This weekend I went in search of the D.C. Jester Cave system again with Melissa and Kevin (who were excellent assistant photographers and were even so kind as to help me carry my tripod and backpack part of the way). We had found it before, but had not found any of the main larger entrances, but after doing some more research, we went back and were successful in finding at least one of them. (This cave system is 6 miles long and is the largest gypsum cave in the United States
Decided to have a little fun with the dark cave and some lights.
Oh, and lots of bats, which got a little creepy the farther we went in.
Hiked down into a ditch only to find a meadow. A cow apparently saw the green grass amongst the desert and cacti and decided he wanted some. However, he wasn't able to get out and unfortunately met his end here.
Oh, did I mention the beautiful sunset?
On the drive to the caves, we saw Haystack Mountain about a mile off the road (I had heard of Haystack Mountain, but didn't know that was it until I got home and looked it up). So, following our cave adventure, we decided to hike it. The sun had gone down by this point and it was quite dark, with no moon out at all, but plenty of stars. We parked on the side of the road and started hiking to it, not knowing exactly how far away it was, how tall it was, or if there were any cows in between us and the mountain (there were earlier in the day). After about a mile, we arrived at the base of the mountain and proceeded to climb it. It was rather steep and very rocky, but after some careful navigation and shuffling of camera equipment, we were able to climb over one final ledge and get to the top. The top was probably only about 25 ft by 50 ft, and very flat. Attempting to look over the far edge, we realized it was a sheer drop down. It is a really awesome little mountain, and really makes you wonder how it came to be in the middle of nowhere, flat, Oklahoma. Standing on the top and listening to the coyotes howl made me wish I could bring a tent next time and camp on top of the mountain. It would also be cool to go back during the daytime since it was hard to see much of anything with only the stars, and no city lights or moon.
Star Trails - another good reason to camp here...
12 min. exposure at the base of the mountain.
Yes, it may only be 100-200 feet tall, but Haystack Mountain, at 1,962 feet above sea level, is the 76th highest mountain in Oklahoma.
Overall, it was quite an adventure, and beats studying any day of the week. Click on any of the pictures or go to the Oklahoma album to see larger pictures or others from previous adventures and wanderings.