Wichita Mountains Camping with Japanese
April 2017

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We love sharing our love of the outdoors with others, especially with folks who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to go.  This time we took four Japanese students we met through the ELS language center in OKC.  The girls were on a college exchange program, and Yuta, the man, was here on special assignment for his work to learn more English.  He learned more than that, as he had his first rock climbing trip with us too! 

Here we are on top of Mount Scott, enjoying the view.
This is: Minami, Maho, Miki, and Yuta.  

  The girls, cracking each other up.  

Eric, leading the way with his ridiculously heavy backpack.

  Down the hillside we go, thankfully we made it in a safe fashion.
 Eric scopes out the situation The girls find a friend

On top of the world

  Yuta took this fun shot of Eric's climbing stuff

Providing a belay for Eric so that he can set up a route for Yuta to try.


Taking in the scenery

   Not sure about this climbing idea...

Eric is in his element

  Eric giving the "trust the shoes" lesson before the actual climb
And away he goes!  Except for the part where his glasses fell off mid-climb, he did fantastic.

The girls deciding that they don't want to try rock climbing.

I love to capture the, "I can't believe I'm still alive" look each person has after their 1st climb. The boys decide to continue climbing, but us girls are "over lith it" as my nephew Brodie would say.  
Instead, we go on a sight-seeing trip around the park.   
The girls, looking down at the rushing water beneath them. Woo hoo! 
We found a large herd of buffalo right beside the road, it was really fun to see them that close.  


 The light wasn't just right, but I snapped a bunch of pictures anyway. 

 Next was the Prairie Dog town, my favorite part of the park These guys are so adorable! 
 Then we headed out to make camp and have our much-anticipated dinner.  Eric gets the burgers sizzlin'
 Yuta's first (but not last!) hamburger for the evening. The gang enjoying the burgers
 Now Yuta takes over grilling duty while Eric helps the girls put up their tent. Tent success! 
 And of course, we had to have S'mores.  These girls love their sweets.  Early the next morning, Eric begins work on his masterpiece - camping breakfast.

Eric thinks the only reason I go camping with him is for the camping breakfast.  
He may actually be on to something there...

  There were lots and lots of butterflies in the area that morning.
 Beauty!   Yuta has a good eye for a nice photograph

This guy acts like he stepped in poop or something! 

 Back to the Prairie Dog town, because Yuta missed it on the previous day.  
 And besides, you really can't get too much of the Prairie Dogs.

More buffalo in the Prairie Dog area

  Trying to get Yuta with the buffalo in the background, but they are just spots.
 Next we take off on a hike to the Charon Gardens area Hi ho, hi ho...

 Pausing for a photo break

Here we are at the boulder field, which was as far as the girls cared to go.   
   Eric & Yuta explored a little further, Yuta provided these photos of the cave-like areas
 they explored, which are created by the boulders wedged together leaving gaps below.
 There was just one spot of sunlight coming through, and this little tree valiantly grew there.   It's cool man.
 The girls decide they want to go to that big boulder across the way for photos. Here Eric served as a foot hold so they could climb up there.
 Ta da! Maho!  Miki!
 Minami!   Admiring the view
 Hey, it's me. Yuta looking very Zen in his perch

Eric moves so naturally through the boulder field, you'd think it was flat ground.

  We're hungry for lunch now, so it's time to head out.
We stopped for photos here and was going to have them stand on the rock but... Then I saw what was at Eric's feet.  A snake! 
We decided to scurry on back for lunch instead.  It was good too!  Last stop, the museum/info center where Miki imagined being attacked by this fox. 

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