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Ouachita Trail Day 1 – The Oklahoma Standard

We woke up in Oklahoma City, about 3 hours from the trailhead. A fellow hiker and now good friend Perrin had invited us to stay with her and her family. We enjoyed a casual morning of packing and slowly planning the day. After frittata and coffee in the morning along with wonderful conversation we packed our bags into the car and headed towards Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum. The history of the OKC bombing was immense, emotional and heavy. The museum did an incredible job capturing the devastation and weight of the tragedy of 1995. Seeing the people, lives and impact on the city was jarring. 168 people lost their lives.

At 3pm we left the museum and Perrin drove us out to Talimena State Park, and at 7pm we started our Ouachita Trail thru-Hike. Maggie and I walked for an hour, enjoying the clear skies, blazed trail, and stick bugs clinging to all the trees. When we finally stopped for dinner moths fluttered under our headlamps while we cooked two dehydrated meals. Now we don’t cook as often as many people may guess, but we had a few nice dehydrated meals around and figure the short days were the perfect opportunity to perfect our culinary skills on the trail. We hiked just under three miles to officially start our thru hike. The weather is breezy and crisp, and we are camped on top of a nice hill! It is fun to hike and enjoy the activity and peacefulness of nature without racing a clock. It is the reason I fell in love with long distance hiking!

Now for the unnecessary third paragraph: In the museum it explained the “Oklahoma Standard” which the community's reaction to the tragedy and how they assisted rescue workers, victims, and first responders. One fire fighter from New York shook the governor’s hand in the way out of town and handed him a dollar. When asked why he said he received that dollar when he landed but never had to spend a single dollar while working on the site and now he was handing it back! From the whole Duncan family (Perrin, Ann-Clorr, and Walt) we received the Oklahoma Standard and true gracious hospitality.

Starting the Ouachita Trail
Starting the Ouachita Trail

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