Another day of stiff southerly winds, by heading to Draper Lake it was rather like riding up a long, long hill, then rolling back down. I came in by way of the bike path from the northwest corner. Immediately I spotted a cluster of vehicles in the grass along the east side of the main road. You can’t see it in the picture, but off to the left of this scene in a low spot are several more such vehicles and some crime scene tape strung between trees. Now, it’s just possible this was a training exercise, since there were no news station vehicles in attendance. However, when I had completely circled the lake and was on my way out, they were still there. Nothing on the news yet, but I’ll keep watching the next day or two. Strange stuff has happened out there before.
Having almost completed that circuit, I was approaching my left turn to follow Draper Lake Drive around the north end when I saw evidence of bulldozer work at the corner. Down a bit were some barricades saying the road was closed. Farther yet were some trucks and very large earth moving equipment waiting on the side of the pavement. I could see a very wide path was being plowed off at an angle through the woods. Taking a bit of risk, I bypassed the barricades and zipped past all the equipment. However, I was able to make out a rough estimate of the path they were following. It was obviously a road because it was so very straight and wide, with a very gentle curve at the far horizon. I put some blue paint on the image to indicate my estimate of the new roadbed near the eastern arm of the lake.
Because it is so hilly, I’m pretty sure this will be massaged to reduce the grade of climb, but the whole point seems to be dodging that one section right down next to the water’s edge. Aerial photography doesn’t show how there is a very steep climb up a ridge right at the corner where the road turns from straight east-west to a northerly track. Right at the turn, the grade drops steeply back down to near the high-water mark. That road had been under water more than once, and it is coming apart. So this new route should resolve that issue, and they are going all out with a full ripping out of the old road soon. The new route comes across one curve and then makes it a little straighter. At any rate, with all the activity I decided to not stop and attract too much attention, and took the shot of the plowed path from the top of a hill near the end of this mess. Had it been necessary, I would have simply carried my bike on a wood path, since the place is shot through with them.
Meanwhile, I noticed that the aircraft from Tinker were taking advantage of the winds and doing all their landing and take-offs facing south. That meant roaring into the sky overhead for folks out around Draper. During my passage I saw a small trainer (probably an old T-38 Talon), a B-1 bomber, B-52, and a KC-135 before I was too far to look back over my shoulder. It was a fast and furious wind-aided ride home.
Update: As I expected, the Medical Examiner’s Office found human remains out the lake. Story is here: ME: Human Remains Found At Lake Stanley Draper. You can probably match the aerial photo against mine.