I know, you've heard me say it time and time again, but I'm not letting it slip by ever again when we talk about Oklahoma outdoors. This state is "THE" most ecologically diverse state in the entire nation.

We feature eleven different unique, diverse, ecological regions across this "fly-over" state. Mountains to plains, swamps to high desert, everything in between. The only things we really don't have are the cold weather things like glaciers and permafrost... but give it a few million years, you never know.

Today, we're talking about the ancient lava flows that are better known as Black Mesa State Park.


Way up in the northwest corner of the panhandle, Black Mesa is regarded as one of North America's geological wonders. At nearly a mile high, it's not only the highest point in the state, but as this natural phenomenon shoots out of the ground and covers parts of three different states, it's honestly something to experience. Especially this time of year.

I know, the majority of people would rather travel the outdoor places in fair weather, when everything is lush and green... but this time of year when everything is brown and dead is the best time to explore.

Snakes are generally brumating (it's what we call hibernation for cold-blooded animals) during these colder months, so the odds of encountering them on a trail are relatively low. Without all of the brush growth to block open-vista views, dead is king in the outdoor world.

Now is the only time of year to really explore. Plus, if you layer up, you stay comfortably warm instead of the Spring/Summer brutally hot.

Eleven Things Oklahoman's Eat When It's Cold

When it comes to the favorite foods in Oklahoma, most of them revolve around a grill. Whether it's steak, burgers, dogs, BBQ, beer can chicken, etc... If it can be grilled, it will be an instant favorite across all palates in this state. But what do Okies survive on when it's cold enough to require the wearing of pants and a hoodie? Here's the quick list of things every Oklahoma home should be pumping out when the endless Summer finally ends.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

The Frozen Wichita Mountains

When Southwest Oklahoma gets a rare blizzard with serious snowfall, the mountains take on a fresh and stunning look. It's something we all get to experience thanks to the video and camera work of a few awesome locals with a stellar YouTube channel, The Pemberton Boys. They flew their drones and explored the mountains across SWOK while the views were grand, putting it online for everyone to enjoy.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

16 Oklahoma Phrases That Would Stump Out-of-Towners

Every state seems to have its own way of talking. Here are a few of the more common phrases that'll have you wondering what Okies are saying.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

9 Chain Restaurants Founded In Oklahoma

While some Oklahoma original restaurants are obvious and common knowledge, there are a few that will likely surprise you having a start in the Sooner State. At least, they were shockers to me. Whether you want burgers, BBQ, pizza, breakfast, or Tex-Mex, the tastes of Oklahoma stretch far beyond our border.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Unique Last Minute Oklahoma Gifts

If you're running out of time, you might consider giving someone a gift that is truly unique to Oklahoma. Whether it was made here, or practically screams "OKLAHOMA," you can't miss with any of these.

Gallery Credit: Kelso


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