Monday, March 23, 2009

Lake Eufaula, OK

Since I have been in Eufaula now for a couple of weeks and will probably be here for at least a few more days, I decided to write about the area. Of course it is in Oklahoma, but it is located in the southeast corner. Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in Oklahoma contained completely inside the state. The lake was created by placing a dam on the Canadian River, 27 miles upstream from where it flows into the Arkansas River. Three rivers in Oklahoma feed this lake, the North and South Canadian Rivers as well as the Deep Fork River. It also has some historical significance as the home of Belle Starr, one the west's notorious female outlaws. The Younger-James gang was also reputed to have one of their hideouts in an area just below where the dam now resides. South of here in Wilberton, OK, is Robbers Cave State Park where there is more evidence of the James Gang hanging out in this area of Oklahoma during his bandit years.

My parents bought a lot on Lake Eufaula when I was only 12 (don't ask how many years ago that was because I'm not telling). Of course it was fully wooded then and since then there has
been a succession of trailer homes prior to this final modular home being placed on the property. In 1994 my parents moved from Oklahoma City to Eufaula after my dad announced he was tired of maintaining 2 homes.

They also have a boat dock on the water, even though they do not have a lake front lot. They say the Corp of Engineers, who own the lake, no longer allow more docks to be added to the existing number, so for anyone who has one, it is a prized possession.

But this is one reason I'm not particularly fond of this lake. It is so large that even a mild wind can bring whitecaps, but when the wind is strong, which is often in Oklahoma, then you have waves like those above.

Here is the main boat dock and marina in town.

Main Street Eufaula, OK. Like many other rural towns it has its share of closed storefronts.

Eufaula claims many famous people, including the Creek poet, Alexander Posey. The town started to develop following the arrival of the Katy Railroad in 1872. But the area was popular with the Creek Indians for many years prior. It has long been a gathering place for the Creeks, holding many Pow Wows and Indian Conferences.

It also boasts as to being the home of many famous OU football players. Several have gone on to play, at least for a season, in the professional football leagues, while J.C. Watts, Jr., became a republican senator for the state of Oklahoma.

Not too far from my parents is a COE recreation area. On my way I noticed the sign for an Indian church, the Tuskegee Indian Baptist Church.

As you can see, this church has been around a long time, but I believe the church I photographed is not the original building. There were several older buildings near the current church.

This is Mill Creek Recreation Area. There were several RV sites right on the water. There is also a boat ramp and a nice area to kayak.

A close up of one of the RV sites. And of course if you hold a Golden Age/Access pass it is 1/2 off the daily fee of $7. Can't beat a bargain like that for a waterfront site.

So you don't miss the turn off.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I finally downloaded pictures from my camera. Not only are there the pictures from my trip up Apache Trail, but pictures from a memorable birthday party for a friend. I have uploaded pictures from both activities.

This corral has both horses and an ostrich. I always heard ostriches were mean. Maybe horses are just as mean. They don't seem to mind sharing their area anyway.

Looking down on Canyon Lake. This is supposed to be high desert, but look how green everything is. If you look close you see bits of yellow on the side of the road. These are just some of the wildflowers we saw blooming.

The saloon at Tortilla Flats

My friend, Tom, was celebrating his birthday (we won't say how old) in Tucson last month. Since he has been getting some work done on his knees and some dental work as well, we decided to surprise him with a party using this theme.

Tom getting checked out by his partner.

Tom was well attended by several nurses and doctors.

Another shot of the doctors and nurses.
Notice the different sizes of the pictures. Since I have to reduce the size of my pictures prior to uploading, I was trying out some different sizes. I don't think I like the real small pictures, so I will go back to the larger format in the future.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On the Road Again

Update on my dental work. I went back to Algodones on Saturday morning. In fact, I was there when the dentist arrived. He got me right in, did some more adjustments and less than 1 hour later I walked straight back across the border. And that was over 5 days ago. No more problems.

I left Yuma Saturday and returned to Apache Junction. On Sunday I went out to the rodeo grounds for Lost Dutchman Days. Listened to a couple of bands, ate fair food, then left and went shopping.

But Monday things changed. I'm now in a dispute over my retirement check from Boeing and I'm hoping I will win, but I need my paperwork and it's in storage. But the worst thing was news my mother hurt her leg and was having trouble walking. This is bad because she takes care of my father. So after several calls and a lot of discussion on Wednesday morning I headed back to Eufaula, OK, to help out. A cousin who lives close by has thankfully gone over to stay with them until I get there.

And then Tuesday more happened. My youngest son called to let me know the apartment complex where he lives caught fire and burned on Tuesday. Only several apartments actually burned, but they were next to his so there was lots of water damage and smoke damage. And of course everyone in the complex had to find somewhere else to stay since the apartments were no longer liveable with the damage and no utilities. They always say when it rains and pours and boy did it pour down on Monday and Tuesday.

But there was the positive. Even during this dispute over my retirement check and even if I lose, I'm still ok. There were friends and family to help my mom. And my son, nor anyone else, was hurt in the fire and he has somewhere to go until he finds a new place to live. There is always a rainbow after a storm, sometimes it's just hard to find.

But before leaving Apache Junction I got to revisit a place I hadn't been for 4 years and got to see some new territory. Max and I took a drive out the Historic Apache Trail from Apache Junction past Tortilla Flats on up to Roosevelt Lake, then returned via Punkin Center and Lake Saguaro. I had been as far as Tortilla Flats 4 years ago, but had not taken the drive the rest of the way to Rooselvelt Lake. How beautiful it was. With all the rain and warm temps the cactus and desert flowers think it is later in the spring and are blooming. Everything was green and gorgeous. I have never been in the desert in the spring and have never seen the desert beauty like this before. I did get some pictures but haven't downloaded them off the camera yet. So, they will get uploaded later.

Tonight I am sitting in a truck stop in Grant, NM. I also drove new territory today coming from Apache Junction through Globe, Show Low and on up to I-40. It was an interesting drive. Some of the steepest and curviest driving I've done yet. But I wasn't in any hurry and would not hesitate to do it again. The Salt River Valley was also pretty. But since my intent is to get to OK quickly, I am now on I-40, along a stretch I have driven several times. Nothing particularly spectaculor, just lots of pavement and truckers.