The other day, when I was revisiting the canyon (near “A” on the map), the trail leading farther called my name. After a few cold days, I knew where I wanted to go today. It still required sweat pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt on top, but it was plenty comfortable for exploring something I hadn’t already seen. The lavender numbers should serve well to mark the path I took. Just click any image to get a closer view.
Just beyond the canyon was another, less dramatic washout. However, the water course that cuts such a very deep trough through this area invites this kind of washout. Just beyond this point the trail crested the rise and descended slowly into the woods. As noted previous, this area has seen some equestrian traffic, so it was passable at this point, hugging the shore around the western side of the point. This is the arm of the lake where that deep trough runs out. The shore remains pretty high all the way around to the point. There was no soft sandy patches, so the trail through the woods was pretty fast. Once or twice I had to dismount and jump over a log or two, but I felt like the gravel was the roughest part. You see, this was once long ago a road out to the point and lots of heavy crushed granite was dumped on the road bed, along with whole clay bricks and chunks of rubble. In some places these fist-sized obstacles were hidden in the grass, so it was pretty rough. The image above right is looking back up the trail behind me; you may have trouble seeing it, but there is a slender track there.
So it was otherwise fast rolling and took rather little time to get out onto the point. There were quite a few “decorative” slabs of broken red sandstone around the place, and quite a few abandoned tires. The point wasn’t all that beautiful down on the shore, but I was amused at how close I was to the main park facilities on one point east of me, and just south was a covered boat dock on another point. This one was numbered 7, as I discovered when I got there.
But back up the slope was a lovely high stone tableland with a grand view and this turned out to be the chapel for today. It was also the point where I began feeling the wind fully. On the way out, the NW wind was behind me all the way down the Sooner Road corridor and along the bike trail. Once I dropped off down into the woods, I had to remove the long-sleeved over shirt, leaving my short-sleeved undershirt. Now I was just starting to lose all that heat.
I strove mightily to take the middle trail instead of continuing around the shore trail, but there were too many places where it was blocked by regrowth. Eventually I came across a sort of cascading bluff that was just about passable carrying the bike. This image doesn’t do it justice, but there were about eight or ten terraces, each at least half my height. Along the edges I found places I could step up with the load. From up on top, it was a lovely view. Farther upland was yet another large flat tableland and I could have stayed there all day. It was just a place of beauty, the wind smelling clean and it spoke my name. This was the eventual goal of the ride today. It would be a great place for cool weather camping.
Getting out of there was pretty tough. Heading back down in the general direction of the canyon, I ran into a place where the trail was blocked by deadfall and I had to spend some time breaking old dead limbs and pushing stuff out of the way. Down a bit into some woods and then up another rise, I ran into a place where the trail was totally overgrown with saplings sprouting thickly, thorns all around their roots and lots of little thorny plum bushes. I prayed, then asked the plants to show me the path I knew they had to offer. It was twisting and winding, but it was there and nothing shredded my clothes. Eventually I got back out into the open grass. This last image shows what the final exit trail looked like. I had been part way out in that area long ago and knew what to expect. It brought me out onto the northern section of Draper Lake Drive. I put my long-sleeved shirt back on and rode home against the wind, which was even stiffer now than when I came out.