Summer Road Trip 2024: Oklahoma and on Home

Another reason for visiting Southwest Oklahoma, rather than some more direct route to Colorado, is my Comanche Ancestry. Despite my ancestors being from Northern New Mexico, I wanted to see the Wichita Mountains, and in particular, this lake and dam, named for Quanah Parker, the last Comanche Chief, who was born nearby. I wanted to see where the Nation, though much diminished from the Empire of the 19th Century, exists today.

First in-the-wild tarantula sighting. Pretty cool!

This country is so spectacularly beautiful.

A drum, that were I the owner, would likely find too beautiful to play.

Comanche Indian Veterans Association Regalia. At the rear is a Princess Crown – the bead work is so fine!

Traditional Woman’s Dress, made of deerskin, I believe, with more fine bead work.

I also wanted to visit the Comanche Museum in Lawton, which exhibits the traditional ways and dress while also celebrating current events, like dancing and the Native American Church, and historical achievements. For instance, I had only ever heard of Navajo (Dine) Code Talkers. But, did you know that there were Comanche Code Talkers, as well? There is always so much to learn.

Though my connection to the Comanche is through a single woman, born nearly two hundred years ago, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to pay my respects for this indelible thread of my being.

After our morning at the museum, it was time for the long haul home, and as was typical for this trip, the rain to commence.

Brief encounters

It stopped, but only for a bit.

After ages of saying we would visit Mt. Capulin, the tallest cinder cone in northern New Mexico, we parted from Oklahoma with high hopes. Today is THE day! Then, the rain started to fall, and we thought, it’s still hours away. Then, despite a brief clearing in the rain as we approached, we saw lightning. I don’t know about you, but standing at an elevation of 8,720 ft seems imprudent under these circumstances. Another time.

To turn the misery of traveling in driving rain into luscious lemonade, how about these views, made even more alluring with the scrim of cloud?

Fisher’s Peak – the gateway to home and a most welcome sight.

Another great vacation, thanks for tagging along…