Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Bob Scott is a volunteer videographer at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. He is a C6 complete quadriplegic but doesn't let that stop him from doing what he loves.

Sorry about the offline media. It got lost somewhere in the internets.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Medicine Park

Located at the edge of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Park is the oldest cobblestone village in Oklahoma. Established in 1908 on July 4th by Oklahoma Senator Elmer Thomas, Medicine Park was the first planned tourist resort in Oklahoma. The resort started off with a slow start, but after a few years of improvements, more and more people started stopping by the resort.

Eventually, Medicine Park hit a wall of decline and slowly fell into hard times. In 1969 Medicine Park was incorporated into a town, but due to the resort changing ownership several times over three decades and a decline in interest, the cobblestone town was struggling to survive. With the arrival of the 1990's, and the successful reopening of the Riverside Cafe , other local business started to open up their doors once again to welcome the new found interest in the small town.

"It's just a really cute place," said tourist Whitney Clark. Whitney is an Elementary Education major at OU who stopped by Medicine Park for the weekend.

"I didn't even know this place was here. Driving by, it just looks like some houses by the creek. I would've never guess that this used to be a resort." Whitney said.

Whitney Clark in front of the famous cobble stone buildings.

Medicine Park is named after Medicine Creek, which according to Native American beliefs, the water has healing powers. The healing power of the waters made Medicine Park a popular locale to visit for people looking to cleanse themselves both physically and spiritually.

Whether you are looking for a quiet get away, or just a place to stay while you visit the near by Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Medicine Park is full of old time charm and plenty of activities to keep an entire family busy for a fun filled weekend.

The healing waters of Medicine Park.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Feeling Blue This Season?

SAD makes things seem blue.

Even though Fall has only just begun, winter is on the approach, daylight hours get shorter and the nights grow longer. The drop in temperature leads many people indoors to warm cozy fireplaces and soft thick blankets. However, there tends to be an increase in cases of depression. What causes the increase in depression and what can be done to counter the effects?

This seasonal increase in depression is often referred to as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is caused by a lack of melatonin, a chemical secreted by the pineal gland in the middle of the brain, which helps set one's internal clock and the sleep/wake cycle.

According to the editorial staff at there are treatments for SAD that can help relieve depression, one of which is light therapy. Since melatonin is secreted most when the body is exposed to sunlight, the easiest remedy for SAD is to go outside. If that doesn't fit into ones schedule, a prescription of melatonin might be preferable.

"I usually feel tired and let down around this time," Chance Clark said.

A Jr. at OU, Chance Clark is a Finance major who enjoys spending time with friends and spending time outside. When the temperature drops though, he spends more time inside and his melatonin levels slowly start to vary.

"I've never taken melatonin. Usually I just try to sit outside bundled up in warm clothes. It helps a little, but after graduation I'm heading south away from the cold."

When the light goes away and depression start to sink in, remember to go outside and soak up some rays to keep them blues away.

Chance Clark enjoying a hike in Poteau Oklahoma.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

It's Getting Cold

While many people this time of year are out and about taking in the beauty of nature's autumn colors, there is something else that's out too. It starts with a runny nose which leads to a cough. Our friend the cold has come to join in on the fun. What are some precautions that people who want to still get out and enjoy this beautiful season? How can they still do the activities they love without being weighed down by the rhino virus?

Some would simply say stay inside and wash your hands, but that isn't what outdoor enthusiasts want to hear. Sadly, though, that is just about all one can do. While prolonged exposure to cold weather doesn't necessarily cause the common cold, it certainly can help. The rhino virus is seasonal and usually starts to appear in the colder months.

There are many remedies that are said to cure or reduce the duration of the illness, but the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says that the best thing to do is get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, and the use of cough drops or over the counter cold medicines are a good way to help out.

"I really enjoy getting outside and doing something constructive," said Kevin Lewis of Roland Oklahoma. "Last time I went hiking with my son and his friend I wasn't feeling too good though." After hiking up Sugarloaf Mountain, the most prominent peak in Oklahoma, with a slight cold, Lewis said that all he wanted to do was stay at the camp and sleep. "We hiked for at least three hours and after that I had to take a break even though I wanted to go explore the woods with them."

This Fall the best way to keep the cold out is to keep your hands clean and make sure to get plenty of rest. For those of you who still want to get out and enjoy the cool bite of this beautiful autumn weather, keep a bag of cough drops near and don't forget to take a nap.

Photos by Kacy Lewis

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tape or No Tape?

