It was 2006, my fifth year of full-time RVing, and I was about to breeze through Oklahoma on my way to Arkansas, but when I was telling my plans to another RVer, he insisted I shouldn’t miss a couple of Oklahoma state parks if I liked to park my RV on lakefront property.
I certainly didn’t realize that Oklahoma had over 630,000 acres of publicly owned lakes. I ended up really glad I had listened to that helpful RVer and discovered for myself that Oklahoma is not a state to just breeze through.
See the links to the right of the page for the places I visited here.
My Notes on Leaving Oklahoma:
As I’ve often heard from other RVers, one of our favorite things about RVing is the people we meet on the road. That was certainly the case here – at every encounter I experienced how incredibly friendly and open the people are here…
Lake Thunderbird – I started here and met Pat, the camp host at Lake Thunderbird who has found a way to go on after the death of her husband and still dreams about Alaska… and Susan Hendon, the park manager who went out of her way to put me in touch with who I needed to in order to stay at and review these parks.
Lake Eufaula was next, where I met the manager, Sue Hughart, a real Indian princess – don’t let the red hair fool you! And the way Mary greeted me even upon my late arrival started my stay there most pleasantly.
Greenleaf – I got the biggest thrill here feeding the fawn as Steve Evans, the park Naturalist, joked that he felt like Tom Sawyer getting someone to whitewash his fence. What a great job he has and great he does at it! And Diane Rutland, the sales manager, who answered all my questions so patiently and sweetly – she just LOVES RVers!
Tenkiller – Waylie Wildcat showed me around here, a sweetheart of a woman whose mother loved Waylon Jennings, hence the name. She and her husband, a Native American Cherokee, are expecting their first baby in November. I really appreciated her schlepping me around in this heat with her big belly! Leann Bunn’s introducing me to her “babies” and letting me pet and touch them was the highlight of that day for me.
Cherokee Landing – I didn’t have time to stay there, but I stopped to get the scoop and take pictures. Connie Stockton, the park manager, dropped what she was doing and gave me maps, details and displayed that good ‘ole OK friendliness I’m beginning to become accustomed to!
All of these folks made quite a good impression on me and they’re obviously happy and proud to be where they are. I told them I’d be letting other RVers know about these mostly unknown state park treasures. Even other local RVers I met here said they were surprised at how beautiful the parks were in their own back yard! So check out Oklahoma State Parks’ website and pick out your destinations. And if you visit any of these parks, be sure to tell these great folks that Malia sends her regards!
Cherokee Heritage Center – This was a day trip I took while staying at Tenkiller State Park. I’m so glad I didn’t pass up the chance to learn more about the Cherokee culture through interpreters who really cared about sharing their heritage.
Who knows when I might be coming through Oklahoma again, but you can be sure next time I do, I will be coming back to these wonderful state parks or exploring others.