The Frozen Wichita Mountains From February
You know, I was curled up in a blanket sitting in my 55° house trying to stay warm during that insane cold snap winter storm last month when something popped up on my facebook memories page. A selfie of myself fishing in the refuge, late February, temps near zero, frost on my beard, bragging about how Mother Nature couldn't stop me. That same week in February 2021, with temps well below zero, I just didn't have it in me to go out and look. Plus, the refuge announced they were closing everything off anyway, so why venture out just to get turned around? I wished I would have gone. It's something I might not see again in my lifetime, and I missed it.
Luckily for all of us, one local vlogger outdoorsman extraordinaire made the trip we all took refuge from. He braved the weather and the roads to capture and document the wondrous fury that befell the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge for all to see. The video starts off easy enough, talking about the historic nature of that storm here in SWOK, then he meanders off to check out the snow covered and frozen solid refuge.
I'll admit, this wouldn't be the first time I've seen the waters of Medicine Park completely frozen over. I think it was February 2014 the only other time it's done so. When it happened then, there was very little snow along with the cold temperatures, so you could really see the ice.
This time around, it was just as interesting to see the perfectly flat cover of fluff across such an expanse, if at all a little shocking that someone risked walking across those frigid waters.
I still remember that 2014 storm and exploring the mountains during that event. We drove up to Rush Lake to see the dam. It was frozen too, but the lake behind the wall, even though it showed the thinnest little layer of ice across the majority of it, there was still open water way out in the middle. Rush Lake, Jed Johnson, Caddo, and probably just about every body of non-moving water in the refuge was probably frozen this time around, solid. There were even animal tracks in the snow across the waters. It's crazy to think I chose to stay at home this time around. All in all, I think we're grateful The Pemberton Boys sacked up for a little exploration when everyone else was wrapped up and cozy. There's more videos on the channel exploring the frozen mountains, plus a ton of content in and around Lawton-Fort Sill... You might consider taking a deep dive over on YouTube. He's certainly earned some views.