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clear mountain pool at robbers cave ok

Boulder balancing on rock at robbers cave ok

lost lake dam at robbers cave ok

rock fortress at robbers cave ok

devils slide park sign at robbers cave ok

tree pushing against boulder at robbers cave ok

ripples on rocks at robbers cave ok

view from above robbers cave ok

natural rock walls at robbers cave ok

1910 carving on devils slide at robbers cave ok

I recently paid a visit to Robbers Cave State Park in southeastern Oklahoma. My main goal was to do some hiking and enjoy the great outdoors, but I couldn't resist dragging along the camera as well. I was very glad I did as the beautiful natural scenery and fall foliage provided a great backdrop for some cool photos.

These are some of my favorite shots from the trip. Disclaimers: 1) I am no pro, and 2) these are not doctored in any way. Au naturel, baby!

A Robbery-Free Weekend

A brief snippet of history on Robbers Cave, and partially my reason for wanting to go, is that it was used as hideout by some of the most notorious outlaws back in the day. The likes of Jesse James, Belle Starr, and many others called the area home, and I can see why. The place is quite literally a fortress with elevated lookout points, narrow passages, and sheer walls. Oh, and don't forget the actual caves. A pretty nifty pad if you ask me.

While those times are long gone it is still neat to think about the people who once inhabited the area. It gave the trip a kind of half natural wonder, half historical site feel that I thought was really unique.

Finding Inspiration In Nature

Cranking out designs and writing code are a lot of fun, but sometimes there is nothing better than some time in the woods. I can't help but be filled with wonder at how some of these places came to be, and be inspired by the many shapes, colors, and patterns I encountered there.

What really stuck out to me in this trip were the rock formations. It was very clear that some massive force had caused these huge boulders (mountain size) to just split in half. Due to the split rocks, there were also many places where giant boulders were being (or at least appeared to be) propped up by tiny rocks or even trees. This natural balancing act was really cool and I was able to capture it in several shots!

In many places the sheering effect mentioned above gave the illusion of man-made walls. Wild. However, a few steps away there were smooth, wavy textures making it seem like you were on the ocean floor. The contrasts were exciting, and make me think that maybe I should take up geology. Seems fun.

And let's not forget about the not-so-natural. I am also really digging some of the park signs I found at Robbers Cave. The arrows linking the entire sign into one continuous piece might be a nice touch to a project down the road.

Finding the Next Trail Marker

So this has already turned into a very long description for a photography post, but I am excited about what the next step may be with these pictures. I have been meaning to toy around with GIMP a bit more and they should provide a nice palette for experimentation.

This was also a great opportunity to hone my photography skills in a natural setting. Each time I travel with the camera I think I try out a few more ideas and every once in awhile one turns out really awesome. This trip was no exception.

Finally, and most importantly, getting out of the house and exploring some more of Oklahoma was a lot of fun. It provided a much needed mental boost and was an experience that I will remember for many years to come.