Friday, November 18, 2011

Medicine Bluffs

Finally, the dog days of summer are behind us and fall weather has moved in. Great temperatures for excursions and sightseeing. My nephew came to visit us from Germany and we had a wonderful week exploring our area. One of our excursions took us to Ft. Sill. We started visiting the Medicine Bluff area. What a great place of beauty. Definitely one of my favorite places to enjoy the great outdoors. The Bluff  is a 300 feet escarpment of gray-white granite that rises above the Medicine Bluff Creek. The area was sacred to the Plains Indians. It is easy to see and feel why. Medicine men held vigils there, communicated with the spirits, made medicine, used it for fasting and meditating. A place where they sought the blessings of the Great Spirit. The sick came to place their life virtually into the hands of the Great Spirit.
The place north of the Bluffs was frequently inhabited by the Wichita Tribes who called it Medicine Waters.

My favorite book 'Outdoor and Trail Guide to the Wichita Mountains' by Edward Charles Ellenbrook quotes Thomas C. Battey's 'A Quaker Among the Indians':
The Indian Legend of Medicine Bluff
A noted medicine man of the Indians, in company of some friends, in their travels rode up the slope of this hill from the south, when coming to the top, this frightful precipice of two hundred or more feet appeared before them, stopping them in their course. But the medicine man was not to be stopped, neither turned aside. Uttering some words of Indian magic, he rode his horse over the precipice, but to the astonishment of his friends, instead of being dashed to pieces at the bottom,he was gently borne across the chasm to the opposite bank of the stream, where finding himself alone, he turned his horse to look for his friends, whom he beheld at the top of the bluff, afraid to follow and too proud to go around. To relieve them from their unpleasant position, he rode back to the bottom, crossed the creek and rode directly up the perpendicular wall of rock, which rent at his approach, dividing the bluff in two parts by forming a chasm through the cliff several feet in width, through and up which he rode, rejoicing his companions at the top, who then followed him down, through the pass thus made, now known as the medicine man's pass. This pass is an inclined passage, ten or fifteen feet wide, extending through the cliff to the top.

There is such a serene feeling to this beautiful place. It invites to spend some quiet time, do some meditation and enjoy nature's bountiful beauty.  

This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!