Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lake Murray State Park

IMG_0188 Yesterday Linda and I took a drive down to Ardmore, OK to check out Lake Murray State Park, which is Oklahoma's largest and oldest state park. What a pretty lake ! Ardmore hasn't been fortunate enough to have gotten any of the recent rain that we've experienced in Oklahoma City/Norman area. Ardmore is two hours south of where we are....going back towards Texas.

Over the winter they rebuilt the nature center that is located at Tucker Tower. What a beautiful facility it is.IMG_0202

To get to Tucker Tower, you go out the back door of the nature center and up the hillside. Tucker Tower has a 360 degree view of the area.







The path to Tucker Tower goes by this cute little house, perched on the side of the hill. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see our kitty escort that was walking along the stone wall to see us on our way. What a peaceful setting for a house !

At the tower, there is a lot of information about the building of Lake Murray in the 30's by the CCC.IMG_0190

There were lots of men working on the project and as you look at the stonework, the massive fireplace and the lake itself, you get a sense of how massive the CCC programs were and what important services they provided. The displays show the classroom settings where the workers learned how to read and write, the kitchens and the barracks where they lived. The CCC is responsible for a lot of the wonderful facilities that families still enjoy throughout our country. There are three stories to the tower and then 25 steps up a spiral staircase to get to the walkway that IMG_0191 encircled the whole tower, with gorgeous views in all directions.

On the backside of the nature center is a lovely deck, overlooking the lake. If it had been a warmer day, we would have liked to sat there for a while with a good book but the wind was very cold yesterday.IMG_0199 

Not only is the building beautiful but it's really "green" too, which I love. They use a closed geothermal loop, under the lake, for heating the center. They have solar light tubes in the restrooms to provide natural light. They harvest all of their rainwater for use in the building and they have solar collectors on the roof. How cool is that ! I loved reading all the signage in the building explaining all the different green elements they had incorporated into the building. Good stuff !

We left Lake Murray and made the drive back to OKC after stopping at the Oklahoma landmark, Braum's to get a banana split to give us strength for the two hour drive. Oh, it was so good ! A fun day, beautiful drive and a neat facility worth exploring if you ever get to Ardmore, OK.

1 comment:

Dave and Susie said...

Lake Murray...what can I say about it...LOTS. I spent two weeks of every summer there for 20 years. Caught more fish than I care to think about. Rode the horses at the stable. Played with Red a youngster like me who worked at the stables. We would ride bikes all over the place and hunt for frogs and crawdads. Even saw a Mountain Lion there once. It's a wonderful park to explore and during the years I grew up one never had to worry about your kids running around playing, no leash for us. I even took some of my parents funeral flowers and laid them in the water there, as they visited the lake for 23 consecutive years. So many happy memories there. Girls you made my day!