9.29.2008,8:21 PM
Butterfield Trail: Camp
Camp Sweet Camp

I’m amazed sometimes at how we as a civilization can harness the power of this planet, such as harnessing the flow of water to power a city of people. Dams are a testament to that.

Riding back into Texas from OK on HWY 91, we rode over the Denison dam that bottles 2463188 acre-feet of Red River water over 89,000 acres. The resulting reservoir is one of the largest in this country; in four Oklahoma counties and two in Texas (Grayson and Cooke). Building of the dam began in 1939 and was completed in February 1944. Only three times has water gone over the spillway: 1957, 1990, and July, 2007.

Riding over the dam gives a sense of imbalance: several feet above placid water as far as one can see on the west side, a deep valley below with trees, green grass and a wide river of water nonchalantly flowing down stream. It evokes a weird sensation.

We headed south to the nearest town: Denison. With bar-b-que dancing in our heads and throats yearning for cold iced tea, we found the unassuming Hickory House restaurant near downtown.

(photo courtesy of Ed)

The meat and sauce were good with several sides to choose from. Blue Bell ice cream seems to be popular up in that area, we saw it advertised many places. Hickory House was no exception. I ate like a starving dog and topped off the meal with a small dish of ice cream. I was satisfied.

It had been a busy day and it was catching up with us. Thoughts of kicking back at the campsite were looming over both of us and we headed back to the park. By now most of the staff at headquarters knew us and we were waved in without checking in for the rest of our stay.

Back at camp, we peeled off our gear and settled in for a relaxing evening by the lake. A few nearby campsites were occupied, but it still was relatively empty. Since we were at the end of the campground, we had the luxury of only one neighboring site. It was time to relax and I did what I usually do: find a spot by the water and sit.

Something about bodies of water pulls me like a magnet, or a fish out of water. It soothes the body and mind, turns thoughts inward, and I’m soon dropped out of the race and into a pond of pensiveness.

The sun was dropping down in the western sky casting a warm yellow glow on facing surfaces. Shadows and reflections danced all over the water, the cliffs and the ground. Dusk is one of my favorite times to photograph, trying to capture the serenity, textures and details that only angled sunshine can impart.

I watched others enjoy the lake in different ways.

Soon I was about ready to close my eyes and succumb to unconsciousness. I crawled into my bag and fell fast asleep.

That is, until a carload of ‘sorority girls’ pulled into the campsite next to us deep in the night, tittered, slamming car doors, talking incessantly, and giggled while trying to erect a huge tent by the light of their headlights.

Next: Surprises

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posted by Macrobe
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