Visit Oklahoma to See the Milky Way


Back to the bucket list

…in Oklahoma!!

I am sure everyone thought that I had forgotten all about my beloved bucket list. Mainly because I haven’t written about accomplishing anything lately. Truth is, I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I have just been lazy about my writing. For this dear readers, I do apologize deeply!

So without further adieu, I have marked off item. Number 132 on the Bucket List: See the Milky Way from Oklahoma.

Of all the places I could choose, why Oklahoma? I selected Oklahoma because it is a much less populated state. I was hoping the light pollution would be far less and I would have a better opportunity to see the Milky Way. I’ve heard stories from people who live in the Midwest stating that they could see the Milky Way (with a truly milky sky) many years ago in the area. During my trip I was sure to take in many other sites because I was not positive I would be able to accomplish this great Star Gazing feat. The southern Oklahoma state line sits only about an hour north of Dallas Texas. Dallas Texas is a highly populated city with a tremendous amount of light pollution preventing a good view of the night sky.

On our first attempt, we travelled to Eisenhower State Park at Lake Texoma. We patiently waited until the stars began to appear. Bats were prevalent and the crowds of recreation seekers were thinning out as folks packed up to leave. We could see many stars, but no more than what we see in East Tennessee. We waited longer hoping for a darker sky. We were at least an hour due north of Dallas Texas. My husband had an idea for us to drive to a darker place in the park just down the way. There we found a large field where deer often come to feed. The sky was huge! It made me dizzy to look up for more than 30 seconds at a time. As midnight approached the sky had darkened more and there were many more stars to behold. Finally we were seeing thousands more stars than before.  I still couldn’t see that Milky Way glow though.

We didn’t give up. A few days later, we ventured onward about two and a half hours into Oklahoma from the southwest side this time. This landed us at the feet of the Wichita Mountains. Homes were very far and few between and businesses were non-existent. We assumed this would be a great place to see the stars.

Oklahoma- ChrissyAdventures

With all the best hope in my heart we sat there until the sun went down. Darkness began to encroach until the sky was lit by tiny little specks of sparkles.  The sounds of crickets and other animals (or insects I could not identify) sounded off in the dark. The stars began to appear and there were more to see there than before. We waited and watched the sky, but truly there were no more stars to see than at Lake Texoma. The closest city was Wichita but there was still too much light pollution to really see the Milky Way.  I felt really sorry for Oklahoma too. There was a great deal of trash along the sides of the road we drove on. Also, a couple of state parks we visited had been trashed pretty hard too. It reminded me of how people trashed up the Eastern part of Tennessee in my youth before the Keep Tennessee Beautiful campaign began.

I could see just as many stars in the Oklahoma sky as I have seen along many beaches on the east coast. Every coastal place from Maryland to Virginia to South Carolina to Georgia to Florida – the sky was the same. No milky look, but I enjoy seeing the stars none the less. The only place I’ve noticed where the night sky looks different is in the mountains. The sky has an aura in the Smoky Mountains that I haven’t seen anywhere else. And there are some places where the night sky has no stars (like Dallas).

Star Gazing in Oklahoma was fun and I am glad we can say we did it. But much like the fable of the man who searched all over the world for a giant diamond… and it was found in his back yard after his death – I now believe I should enjoy the night sky everywhere I am.  Each moment is precious. Each spot we stand is special. Every star we admire is gorgeous. Every day is an adventure. Embrace it.

If you are from Oklahoma or have visited and found a great star-gazing spot to see the Milky Way, I’d love to hear from you!

74 comments

  1. The Milky Way is definitely something that I want to see in my lifetime, but I did not know that we can see it in Oklahoma. I would also like to see the Aurora lights too. Might have to travel a bit north to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I may have to start a bucket list just to add this item to it! I love the idea of traveling somewhere with very little light pollution to get a beautiful glimpse of the milky way. I can’t even imagine how beautiful it must have been!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Haha what an adorable bucket list goal! I love it! You can see that you put a lot of planning into this and I’m happy you made it to Oklahoma to see the stars. I need to get more creative with my list.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, who knew?! Oklahoma is one of the few states I haven’t visited yet but now it’s going to the top of my bucket list, too! Glad you got to check this goal off your list!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have never been to Oklahoma so I would not have thought to go there to do any star gazing. How lovely that you got to cross this off your bucket list. I have been able to see the milky way from camping in the desert however. It’s truly spectacular!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As,I tend to save my travel for tropical or international destinations, and I’m not much of a star-gazer, but you sure make it sound tempting! 😁 Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love star gazing, and that’s on my bucket list too, also for a photography bucket list 🙂 I have shortlisted a place in India for that, hopefully I’ll be able to do so soon. Didn’t you click any pictures?? I would love to see some 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We lived a long time in Tucson Arizona and the stars there are amazing. The city makes an effort to keep light pollution down for the local observatories but it’s more than that. They are up at a little elevation and there is almost no humidity. An Oklahoma summer is a humid affair which might take down the viewing. If you ever get a chance to see the milky way, it’s an amazing sight. Try and schedule it on a new moon when there is a meteor shower going on.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I have never visited Oklahoma but one day I would. It is not on my bucket and perhaps that is because I do not yet have one. I especially like the sobering fable you related of the man searching for the diamond which was right in his backyard all the time. I feel as though it is indicating to me that I must appreciate the good things I have right now around me. While travelling is refreshing I do not have to feel diminished in any way If I do not travel to faraway places in keeping with current hypes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow, what a beautiful picture on that glassy water. I love that you put the Milky Way on your bucket list. I have heard that getting out in the wilderness away from the city lights is so important to get a good glimpse.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This place is on my bucket list. I once had a friend that invited me to go and I wish I would have back then. You stated some amazing reasons to go. On my bucket list now.

    Liked by 2 people

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