Back when Matt was 4, he out of the blue deemed himself a diehard OU fan...for no reason at all! We had never been to Oklahoma, knew no one who lived there but the little guy owned it and has been a passionate OU follower and Oklahoma as a state fan ever since. It only made sense to have our very first stop leaving Texas on this crazy adventure to be Oklahoma!! Matt was so excited to get here and see all the "fun" Oklahoma has to offer...and fun we found! First stop was the OU campus...what a beautiful campus! I would be perfectly fine with my Moose heading here someday. It is small (1.5 miles from end to end), serene and has old school charm. The people couldn't be friendlier and we all really enjoyed getting to see and learn about OU. Matt was in heaven as we made it our mission to find him lots of new OU apparel (this boy is growing like a weed!), eat in the local hangouts and fully embrace the Oklahoma lifestyle.
The next day was a work day for Craig so the boys and I busted out school and then headed back to campus for the coolest tour...a behind the scenes tour of the National Weather Center. It doesn't get much better for a science lesson in weather than touring the place in tornado alley that tracks it all! More shopping, lots of swimming and mini golf (we stayed in a kids paradise this leg!) and a fun local ice cream place rounded out our stay in Oklahoma City.
An early 5am start got us to our final Oklahoma stay before the kids even woke up...Great Salt Plains State Park. What a true hidden gem this turned out to be! It was a place that in research we couldn't find much information on but everything we did find said "go, go, go!" We had the most beautiful campsite right on the river bank where the dam meets the lake. The kids had pretty much the whole park to themselves and loved spending their days just riding bikes, skateboards and scooters along the riverbank. No don't get me wrong...this was not just a leisurely lake stay...we had real life treasure hunting to attend to! Great Salt Plains State Park is located on what used to be an actual ocean in Oklahoma! At one end of the lake is the spot where the ocean used to be the deepest and has now formed this 7 mile salt flat left over from the drying up of this body of water. These salt deposits form Selenite crystals just below the surface and it is free 6 months out of the year to dig up and keep as many as you want! You literally drive down this dirt road in the middle of a wheat field with no houses for as far as you can see (a true picture of Oklahoma) and all of the sudden it looks like you are at the beach! Seriously the craziest thing you have ever seen! Literally...picture a giant sandbox, buried treasure and 3 little boys...you can imagine the fun this place was!?!?! Craig got to come with us early in the morning and see this crazy place for himself. We took him back to work around lunchtime and went digging for round 2! We met the nicest old man that spends his days volunteering at the plains to help people dig. Since we were the only people there on a Wednesday afternoon, he spent the afternoon with us helping the boys score the jackpot of crystals! This truly was the highlight of Oklahoma for me...watching my 3 crazies dig like mad men to find me as many crystals as they could....priceless!