Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eisenhower and camping

A friend of ours from church organized a camping trip for what was supposed to be 3 families to Eisenhower State Park.  Alas, one family had to bail, when 3 of 4 kids came down sick, and one parent got swamped in work at the last minute.  Then DH (yes Darth of the breathing mask fame), was so exhausted, that he knew it would be better for him to stay home also, and that way he could get his new CPAP and some quiet rest while I wrangled monkeys at Texoma Lake Creek.

So off we went Thursday, after I ran out to the dog ranch to drop off a new power washer for the kennel.  On the way to the dog ranch, I ran across this flying low overhead.  They were so low, I almost got to see them land on a nursing home.  Oops!  Luckily they regained altitude and found somewhere else to set down.

Up at Eisenhower, the camping area was fairly crowded, though the spaces are far enough apart to not be too noisy or smoky.  Being the end of Spring Break here, it was expected to be crowded.

I had never been to Eisenhower Park.   It is nice, and being up on Texoma, tends to have a breeze, lots of trees, and occasionally water in the lake...  There are also some lovely hills and cliffs, rocks and shallow caves to explore.  Three are a number of hiking trails to use too, and we ended up trekking down and back on the Nature Trail on our last morning there.

Our camp was set up quickly, with 3 tents, which was easier to manage alone than the huge family tent we often use.  Our friends, used a large family style tent.  We did the cooking in our area, and ate over in theirs.

With 6 kids and 3 adults, it made for a pleasant time.   The kids all are close in age, except the youngest, who at 3y.o. was not quite as able to keep up with the bigger kids, though it didn't stop her from trying!  The bigger kids all played well together, with lots of made up games, Capture the Flag, digging in the dirt, jumping out of swings, etc.  All the fun of childhood, and with as little supervision as we adults were willing to allow.

Lots of kids strung out along the shore

The rusty post is part of the fishing pier.
We tried fishing, but with the water so low, the fishing pier was well away from the water.   Also the Ranger said the crappie weren't running yet, so after a brief time, the kids all gave up fishing and began hunting the shoreline for fossils.

You can see how low the lake is...

The main fossils found at Eisenhower are ammonites and other aquatic shelled creatures.  The ammonites are everywhere!  We really liked finding them.
Fossil ammonite.
Later we went to the swim beach area, to see if we could get to the shallow caves there. 
This really is the swimming cove.
Swim beach?  Doesn't that usually require water?  Sad....that's how low the water levels are here in North Texas.  But on the plus side of the low water levels, we had no trouble walking across the dry sand to get to the caves.  They are of a soft stone, sandstone I think, with a limestone cap rock.  They have been carved on by visitors for years.

If you look closely, you can see the periodic water line in the caves.  That line is about 20-30' above the sandy cove bottom shown above.  Still, the area is interesting, and the rocks are fun to climb on, especially if you are a kid!  There was one rock that really caught my eye, as it has been eroded into an odd shape.

Our last day out at the park was Saturday.  I was ready to get home, and the weather was getting ready to turn stormy.  We did a mile-plus hike along the park's nature trail.  Unfortunately the trailhead was out of the interpretive maps, so we just hiked, and didn't get to know any of the history of the area. 

There was one strange rock along the trail.  Someone had upturned it, showing a strange branched formation on the rock.  I think it is a fossil coral, but am not certain.  Readers, do any of you have a clue on this rock?
Can you identify this rock?
So in all, we had a great time, and made it home just before the storms hit.  We got over an inch of rain Saturday evening!  It was if only it would rain like that once a week, for the whole summer, Texoma might fill up.

For a look at the fishing pier and what the level of the lake should be, click here.  The pier is the same one we fished under, and you can match up the large stone blocks across the inlet in the picture with mine above.


  1. I guess this is prime camping season for you all, before it gets too hot. We had ice all night and schools are closed today! I love all your pictures - it looks like a wonderful time.

  2. I loved it when I took my kids camping when they were young!!!...:)JP

  3. Oh this looks like where I would be smiling and searching for fossils one of my favourite things to do. You captured some great ones, corral I think. What a great time in a great place. lucky kids you have. Hug B


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