Friday, August 29, 2008

Lake Bixhoma by Kayak

Lake Bixhoma by Kayak
Originally uploaded by FreeWine
Bixhoma Lake is just off Highway 64 near the small village of Leonard, Oklahoma. It is a small, fairly clear, no-wake lake with no camping or facilities to speak of. Offering a mere 3 miles of shoreline and 110 surface acres, the lake is strictly for quiet boats.

Quiet little Bixhoma Lake is only a short drive from South Tulsa. If you are a Tulsa kayaker looking to get your new boat wet someplace safe, Bixhoma is a pretty good choice. Lake hours are Monday through Saturday from 6am-10pm. It is also quite near Haskell, Oklahoma which happens to be the home of two Oklahoma wineries: Stone Bluff Cellars & Lavendar Hill Farm & Winery.

Paddling Lake Bixhoma today was lovely. The water was still as glass when we first launched and a breeze developed just as the temps started to get hot. The ridge line that surrounds the lake was vivid green with a mixture of hardwood trees. The park only has a couple picnic tables and an outhouse. We saw a family of three fishing from a tiny Bass Scamp and a lone man float fishing in a tube on our visit other than that we had the lake to ourselves on this cool summer morning.

The late summer water level was too low to paddle very far up the feeder creek for Lake Bixhoma. However, as we drove down Highway 64 toward Leonard, I could not help but notice Snake Creek.

Snake Creek looked fairly wide and deep enough for paddling when we drove across the Highway 64 bridge, but I did not see any place to park and launch the kayaks.

Any folks out there who know where you can launch a boat onto Snake Creek outside of Bixby, Oklahoma?

More details on our Lake Bixhoma webpage.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Planning a Labor Day Canoe Trip?

Labor Day marks the traditional end of the Summer season. Some canoe outfitters will shut down after the holiday weekend and the kids are returning to school. I'm starting to look forward to cooler temps, more water, less river traffic and the Autumn color changes.

River levels are still pretty low around most of Oklahoma, but the LMF River has enough flow to paddle.

The Caddo River in Arkansas has caught some water recently as well as parts of the Buffalo River. Speaking of Arkansas rivers, the Oklahoma Flatwater Paddlers are making a trip to the White River for the holiday. It sounds like a great trip. The White River is about 5 hours drive for us, but well worth it for the misty paddling on waters that feel positively air-conditioned!

I am planning on trying to get our little kayaks on Lake Bixhoma, a tiny no-wake lake just outside of Bixby, Oklahoma. However, there are some municipal permit issue to resolve first (sigh). I don't mind spending the money, but as usual the city does nothing to make this process easy or painless. Personally, I like the lake permit vending machine that Arbuckle Lake offers at the Guy Sandy Boat Ramp. Bixby demands a visit to City Hall or the local police station. I'm told the lake is quite scenic and it is always nice to find a no-wake zone for canoe and kayak paddling.

Got any tips for paddling at Lake Bixhoma?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

How We Roll In the Dry Season

Kayaks Rule
Originally uploaded by FreeWine
The water is starting to get real scarce around these parts, so I was glad to see some rain this weekend. I was hoping to get chance to try my paddling on The Mulberry River this Spring, but I missed the window.

Dianne and I have been doing more bowling than paddling lately. We enjoyed the lanes in Henryetta, Sapulpa and Checotah this week. After a couple years of chasing water flows and sunsets, I really find bowling refereshingly non-weather dependent! However, I gotta get some time on the water! I hope I can get out onto Salt Creek early in the morning... if the rain has cleared.

Some Paddling News

Canoe & Kayak Magazine has launched a cool new site to introduce beginners to paddling sports. The site can be found at where you'll find some great resources designed for the beginner kayakers.

That Branson gang has another trip planned that sounds pretty fun.
Table Rock Lake Night Paddle August 16 at 9pm.

Happy Paddling!