Caddo Lake near Uncertain TX March 6-7 2013

Caddo Lake near Uncertain TX March 6-7 2013

Postby bargee » 28 Apr 2014 12:32

(As an aside I happened to notice recently Don Henley who was born and raised near here not only worked on helping Walden Pond continue to exist but he also has had some influence on this lake. More power to him.)


Below is a trip report (originally posted on the Folbot forum) made after visiting Caddo Lake which is a natural body (not a reservoir) of water straddling the Texas/Louisiana line. Things hadn't greened up yet.

Many writers call it ‘mysterious’ and it fills the bill as it’s almost spooky what with the light cascading through the trees and alligators and everything. Unfortunately I didn’t see any alligators as it was apparently a bit early in the season for them to be out and about much although one guy told me I had better be careful or they would munch me! He may have been pulling my leg :) but when you’re sitting paddling in very shallow water in some slough next to the shore of the deep dark woods it’s food for thought…

As it turns out I munched one of them at a restaurant that evening as I had never tried it before; kind of gristly and it’s not on my list of ‘must do again’ things although it’s edible (what isn’t when you fry it?) and the story telling value is worth something. 

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I haven’t mastered the capabilities of my (then) new camera... digital auto-focus is not my friend. :oops:

I rented the Limited Use cabin (#10) at Caddo Lake State Park which has only electricity – no running water and the restrooms are about 50 yards away, across the road. The dock to put in at is about 100 yards from the water across the driveway so I got a bit of exercise hauling my Yukon back and forth. There are modern cabins but they're further from the dock.

I learned your paddling options are comparatively limited from this location and if there is a next time I’ll stay a bit further east in the city of Uncertain (this is Texas where Kinky Friedman in 2006 ran for Governor with the motto ‘How Hard Can It Be?’) which puts you onto the main body of the lake; looks to me like Crip’s Camp will be the hot tip – the cabins are a couple of hundred yards from the water.

I did preparatory homework best I could trying to get a read on the layout but had much difficulty: just google map it and switch back and forth between the satellite view to get an idea. Anyway, it’s arguably just as confusing starting from the State Park dock as it doesn’t really look like you can get anywhere from there:

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but you can believe if you can it will be worth it. 

The first day I was mainly on Hell’s Half Acre paddling trail:

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Lots of turtles with many less shy than typical - I could have grabbed a couple and clobbered many more with my paddle:

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I'm guessing his name is Earnest.

And lots of birds:

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At least one duck blind:

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S/he is walking on the giant salvinia (and still having hunting success):

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Unfortunately someone imported giant salvinia from Brazil and it’s done significant damage; they say if it gets completely out of control it will pretty much kill a body of water by precluding any other plant life. The closest analogy I can devise is imagine a carpet floating on the water and trying to boat over it… just for grits and shins I tried going through some of the thicker and it practically immobilizes you. This picture is facing east toward where one of the primitive campsites is and it’s unreachable:

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However, it is currently still Caddo Lake and there is no shortage of beauty:

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Next morning it was pretty nippy (40 fahrenheit) as a cold front dominated

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A Grandmother Cyprus with lots of adoring aspiring babies
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Your intrepid yet humble <wink> voyager:

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Go while you can.
Seriousness is not a virtue.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton
bargee
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