Medicine Park – Perfect cure for the itch to ride

Scott Baker

Kick starting our engines, 13 members of the RR Motorcycle Club embarked on a two-day road trip into southwestern Oklahoma cruising along stunning stretches of scenic highway with the wind in our faces making it the perfect motorcycling trek. Nestled alongside the Wichita Mountains, the Wichita Mountains Scenic Byway showcases awe-inspiring scenery of rocky lowlands, mixed-grass prairie and cross-timbers. We were greeted with twisty and winding roads, as well as gentle inclines and descents through the mountain valleys. Bursts of color from fields of wild flowers decorated the roadways.

An astonishing natural beauty, the Wichita Mountains Byway took us through protected valleys of the 550 million-year-old Wichita Mountains, which shelter the largest remnants of southern mixed grasslands and ancient cross-timbers in North America. We meandered through the 35 square mile Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, one of the oldest managed nature preserves in the nation and the site that President Theodore Roosevelt chose for the first effort to save American bison from extinction. The refuge maintains a herd of 600, and we spotted several giant bison freely grazing in pasture lands.

We overnighted in the quiet oasis known as Medicine Park founded in 1908 by Elmer Thomas, one of Oklahoma’s first state senators. It became known as a “Government Health Resort” – the state’s first planned tourism resort appealing to those looking for a place to escape the summer heat. The town features mountains in the background, scenic trails, creeks and lakes, quaint shops and a collection of distinctive cottages and buildings built from the areas naturally formed round cobblestone. Medicine Creek, which tumbles through the center of town, was a refreshingly cool respite after a hot and dusty day of riding.

There’s lots of history here and supposedly tunnels and secret rooms under many of the buildings to hide and transport outlaws and liquor during prohibition. Many “buried treasures” left from celebrities and gangsters who visited here – Will Rogers, Al Capone, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and Bonnie and Clyde – are still undiscovered.

As an added bonus we trekked the three-mile-long spiraling and steep climb to the top of Mount Scott, the third highest point in Oklahoma located within the Wichita Mountains. Encountering very little traffic en route, we were greeted with breathtaking and never-ending views of the scenery below. At the summit, 2,464 feet above sea level, we parked and enjoyed the spectacular vistas and vast plains below.

Oklahoma was poised and ready to welcome us along their motorcycle-tested routes. Our two (and three) wheel journey took us through scenic park land, along historic roads and into the breathtaking Oklahoma sunsets. From wooded landscapes with twisting curves to expansive, red dirt plains, Oklahoma’s diverse terrain offered stunning scenery perfect for our road trip.

Come join the RR Motorcycle Club on our breakfast, lunch and dinner rides or pack a saddlebag for two- to five-day excursions. For more information, contact Mike Conley, Dennis Dotson, Scott Baker or Stan Brein.