Monday, June 25, 2012

So This is How It Is?

Like most weather forecasts, you can pretty much pick the weather you prefer simply by switching between channels. One station forecasts 106 degrees for us today, and 112 tomorrow, and at the other end of the scale is 101 to 104. There were a smattering of numbers in between, so it becomes more of a lottery than a forecast. The only thing they seem to agree on is that there will be no daytime high of less than 100 degrees for at least the next week, and it will likely continue beyond that. Between trying to sleep in stifling, airless tents, or lakes flashing over to toxic algae blooms, or lakes with little to no water, the number of paddling opportunities seem to be crashing to near zero until September.

The yard chores come before paddling, but an occasional
reward comes in the form of a daylily.

Since lakes in the western part of the state are mostly small and scattered, the intention was to make a several day paddling/camping trip by stringing a number of lakes together. Planning included contacting the regulating authorities for each lake to determine local lake conditions, but that soon proved fruitless. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board publication, “Lakes of Oklahoma”, lists the regulating authority for each body of water. Internet sites then will list a contact number for more information. There seems to be a concerted effort to use a phone number as far removed as possible from any person that may actually have information. The Corps of Engineers are probably the best for providing timely information, the municipal authorities the worst. In the latter case, I’ve been transferred as many as five and six times, still unable to get any information. One of the contact persons didn’t even know there was a lake under their authority. Getting nowhere, I finally decided to say the heck with it, and just go and figure it out as I went. This trip was the effort to that end.

Sometimes someone else appreciates all the work.  This guy followed
me as I crawled around on my hands and knees.  He liked the fresh mulch,
and wasn't too upset with the occasional bug I turned up.

As I drove west, I was surprised at the number of wildflowers still blooming.
This is what the prairie looked like this time last year.

Of course, you'd expect the thistle to survive.  Like the Scots, they survive anything.

Englemann's Daisy


Prickly Poppy


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