Athletes tape their fingers up for football, basketball, martial arts, and climbing. Why do they though? What does taping fingers do that will help the athlete perform? When it comes to injured fingers, taping them up is most likely the way to go about healing them. Taping the injured finger or fingers to another will make a splint and let the fingers still be able to bend. Rock climbers, however, tape fingers to prevent injury, protect already injured fingers, or to improve tendon strength in the fingers.

For the sprained fingers of a basketball player, taping them up is the way to go. For a rock climber the use of tape is a debatable subject. If an injury is present, the climber will want to consider taping up. A beginning rock climber who is having difficulty maintaining their grip or has swore fingers after climbing should consider holding off on the tape.

Beginners should want to build up their grip and finger strength without the use of reenforcement taping. If a beginner tapes up for every climb they might be preventing injury, but when they decide to take the tape off an injury might occur more easily because the fingers haven't built up their own strength. When thinking about becoming a rock climber, one should always, as with any sport, train first before tackling the difficult climbs.

"I never taped till I tore the tendon in my right ring finger," climber Aaron Cash explained. "Now I take my time and warm up a lot before I climb. I still try not to tape, but I sure don't want to rip my fingers apart." Tendon injuries take longer to heal than muscle injuries. While at first a rookie climber might think that the muscles in their forearms are the source of the pain, it is most likely the tendons that run through them. It could take a couple months or more for them to fully heal.

For injured fingers some tape and/or a splint is the way to go. If one is wanting to become a rock climber or is just starting out hold off on the tape until it is really needed. Aaron Cash has been climbing for four years and when asked about the use of tape he said, "Don't let it (tape) be a crutch because one day it might not be there to help."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Amateur landscape photographer and adventurer Trent Morris of Poteau, Oklahoma, stood on a massive boulder atop Mt. Scott and let out a relaxed sigh. From his vantage point he could see for miles in all directions and held his camera close to his chest, as if trying to decide where to start shooting. He made the trip from Arkadelphia, AR, to Mt. Scott to see what the Wichita Mountains have to offer.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to several different species of animals and hundreds of plants. Located northwest of Lawton, Oklahoma, on Highway 49, this stunningly rugged and beautiful 59,020 acre refuge has been managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service since it's establishment in 1901. There are many recreational activities that guests and enjoy while they visit, including: camping, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and even attending a bison or longhorn auction.

After he took in the breath taking panoramic view, Morris put his camera away and tried his hand at bouldering. He found an idea rock formation 100 yards down the west side of the peak and started climbing. "I trust my feet more than my hands," he explained while making his way up the rock face. Many avid rock climbers journey to the refuge to take advantage of the quality granite and multi-pitch courses and it is also a popular spot for repelling.

Although the landscape is beautiful, it's not without minor blemishes. Numerous discarded beer cans and water bottles lay out in the open near the heavy visited areas. The Refuge asks that all visitors please be courteous and dispose of all trash properly. With 59,020 acres to cover, the Refuge has also set up organized clean-ups and trail rehabilitation volunteer groups to help clear out the waste.

"It's a real shame that there is so much trash here," Morris said while picking up a water bottle. "People don't realize how much damage they can really do by throwing down a bottle." With rain starting to fall and only a dozen pictures taken, Morris decided it was time to pack up. "I'll have to come back sometime when it's not raining and when I have more time to do everything."

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is one locale that every Oklahoman should visit at least once, if not multiple times.

Photos by Kacy Lewis

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Geocaching is a fairly new up and coming treasure hunting activity that uses GPS coordinates to locate hidden "treasure" caches. Anyone who has a hand held GPS system and go to and search for caches near their zip code. There is a wide number of caches all over the world with varying difficulties to find them.

Ever since the first geocache was placed on May 1, 2000, the game has take off like a wild fire. There are geocaches on all seven continents and over 900,000 caches active in over one hundred countries. Not only is geocacheing good family fun, but it is also a chance to help the environment. Cache In Trash Out is a environmental movement that encourages geocachers to pick up any trash they find while out cache hunting.

Before going on a cache hunt, one should always be prepared. If the hunt is going to be more difficult and take most of the day, be sure to bring food and water and any other supplies necessary for a day of hunting. However, if the hunt is fairly easy, don't take take too much or one might be weighed down by useless equipment.

When asked about why he likes to go geocaching, Kyle Vandagriff, pictured below, simply replied, "The action is the juice." Kyle has been geocaching for just a few months, but is already hooked. "It's the adventure and mystery of what's going to be in the caches that really gets me," he said. Kyle and his friends try to go cache hunting when ever they can. "It's just nice to get outside and have a goal," he said.

Not only can geocachers search for caches, they are able to hide their own and post the coordinates and information on Geocaching is a fun outdoor activity that challenges people to be active and help clean up the environment and find their own buried treasure.

Photo by Kacy Lewis