Monday, November 10, 2014

Liberty Lake - 2

Well, Tchaikovsky had swan lake, but I had pelican lake, and
some Canada geese, sandpipers, and killdeer.
This all sounds really negative based on where I left off with the last post, so before moving on, let me balance this. When we came home, I sent a picture of the hole and comments on our experience to the Guthrie city hall. I received a response back from Anthony Gibbs, chief of special projects, saying that he was sorry we had encountered such problems, and that projects are indeed underway to correct the problems and not just greatly improve the campground, but build a new one. He said they have had continual problems with the area where we were. The ground is unstable, and even without rain, the service road is so close to the lake, and the ground so close to the water table of the lake, that it stays soft and has been a perpetual problem. The current campground will be stabilized and will become the parking area for day use activities. A new campground will be built further to the south that will feature gravel drives, leveled camping pads, and both water and electric to all sites. Also, the five-mile section of Academy Road from Guthrie to Liberty Lake will be paved. The new city manager and council, he says, are the most pro-active and determined to provide improved recreational and camping facilities for the public of any in the town’s history. The plans are well underway, and construction should start in July. So, if you plan to visit Liberty Lake and use camping as a launch pad for visiting the attractions in Guthrie, things should shortly be looking up. If the little lady wants something more posh than mud and blue herons, Guthrie also claims to be the bed and breakfast capitol of Oklahoma.

The next experience occurred about 3 o-clock in the morning. I heard a sound like rope being pulled through the canoes or racks, and at the same time Jean said, “There’s something on the truck.” I grabbed the flashlight, slid into my shoes, and bounded out the door in my underwear. There stood a Great Blue Heron on the hood of the Ram. In its haste to get away, it was dancing about on the hood trying to get clear of the tie-down ropes to fly away. It finally found a clear flight path, and took off screeching loudly. I was left with a half-dozen scratches on the hood of our truck, but they should compound out. The bottom line is this---when you go off in search of adventure, be careful what you ask for.

One pelican-killdeer sandwich.
As the sun was setting Friday night, a large flock of American Pelicans had gathered on the lake just offshore from us. A smaller group of Canada geese had also settled in, and after the heron had gone, we listened the rest of the night to honking geese and freight trains that actually were a lot more soothing than one would expect.

With the sunrise, a breeze came up from the south that had a fetch the full length of the lake, and the pelicans were gone. I paddled south, and once I reached the headwaters, there were the pelicans and geese. They had moved there into the lee of the land to seek a calmer breeze and smoother water. I paddled the full perimeter of the lake, and by the time I returned to the north end park area, three fishermen were already sitting along the bank wetting their lines.

And, lastly, three little first-year sandpipers working the shore.

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