They stopped to shoot the breeze with us wild-lookin' types and were cool. No attitude there about bikers, as long as they behave.

Anyway, it was a great spot, and the rent's only $3.00 (yeah, three dollars) a bike. Great. One of the best spots I've ever stayed. We got there on a Friday afternoon. It really filled up with folks from Dallas and Ok City that evening and Saturday morning, so get there early or you won't find a place.