BISON

An RV park in Oklahoma City earned accolades from an RV organization not just because of the indoor swimming pool or the complimentary muffins in the morning. It was the resident bison that sealed the deal. Tulsa World Magazine file

Rockwell RV Park, 720 S. Rockwell Ave., Oklahoma City, 405-787-5992, rockwellrvpark.com


OKLAHOMA CITY — If David Miller wants to see the bison roam, he just has to step outside of his office.

The owner of Rockwell RV Park on Oklahoma City’s west side, Miller shares his property with more than a dozen bison.

“I get people telling me that they can’t believe I’ve got buffalo in Oklahoma City,” Miller said. “You can get closer to them here than at Yellowstone.”

Located at 720 S. Rockwell Ave., the park is just south of Interstate 40 and is adjacent to the municipal bike trail system. It has 170 70-foot-long spaces for recreational vehicles, with about 120 regularly occupied by long-term guests. Each space has connections for water, electricity, sewer, Wi-Fi and cable, plus access to two laundry facilities and two bathhouses.

“It’s a lot like an apartment complex or a hotel, except everyone owns their own unit,” Miller said.

The park also features an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub, a dry sauna, shuffleboard, a basketball court, exercise equipment, complimentary homemade muffins, newspapers and coffee. In good weather, the park also sets up a mini drive-in with outdoor movie nights.

With all of the additional amenities, though, Miller knows that the bison and their 10,000-foot corral are still one of the bigger draws at his self-described “working man’s oasis.”

The park’s owner since 1992, Miller started with five bison about a decade ago when he purchased them at auction at the Wichita Mountains in southwestern Oklahoma. Over the years, calving has become an annual sight in the park’s 10,000-foot custom-made corral, which is surrounded by an additional fence as a safety measure for guests and bison alike.

The pen’s occupants have also changed over the years due to bull trades with the nearby Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, a few purchases and a few being butchered and stuffed.

“I’ve got the back end of a buffalo mounted in the men’s room,” Miller said. “It took the taxidermist a year and a half to get it right because he had never mounted the back end before. It’s pretty common to see men and women taking pictures with it.”

Earlier this year, the mini herd earned Miller’s park a Weird and Wonderful runner-up award from the Good Sam Club. The international organization of RV owners looks at more than 400,000 parks across the United States and presents its Weird and Wonderful awards annually to the quirkiest facilities.

The winner? “Llamas. I got beat by a guy with llamas,” he said with a chuckle.