Celebrating Karen’s 62nd birthday and in preparation for the grand kids’ Spring Breaks, we headed to Beavers Bend on Monday, 02/27/2017. Since we got a late start out-of-town on Monday, we spent the first night at the #1 rated Durant/Choctaw Casino KOA. Highly recommend you staying at this KOA, if in the Durant, Oklahoma area and want to spend some time in the Choctaw Casino or not . . . it’s a nice campground with nice, clean amenities whether you’re a gambler or not. If you’re planning a large group gathering, they offer a Meeting Room with 100-plus seating. KOA at Choctaw Casino, Durant, OK
There were concerning weather alerts for the Broken Bow, Oklahoma area beginning the evening of Tuesday, 02/28, but we wanted to make sure we were able to secure a nice campsite for the weeks of Spring Breaks, beginning the week of March 6 and the week of March 13, so we took our chances. We arrived at Beavers Bend at approximately 12 noon on Tuesday, 02/28 and were surprised to see so many campsites open, the park was empty. The concerning weather alerts must have influenced potential campers, thankfully, the bad weather never hit us and the sunshine is awesome; however, the temps are colder than we would prefer; low 30’s in the am and warming up to only the mid 60’s during the day.
We were able to secure one of our favorite campsites in Acorn Circle, A22. It is the largest campsite in Acorn Circle, includes a large open space next to the designated RV site, large enough for a family sized tent or 2nd RV (no hookups). It is at the end of the street of river-view campsites, open views to a wooded area and no campsites in our direct view with the river in our back window. Just above our campsite are clean, well-kept restrooms with showers, an open reservable pavilion, and playground.
Over the years in talking with other campers, we hear that many people prefer the more secluded, wooded campsites versus the river-view campsites. The river-view RV campsites are $27.00 per night versus $22.00 per night for the wooded RV campsites. There is water and electric hookups for the RV campsites, but no sewer with the exceptions of the handicap campsites. Beavers Bend also has primitive tent camp sites, some on the river-banks. We have good friends who are tent-campers and who prefer the primitive camping, away from the RV’s, motorhomes and hookups which is available at Beavers Bend.
Bicycle rides with Gabby are one of our recreational and exercise events we like while camping; forgetting Gabby’s bicycle car seat at home, Bill came up with a solution by using her pink back-pack which typically holds all of her travel items (leash, pop-up crate, treats, toys, etc.).
On Friday, March 3, beginning the weekend of Spring Break at many of the area school districts and there are still many open campsites. In Buckeye Camp Ground, reserve only camp sites in Beavers Bend, all of the sites have signage posted that they are reserved beginning today through next week, but there are surprisingly many unreservable sites still open.
This evening Karl, our son-in-law, along with our two grandsons Parker (9-year old) and Blake (4-year old) are arriving to begin their Spring Break through Tuesday, March 7. Parker will tell you that this is absolutely his favorite thing to do with Papa and Nana . . . camping and especially at Beavers Bend. This will be Blake’s first over-night camping experience with us.
On Saturday we decided to take the boys on the train ride and have them experience horse-back riding with their Dad. The train ride takes you through a portion of the park with the conductor giving a little history of the park. You usually see deer and wildlife on this ride because we’ve learned the conductor throws corn out along the way.
Parker’s horse was named Zach which was a little sentimental for him since he recently lost his dog named Zach. Karl and Blake rode Festus, it was Blake’s first real horse-back ride and you could tell by his large smile, he thoroughly enjoyed.
It rained all Saturday night into all day Sunday. The boys were getting cabin-fever in the RV, so we decided to take a drive up to Queen Wilhelmina State Park. A drive we soon regretted making as it became so foggy as we drove up higher into the mountains actually into the clouds that the visibility required our driving speeds to be considerably slower which also resulted in a very long drive. The Lodge and Restaurant usually has beautiful views and is a nice place to spend a few hours, but there was absolutely no views as we were in a cloud. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Lodge, walked around the gift shop and began our longer than usual drive back to Beavers Bend. Queen Wilhelmina State Park
Hiking! Monday, March 6 turned out to be another nice warm day and Parker has been asking repeatedly for us to go on a hike, one of his favorite things to do at Beavers Bend. There are several very nice hiking trails, although we knew they would be quite wet and muddy from all the rain we had been getting. Parker had fond memories from the Beaver Creek trail we had taken in October behind the Forest Heritage Center, so we started there allowing a little fun in the river building dams with Papa. David Boren Hiking Trail is popular with 5-trails ranging from 1-mile to 6-mile hiking options. There are trails for more experienced hikers with steep terrains, if that is an area of interest.
There was a little fishing over the few rare times of no rain, but only a few fish actually caught; one by Blake and one by Papa both released after the catch. The boys last evening at Beavers Bend was enjoyed with a nice camp-fire, roasting marshmallows, cooking Jiffy Pop, and telling camp-side stories. After retiring to bed, the harsh thunderstorms returned after mid-night into the early morning. Tuesday, March 7, Karl packed up after having breakfast, the grandkids’ favorite – pancakes and bacon, leaving the campsite by 11 am. It was such a fun time with the Bockoven’s, roasting marshmallows around the campfire, fishing, hiking . . . building memories.
Papa and Nana have a few hours to clean-up the RV and campsite in anticipation for Shahn and Addison’s arrival this evening for the remainder of the week and Addi’s Spring Break. Praying that the weather is better than the last several days and also praying Nana’s back holds up after the long hiking/climbing day, it’s giving her some problems.
Shahn and Addison arrived the evening of Tuesday, March 7. It was quite wet and muddy from rain all night the night. Fishing picked up on Thursday, March 9, the fish began biting and we started catching quite a few fish; fishing off the bridge, closest to the dam, not the one by the Fly Shop. Also learned of another remote area to fish and were catching and releasing. We were basically releasing all the catches, but kept a nice size trout and cooked it for dinner. Addison caught 3-nice size trout and was helping take them off the hook . . . she was so excited. We met Steve, Ellen and their German Shepherd, Elsie who had a cabin built at Beavers Bend 5-years ago, and live in Carrollton. Addison enjoyed riding the horse trail on her own horse with her Daddy.
Sandi, Luke and Lily, our 3rd family who was supposed to join us for their Spring Break at Beavers Bend, beginning the week of March 13, decided not to come since the weather was cold and rainy. Lily did spend 4-nights with us when we returned from Beavers Bend for her Spring Break and Luke spent his 15th birthday night with us, the last day of his Spring Break. Luke loves to play Monopoly and March 19, his official birthday is World Monopoly Day, so our day was spent celebrating his birthday with lunch at Fuddruckers in Plano and a Monopoly marathon.
It’s been another great time with the family/ grandchildren spending Spring Break with all of them, although colder with more rain days than we would have hoped at Beavers Bend. God is Good and He blesses us so very much.