Touring Texoma: Wichita Mountains/Meers with Skip

In only one week, We'll be helping Skip celebrate his 2nd retirement after his first retirement from the Air Force years ago.

Skip's last official day at KFDX is next Thursday after almost 32- years.

But, before signing off, Skip and the Touring Texoma team took to the road for a couple of trips Skip has been putting off for a while.

Last week, they were there for his first trip back to Possum Kingdom in some time.

This week, Skip's taking them along on a trip to the Wichita Mountains and the Meers Store, and for a closeup look at the Meers fault line.

(Skip) "I'm on top of the fault line! Yes!"

(Joe Maranto/Meers Store & Restaurant) "If you're going to do something, do it right."

At the foot of possibly the oldest mountain range in the United States sits the perfect start to a day- long tour with Skip McBride, the famous Meers Store and Restaurant.

(Skip) "So, how many burgers can you put out per hour?"

(Joe) Oh, I've never really figured it. We can put out, about 40- burgers every 20- minutes."

(Skip) "Wow."

(Joe) "Something like that."

Besides enjoying Joe Maranto's food, including his world- famous longhorn burger, Skip and many others enjoy Joe's stories about the areas rich history as much as his food.

Stories about miners, hidden gold and more.

The Meers store is the last remaining structure of the gold mining town of Meers founded in 1901.

Even though little gold was actually found, rumors of hidden gold brought into the mountains by Jesse James are talked about still today.

(Joe) "There's a rock up there with his initial. And, there's a cave up there, and they say that's where he kept his stash. But, you know, they say no one found his gold, but yes they did. Frank came and got it when he got out of jail. And, Frank lived rather nicely for the rest of his life because he had the gold."

(Skip) "You know, when this was working, the couple of times I visited, the first thing I'd do is walk by and look and see, and look and see if anything was there. Whether there was anything or not. The first thing I'd do is go, okay where is it?"

Up until about 10- years ago, one big attraction here too was the Meers seismograph, installed in May, 1985 by the Oklahoma Geological Survey to monitor the Meers fault.

(Joe) "This building sits on top of rocks. When the rocks move, it shakes it pretty good."

(Skip) "How far away is the fault from here?"

(Joe) "2- miles about."

(Skip) "Oh, just back."

(Joe) "Yes, just up on the hill. Out that way."

(Skip) "Oh, okay."

The Meers fault, from southeastern Oklahoma to the Texas Panhandle, was created about 1,500 years ago when the Anadarko basin collided with the Wichita uplift to the south.

And, the 15- miles of the fault line that's visible is the only fault line east of the Rocky Mountains that can be seen from the air.

(Skip) "This is the Meers fault?"

(Joe) "This is the Meers fault."

(Skip) "We're standing right on it?"

(Joe) "You're standing right on the Meers fault."

While earthquakes are common in Oklahoma, sometimes the epicenter is on the Meers fault, which was the case in late April, 1998, When a 4.2 was felt from near Enid all the way south to Dallas.

(Skip) "Well, I heard about it 31- years ago when I first got here, and I've always wanted to see the fault line. I never thought I'd get to see it, and I'm looking at it. Joe's parked right on top of the fault line, and it's amazing."

And, for Skip, a trip to the Wichita Mountain area must also include a tour of the Holy City.

(Skip) "The first thing I thought was, this has got to be in many ways exactly what it looked like back in biblical days."

So many truly feel something here in the Holy City, as they do in other areas of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge.

These Wichita Mountains are a sanctuary to native wildflowers and grasses, and native wildlife like buffalo.

(Skip) "No, don't run off. Come back. I'll pay you. I've got money. Oh, that did it. Thanks."

After a quick drive to the top of Mount Scott, views can be found that can not be matched anywhere in Texoma.

(Skip) "When I retired, I came up here for the first time, and I was just blown away. I couldn't believe that this was within 65- miles of Wichita Falls or Oklahoma City. It's unique for this part of the country."

(Skip) "No matter what direction you go, it just gives you a feeling that you're some place that doesn't belong in Texas or Oklahoma."

(Meers Employee) "That one's yours."

(Skip) "And, there's the Seismic."

(Meers Employee) "Enjoy your meal."

(Darrell) "Oh yeah!"

(Skip) "Oh, you're not going to be able to eat that."

So, we're back to where we began. The perfect start and the perfect ending are both the same place.

(Skip) "We've been waiting a while for this."

The Meers Store and Restaurant, the beautiful Wichita Mountains, and the Meers fault line, made up yet another perfect trip for Skip before his retirement.

It was a day and a career that went by before we knew it, much too fast.

(Skip) "To come out, one last shot, and show everybody what we have, if you haven't been here, then yeah this rounds out the whole thing. Now, if I can just get a forecast right I've got it made."

Skip's last newscast with us will be next Thursday at 6 pm.

So, be sure and tune in!!!

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