Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Buck Creek Lake -2

Continuing up Buck Creek and going under a highway bridge.
After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the Treaty of Greenville made official a huge, monstrous land seizure that would displace the Wyandot, Lenape, Shawnee, Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa, Wea, Potawatomi, Kaskaskia, and Kickapoo tribes from the lands that would create Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. Six Kentucky families settled awhile along Buck Creek, but moved on. In 1813, David and Barbara Crabill arrived by Conestoga wagon on what is now the west shore of the lake. Their two-story Federal-style home and outbuildings have been preserved and are still open to the public seasonally.

A large cluster of wild daylilies along the bank of Buck Lake.
We were to be treated to a rare pleasure as we drove through the park. The grass is mowed for about 50-ft on either side of the 10-mph road. Munching the freshly mowed grass was a spotted fawn. It didn’t seem to notice us approaching at such a slow rate until we were very close. It wasn’t new-born, but was still young enough that it didn’t have command of what its hind quarters were doing. It would turn and trot a few paces, then stop and turn to see what we were doing. As it tried to trot off, its hind legs would refuse to follow its front end, and would swerve left and then right of where it was trying to go. On one stop and turn, its rear end tried to swing out and keep going, giving it the appearance of a NASCAR racer that has just blown a tire and is headed for the wall. It appeared it finally decided that no matter how many times he tried to run away, we would just keep following, and bolted into the underbrush and disappeared.

A family of Canada geese and their goslings.
The park was very well maintained, but the training of staff was a bit lacking. The girl handling camping registration knew nothing about the park. It appeared that as soon as she knew how to run credit cards and operate the cash register, she was deemed trained. She told us that our campsite was right on the beach, and that we could launch the canoe right from there. After getting the RV set-up, I walked down to check out the launching area on the beach. There was no beach, but a 20-30-ft. cliff and dense foliage that ran into the water. The foliage was held together by a thicket of poison oak and poison ivy.

Then, two more families suddenly appear, and as they all try
to rush around the point where the creek empties into the lake, 
---a traffic jam.
I made her aware of this and tried, as tactfully as possible, to suggest she may want to walk around and familiarize herself with the campground. I asked if there was a boat ramp at the marina. She said that well, obviously, there was a ramp at the marina. The next morning I drove Buddy the mile or so to the marina, where I found a sign saying that no one but a boat owner with a berth in the marina could launch from the ramp. The tackle shop had just opened, so I went in to question someone there. The man said, “No. Go ahead and launch. They were supposed to take that sign down like five years ago.” So, I launched. It was rather frustrating at the time, but it just helps to warn the traveler that he needs to be patient and flexible---the adventure of the open road and all that.
Buddy stops at one of the few places to step from the canoe
for a short breather.
I went clockwise around the lake, and then up Buck Creek as far as I could get until blocked by deadfall. The foliage runs all the way into the water all around the lake, but I still found a few places where I could get out to stretch my legs, and even found one very nice camping site just south of Buck Creek. The lake is rather featureless. As much as I could see, the bottom is scattered rock on a bare sandy/mud bottom. For that reason, the Corps has built 16 fish havens to give small fish some chance of escape from predators.

One of a number of fish havens created by driving numerous
piles into the bottom.


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