Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lake Sardis in Clayton Oklahoma

Dianne and I went kayaking at Sardis Lake, near Clayton, Oklahoma this weekend. Although this was my first visit, I think Sardis is one of the most beautiful lakes in Oklahoma. It has very clear, cold water a rocky bottom and it is surrounded by heavily forested hills of hardwood and pine. I wanted to visit Lake Sardis soon, as the future of this lake is very much in jeopardy.

Oklahoma City has agreed to pay $27 million to acquire the water storage rights by paying off the debt owed by the state of Oklahoma to the Army Corps of Engineers who built the lake in the early 1970's. Local residents enjoy this lovely lake, so they are trying to preserve it. See www.ORWP.net for more info on the water dispute. You know what they say: 'whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting'.

In fact, the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes offered to pay the $5.2 million installment payment that was due by July 1 of this year, but that offer was rejected. The Oklahoma Water Resources Board then signed a contract to sell the storage rights at Sardis Lake to the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust.

Located in the Ouachita Mountain Range, Sardis Lake is so lovely that turning it into OKC tap water seems a bit short-sighted once you have camped here.

For our visit, we camped at Sardis Cove campground. The camp host was very helpful and the outhouse-style restrooms were the cleanest I have seen in quite sometime. The clouds of disgusting insects that plague most campsite restrooms were nowhere to be seen!

We chose Sardis Cove campground because it is on the more shallow side of the lake. Boats tend to run slower here to avoid submerged trees and The Narrows, a shady, curvy bit of the lake, is much closer than the more crowded campgrounds and boat ramps at nearby Potato Hills on Highway 2.

Good fishing, camping and scenic paddling make Lake Sardis an obvious choice for kayakers eager to experience Kiamichi Country before it is transformed into a hilly desert.

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