Monday, September 26, 2005
Tenkiller State Parking Lot and Greenleaf Camping
We saw the lovely bluff overlloking crystal clear waters, the Scuba Diving area and lots of great RV spots. Sadly, we did not find what I would describe as an excellent summer tent camping spot. We spent a couple hours driving around looking at one pile of gravel after another one. However, since we don't like sleeping on rocks or hiking a few miles to reach the water, we decided to try nearby Grenleaf State Park.
Sure enough we found a perfect summer tent camping site right by the water on Greenleaf. We wanted a shady spot because the weather forecast was for sunny skies and highs in the upper 80's.
Since it was pretty early in the afternoon, I paddled out quickly for some kayak fishing in Greenleaf Lake. I saw ducks, cranes, squirrels, snakes, turtles, buzzards, an armadillo and countless children. What I did not see was a sign of any fish larger than a minnow...and I only saw one minnow.
We had figured we could get bait, ice and stuff at the handy marina just a short walk down the road. Later on, we found this to be completely wrong. An army of Boy Scouts had descended on the park, purchasing all of the ice, bait, American flags and food the marina had to offer. About the time my wife walked back to the campsite to deliver this news, the rain began.
It rained from about 7pm to well after midnight, which gave us an unexpected opportunity to put our new, larger family Wal-Mart Tent to the test. Dianne picked up the family size tent this week on clearance, so it was cheaper than hotel room! Thankfully, it performed as expected. Dianne and I were even able to keep Dylan entertained enough to outperform his GameBoy and folks can't ask for much more than that.
We all woke up rested and dry in the Walmart Tent. I got up first and put on the camping coffee. This left me time for a wonderful morning paddle and more fishless fishing. After giving the coffee about an hour to percolate over the charcoals (for some reason it takes way longer than our autodrip coffee machine at home), I paddled back to find Dylan and Dianne awake and happily feeding a gaggle of ducks that had waddled up to the campsite.
After breakfast Dylan and I paddled around Greenleaf Lake together until he got pretty tired. Paddling our kayaks is kind of tough for Dylan because the boats were not designed for persons of his stature. Luckily, what he lacks in skill and strength, he makes up for with enthusiasm and optimistic curiosity. Overall, we had lots of fun and that fit our plan perfectly!
Greenleaf is a great park / lake to take your wife and kids to whether you have an RV or a Walmart tent. They even rent canoe and kayaks, if you don't have your own!
Posted by Thomas Jones on Monday, September 26, 2005