No doubt, Mother Nature has the ultimate influence on our little mountain range. Earlier this year, with arctic temperatures and a record snow storm, the mountains looked incredible covered in a layer of white with the lakes and water features completely frozen solid. Skip forward a few months and all of our recent heavy rain has opened a bunch of new waterfalls in the refuge. This really is the best time to explore our Wichita Mountains.

Even as you drive down Rogers Lane, looking off towards the mountains we get to see a rare sight. Everything as far as you can see is lush and green, the roadways are lined by the vibrant colors of wildflowers, and the weather is acceptably mild at the moment. The soils are full of moisture, the grasses are growing like crazy, and in a week or three, everything will once again turn brown as the dry season and Oklahoma heat sets in.

Nobody is looking forward to the inevitable hot and impossibly humid hundred degree days that lay ahead. All the same, as you become accustom to the heat, it's not so bad. Most agree that a hot 105 degree dry day is far better than a 90 degree humid day, but sometimes Southwest Oklahoma somehow manages both extreme heat and high humidity all at once.

If you'd like to get out and explore a little bit, take a tip from every outdoors person in this part of the country. Wake up and go out early. Try to get to your destination by sunrise, and as the day goes on, your body will slowly adjust as the heat builds. This doesn't mean you'll be OK with heat, but you'll be able to stay out and enjoy the outdoors longer and with less strain. The real trick is, when you want to hop in the truck and hit a different location, don't crank up that air conditioner. The minute your body cools off, it'll feel ten times hotter the next time you open the door.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.