Today’s adventure offered lots of surprises. I recommend you click the map to get a look at it; CTRL-click to keep it open in another browser tab. I came in via the Sooner Road corridor and simply rode off the main road into the grassy field adjacent to #1, which represents the first image below.
On the maps you would see a large, circular orange spot indicating open soil and rock with little or no grass. It was a very near the crown of the hill. I wanted to investigate a couple of features visible on the satellite images. I noticed right away the area I explored today was very rough, so it would offer lots of features.
Just south of the trail I chose was this lovely rocky draw framed in cedar trees. The southern bank was a red sandstone escarpment. The first image was from down in the bottom, while the second was looking down into it from the other side of those cedars. The immediate shelf top was about half my height from the bottom. Keep this in mind because I had to come back to it.
I was under the impression that I could head SE and perhaps find one of those ancient roads carved along the banks of the lake. I kept running into big drops like this one on the right here. Just behind me was a lot more of that, but covered with trees. This area under the trees on the map near #4 was a series of deeply washed out gullies cut through by subsequent washout draws. At times it was vertical for five meters or more. I’m not saying there is no trail through there, but I couldn’t find one for use by humans. I didn’t even see deer tracks that much.
So I went back to that lovely stone draw and found a gentle slope to the west where I could walk my bike through there. On the opposite side was another rise, covered in grass, shrubs and lots of thorny stuff. It was rough and the only visible trail ran back almost to the road. At this point I’ve added a line drawn to indicate approximately my path, following a moderately used equestrian trail. Oddly enough, I spotted cattle tracks, too. They are easily three or four times the size of deer tracks, though otherwise similar. It swung around the tree-covered multi-path washout and eventually this trail took me down to the old road I imagined should have been there all along. I traced it back in the direction I wanted to come from, but it was blocked by trees and washed out beyond that. So heavy rains in the past two or three years have cut that road completely, as the washout looked rather new. But heading on toward the SE, I did find a Jeep trail that paralleled the main, deep canyon that runs into an arm of the lake.
It would have been picturesque if not so densely covered with tree branches reaching out to shake hands with me. Eventually I ran into evidence of recent motor vehicle traffic, probably two different full-sized pickup trucks, judging from the spacing and tire width. It would have required four-wheel drive to get through some of that. It was pretty rough but fast enough that I felt like staying with it. I came out on the point with a floating dock, facing two of the points from previous adventures. There was only an old guy fishing out there when I came off the trail, and he left before long. I had the place to myself for awhile.
It made a great prayer chapel. I stayed quite a while and thought how cool it would be to hold worship out here in this place. The winds were stiff, ranging between 20 MPH up to nearly 40 at times. That meant this thing was bobbing up and down a little, plus oscillating a bit on the end of the floating walkway to which it was attached. It had been a tad cool and facing headwinds coming out, but was now quite warm with those stiff winds behind me all the way home.