Saturday, July 22, 2017

Crowder Lake - Part 2

Sneezeweed in full bloom.
The huge bloom of a Prickly Poppy.  The shorter orange flowers
are Indian Blankets.
I’m glad I have this trip to write about, because there certainly isn’t anything going on right now.  The temperature is 104-deg. with a 108-deg. heat index in the shade.  The shade is rather pointless, because the wind of 15 mph and more blows the heat right under any shade tree to carry all the heat with it.  It has been this way for the last week, and is expected to continue without any foreseeable break. 

There is another short creek running to the north, but west of Cobb
Creek, that runs into a wooded area.
A Great Blue Heron fishing along the bank.
We (my companion being my 14-ft. Kevlar Hornbeck Adirondack pack canoe, ’Buddy’) reached Crowder by going south on Rt. 54 from Weatherford for 6.9 miles after passing under I-40.  At Cty. Rd. E1100, turn left (east) for 2 miles to the first stop sign at Cty. Rt. N2410.  There is a small sign for the lake at this turn.  This will take you across the headwaters of Cobb Creek in a deep ravine that one sign identifies as Cedar Canyon.  At 2410, turn right (south) for one mile, and at the dead end, turn right again into the drive to Crowder Lake.  The gate is closed from 10PM to 6AM. The lake belongs to the Southwest Campus of Oklahoma State University.  There are five paved RV sites available on a first-come, first served bases at $20/night.  Tent camping is $12.  Seniors receive a $2 discount.  There is a very nice paved parking lot at the concrete ramp at L35.39743N Lo98.70259W.  There is also a 1-mile paved nature trail that emphasizes tree species identification.

This beaver lodge in the delta of Cobb Creek is the second largest
I've seen.

Like most Western and Plains states, any open public lands are open
to cattlemen for grazing at the rate of $1.87 a head/month.  Anywhere
you step ashore, you have cattle to deal with, and there appears to be
no responsibility for maintaining them.
The lake is great for paddlers.  Power boats are permitted, but idle-speed, no wake operation is enforced with a $290 fine as an incentive for compliance.  I have no doubt that the lake can get busy during the summer, but I had the lake to myself except for one fishing pontoon boat and a couple bank fishermen in the park.  When I prepared to leave, a university photography class arrived to take out a half-dozen large aluminum canoes, so my timing was perfect.  

Large, red sandstone cliffs hang out over the stream. 

The bridge across Cobb Creek spans what they call Cedar Canyon.
Not far beyond, the stream grows much shallower, but compensates
with a nice, firm, gravel bottom.

When we bottomed out on the gravel bar, I climbed up the steep
bank to have lunch in a grove of trees.  Nearby lay the skeleton
of a cow that had obvious laid there for a considerable span of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment