Yesterday was unusually warm for this time of year; above 60°F (16C) all day. Since I knew a cold front was coming today, I decided to shift my workout schedule around and make one last exploration bike ride ride to the east shore of Draper Lake. This exploration took me to the very southeastern corner, and included Points 22 and 23. The southern shore will require a day when I can drive the car because it is not bike accessible. As usual, the lavender numbers indicate the approximate location of the following images.
Who would have expected to find a park grill out in the woods? This was on the trail around the shoreline right near where I started in the upper right hand corner of the satellite image. I recollect that this part was closed to motor vehicles just a few years ago, so this still looks usable. I was able to ride a good bit more on this exploration because the sand was less soft. In some places there were stretches of bedrock, but in others it was damp and hard-packed from wave spray where it was exposed to the stiff southerly winds.
The bronze plaque reads, “Scott Wheeler, 1970-1997.” It’s a common name and my search was swamped with meaningless data. There’s nothing in the local obits from 1997, so he may have been from another state. It’s just one of those mysteries. The monument was braced by large black sandstone boulders, which was a good move, given the sandy shore moves from time to time.
This was just an eye-catching arrangement of natural elements. Because the water level is controlled, there are long stretches of decades with no new erosion until the lake is flooded with excessive rain with no place to go. This lake is a water reservoir and is frequently refilled from the Atoka Reservoir, so it’s pretty rare to get more water than OKC can use. Only the wind and rain is likely to wear away enough soil to make those cedars fall over.
Farther around the shore, this tableau presented itself. There were several extensions of this bedrock standing far out into the water, but the pictures didn’t turn out well. The day’s wave action followed a few weeks of dry light winds from the opposite direction carrying sand. Thus, these rocky outcroppings were coated in wet sand and pretty slippery.
This one showed up farther around on the next point. Not visible from this angle was a channel of moderate depth separating it from the place I stood. A boat could pass through there, so it constitutes a tiny island just offshore. The whitecaps in the image show how stiff the wind was.
Out on the point itself were more of the same kind of outcroppings. This was where I had to go up and over the dunes because it was too rough to push my bike around the end. There was a lovely spot near those scrub oak trees where the water had hollowed out of the rock and people had used it for a large campfire site. The image I took was marred by glint off their litter; it has seen a good bit of recent use.
The end of my shore chasing was the large covered dock. With the somewhat low water levels, the dock itself was resting on the lake bed, but the walkway was just floating enough to rock heavily from the swells. The sections are held together by huge 2-inch bolts through heavy plating ears with bolt holes. These bolts are loose and the whole thing made quite a racket. It also made quite an entertaining walk out to the dock, heaving under my feet. The water is just deep enough to sustain the full 2-foot waves that occasionally blew in. The place was still a lovely chapel for worship, but I was quite alone with God the whole time. It makes me long for fellowship.
The weather forecasters call this a “moderate chop” for boating, but by the time it hits the shore rocks, the waves are dampened by the rising bottom. As I stood watching this spot, a few waves stood as much as 6 inches. What it represents is a stiff southerly wind that made it a lot easier to pedal my way home for 15 miles, since it was a tailwind.