Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lake Carl Blackwell - 3

The cattle just kept pouring out of the tall brush, and I was apparently the most interesting thing that had happened in some time. They all followed me back up the shore. Finally I stopped and turned facing them, and just stood there. When they saw that I wasn’t going to break into song and dance and provide a floor show, or roll a 1,200-lb bale of hay out of the canoe, they lost interest and slowly began to wander off.

Just a few of the curious herd.
On Sunday, the winds came back up from the SW-WSW, gusting 25-35mph. The RV was on an open, exposed point and was buffeted back and forth with the gusts. Sitting inside with our books, we could even hear the wind moaning as it played across the tie-down lines on the canoes. Sweeping the full fetch of the lake, the wind sent big whitecaps rolling down the lake.

This all meant I went from paddling to plodding. has a ramp locator site where you can find confirmed boat ramps anywhere across the country, so I took the GPS and walked through the campground confirming boat ramp locations. That gave me a 3.8 mile stroll for the day.

The shallow headwaters area of the lake was incorporated into
pasture.  The problem is that once the area is no longer used, no
one comes back to clean up the mess and return it to a natural state.
Campground fees aren’t bad for the complete facilities provided. They are $20 for camping with water and electric, but there is no senior discount. Everything else is extra, such as $5 for access for day use, $8 launch fee, $10 for each PWC, $5 for a horse trailer and use of bridle trails, and $5 for trout fishing with a limit of 3 fish.

Carl Petty Blackwell, Sr.
Carl Blackwell graduated from OSU, then called the Oklahoma
Agricultural and Mechanical College, in 1918.  He eventually became
the Dean of Agriculture and Director of the school's agricultural
experimental station.

There are a couple caveats with the use of the lake. It is infested with zebra mussels, so all bilges and bait wells have to be emptied and cleaned. The hull has to be dried and scrubbed with hot 10% chlorine-water before going to another body of water. The other is that the lake rangers provide no vessel recovery services. In big, bold, all cap warnings, the boater is advised to provide for alternate plans to rescue himself regardless of the nature of the emergency.

The first cove to the west of the ranger station and store is Blackjack Cove. There is a buoyed line north from there to the opposite shore, which they call the ski line. Boaters, skiers, PWC users, etc are urged to stay east of that line where the water has been swept free of obstructions and is deepest. Venturing west of the ski line means the boater may encounter snags, stumps, and rocks, some just below the surface. The other significance of Blackjack Cove is that the main launch ramps near the ranger station are closed due to the lower water levels, and boaters are encouraged to use the ramp at Blackjack.


We were going to stay an extra day, but the next day’s forecast was for thunderstorms with 50 mph winds in the evening and hail, so we pulled out after breakfast and headed home.

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