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CADDO LAKE STATE PARK:  A photo tour through the park that needs no explaination.

Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Caddo Lake State Park is so close to Uncertain it's pretty much one place.   All along I was expecting to be so crowded by trees I couldn't change my mind.  But I was wrong.  I don't reckon I've been so wrong about one thing for so long in my life.

I understand the park is actually in Karnack, the birthplace of Lady Bird Johnson --
but experience and the map keeps pointing to Uncertain.  Don't worry. 
You're not likely to get lost cause we didn't.

N.jpg (3257 bytes)aturally, finding myself liking East Texas after a lifetime of aversion was perplexing to the extreme.  Ms. Intrepid had one of those "I would'a told you so but you wouldn't listen" grins on her face which started to show up every time I looked away.   The only way to approach this situation is head on.  Make fun of yourself .   That way you can both laugh at the same thing. 
       "If I'd been any more wrong," I said, "I'd have a career with the highway department, hanging signs."
       "I hear they're hiring," she replied grinning at me when she should'a been watching the road.
       "I mythed the whole point of East Texas," I added aiming for a higher level of humor.  (Ever shoot an arrow straight up in the air?)
       When I heard what I said I wondered what it meant.  
       I don't know much of what happened after that.   My thoughts were stuck like a dirt daubers nest somewhere between lunacy and enlightenment. Caddo Lake and the job at hand came none too soon.  Here's something I thought I'd never hear me say: Caddo Lake is one of the prettiest places in Texas.   You can wear out a good camera trying to take it all in if you're not careful.
Caddo Lake State Park Road Trip        The park has all the paved roads it needs.  Not too many and the ones that are here are in the right place and done well. Some bright spot really put his thinking cap on when this place was laid out.  Even with roads going off in several directions at the end of each is a turn-around where big rigs can go back where they came from without backing into cypress trees or sleeping campers.  Seems no matter where you are the lake is close by.
        Although we didn't know it at the time, they have lodges for as little as $60 a night complete with microwaves, refrigerators and showers. I'd still be mourning our ignorance if it hadn't rained for the next several days which would have put the lid on picture taking anyway.
Caddo Lake State Park Headquarters
       Caddo was the only natural lake in Texas until around 1900 when some oilmen built a dam so they could get to their claim.  Now the area is some 32,000 acres of bayous and cypress swamp where critters like egrets, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutrias, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, deer and 71 species of fish call home.  (Ok, I read that last stuff on the parks website and I must admit that I didn't know there were 71 species of fish in the whole state let alone one lake.)
      The leaves were just starting to take on their fall color which meant we were there at the worst time.  You know, when something is pretty but mostly promise.  I've been told that fools rush in and get the best seats.  I've tried that.  Sometimes you can sit around forever waiting for something to happen.   (Now, where was I?  Oh, yes...)
Caddo Lake Lilly Pads       We were a little early for the fall color which was just beginning to show on the trees but that didn't hold us back.  It will probably be prettier in the next month or so.  In addition to the  campsites, with and without hookups, they have screened in cabins for folks who can't decide between the cabins' lap of luxury or roughing it in tents.
       We left the park and headed toward Lone Star, Texas where I could lay claim to having a Lone Star in Lone Star and maybe getting a t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
        Not far up the road we came up on a "No Stripe On Road" road sign, but there were stripes on the road.  This was to happen again later on during the trip.  I reckon the hands actually doing work and the others putting up signs (letting us know they're fixing to fix things) don't share the same universe.  There must be at least four ways -- the right way, the wrong way, half way and the highway way-- of getting things done. I forgot, there's always the "'round-to-it" way.  TurnA.jpg (4971 bytes)Which, as you may surmise, is one of my favorite.   It cuts down on mistakes.
       At least that was my conclusion when we pulled into Jefferson, Texas. 


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