Alright, so people complain about Altus, Oklahoma a lot, but I’m a big believer in the idea that anywhere is only what you make of it. So this weekend, I went out exploring with Melissa to keep myself from getting bored and to see what there is to do here. The plan was to drive up to Quartz Mountain Nature Park, a mere 15 miles from Altus. Before we had even left Altus, we saw an enormous amount of birds in a field. So naturally, I had to stop and take some pictures.
Moving on, we got to Quartz Mountain and found a trailhead and began hiking. Turns out, Quartz Mountain isn’t really much of a mountain…really, just some big hills. But it was a lot more fun to hike than the rest of Southwest Oklahoma which is very flat.
After hiking to the top of the mountain, we decided to head over to the lake (Lake Altus-Lugert). It was extremely low (27 ft. below normal), so we were able to walk around on the edge of it. Unfortunately, the lake has had a fish kill as a result of a golden algae bloom. There were so many dead fish that you could not walk in certain areas without stepping on them.
We hiked quite a ways around the lake, and even got to see three bald eagles! Exhausted, it being mid-afternoon, and us not having eaten lunch yet, we decided to head back, but not before stopping at Lockhart-Dry Goods store in Blair, Oklahoma!
Once we got finished up with our mid-afternoon lunch, we headed to the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus. We got to learn about some cool history of the area, as well as some newer history such as the fact that 12 missile silos were built around Altus in the 1960s. These silos, built by the Army Corps of Engineers, were built for the Air Force and are about 200 ft. deep holes in the ground. Shortly after they were built, their use was discontinued, everything possible salvaged, and the sites sold to anyone who wanted to buy them. About half are filled in today while the other half are likely filled (at least partially) with water. Might be an adventure for next time...