Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Goodbye Lake Texana State Park

We recently camped at Lake Texana State Park and discovered (sadly) that the state was terminating their lease.  The closing date is July 15, 2012 - very soon.  Why?  The state doesn't have the funds to maintain & staff the park (hurricanes, fires, drought have taken a toll on the state park funds - not to mention the already declining economy).  We have camped at this lake for the last 4 years and will surely miss the calmness of the park.  Lake Texana State Park wasn't the fanciest or even the busiest/most popular state park (no designated swimming area, no full hookups, not close to any major city), but that's part of the reason we enjoyed going there - we were able to fully unplug from our daily routine & just enjoy each other's company surrounded by nature usually with a breeze coming off the lake (and almost regular sightings of deer meandering around the edge of the woods/campsites).  Here are a few images along with a few personal memories.

The lights on one of the fishing piers seems to have either been cleaned or replaced, or maybe we were just noticing everything again since we knew it was all changing.  There was also a storm coming, but it ended up going around the park.

The lake has mostly recovered from the drought, but could use a bit more rain (still a huge improvement).  Look at my old posting which included a picture of Lake Texana during 2011 - not taken in the exact same place, but close: Texas Drought

Because the state park is away from a major city, sunset colors come through vividly at times.  The grouping of trees was interesting (to me).

I'm standing on a bridge along one of the hiking trails - this slough sometimes has water, sometimes not.  Right now it is full of duckweed & is pretty stagnant - can you just imagine what is lurking under all that green?  What is special about this particular place? - the first year we camped at the park (years ago) our family stood on this bridge and watched a water snake catch a small fish, drag it closer to shore & eat/swallow it - just like on Mational Geographic, and we were the only ones who saw it.  I tried to take pictures of it, but they came out terrible - it was at that moment I decided to invest in a DSLR & decent lenses.

This is from another trail - kind of hard to tell from this picture, but the trees/limbs form a natural arch - very scenic spot.  My son (who was maybe 7 or 8 at the time) noticed the archway before I did - he knew I was looking for interesting things to photograph and being the ever-helpful son that he is - put on his "good eyes" and saw this natural formation. 

The park itself isn't being vacated, the lease is being transferred to a private company - a company who runs/owns the Breckenridge Recreation Complex across the street - they have a "campground" - I use italics because it is almost a resort type atmosphere - paintball, golf, etc).  This is also a campground where participants can stay who are showing/competing in the main arena - like rodeos, etc.  That park is casually known as the "party park" - word has it that the state park will remain the "nature" side, but some full hookup sites will be added as well as more water/elec sites.  Most of the staff is staying with the park & leaving state employment, so you'll see familiar faces if you visit.

I cut/pasted the following from their website - didn't know how quickly the park information would disappear.
"Lake Texana State Park is 575 acres located east of Edna in central Jackson County, halfway between Houston and Corpus Christi. The park was acquired by a 50-year lease agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation/Lavaca-Navidad River Authority in 1977 and was opened in September 1981. The park is located on Lake Texana, a reservoir on the Navidad River, and covers 11,000 surface acres, with approximately 125 miles of shoreline.
Lake Texana was named for the historic town of Texana, founded in 1832 near the junction of the Navidad and Lavaca rivers downstream from the present dam site"

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