Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday December 9, 2012-Inks Lake State Park

No, I didn't die from working so hard up here at the State Park. We've got plenty to keep us busy around here but it's not really all that hard. I did start a new "job" here, working with a couple of other guys on deer blinds. Not really on the blinds themselves, but putting out corn for bait and getting things ready for the hunters. We must have done a good job because they killed a lot of deer. So many that they cancelled the hunt until after Christmas. It was good exercise, walking up and down the hills to the deer  blinds. I have learned a lot about the trails around the park. I will miss them when we leave.

I learned a little about the history of the park, Longhorn Caverns and the Buchanan dam. The Caverns were discovered and used as a speakeasy during Prohibition years as an underground dance hall with live music included  for the patrons. The state of Texas began building a campground around the caverns, using Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Work Progress Administration (WPA) workers to erect buildings and improve the entrance to the caverns.

The park was established in 1950 and covers approximately 1200 acres. I have been told that the park itself sits on about 370 acres with the rest of the property remaining wild and overgrown with a few hiking trails and the deer hunting area mentioned above. We covered only a very small part of this property when preparing the hunting grounds. The park is located in the eastern edge of a Mesoproterozoic exposure within the Llano Uplift. The rocks of the park are named for the park as the Inks Lake Gneiss, a granitic gneiss (pronounced nice) dated at 1,232 million years old. This information comes from Wikipedia, but I have always questioned how they come up with exactly 1,232 year. Why not  1,231 or 1,233? How can they be so precise? Inquiring minds want to know...

Buchanan Dam was built starting in 1931. The first construction company to start building the dam went under during the Great Depression but in 1934 the Texas legislature approved the Lower Colorado River Authority and the dam was completed. The dam is named for U.S. Representative James Buchanan and is pronounced Buckanan as the family name is pronounced. Buchanan was able to get some federal money to help with building the dam. The small town of Bluffton was relocated by the erection of the dam but the drought of last year uncovered the old town site. I would love to have seen it.

As you know, we have had several visitors while we have been here and this weekend we had some more. Our old friends Jim and Kitty came over from their home in San Antonio for a visit to the park while we are here. We met them on our first Texas Boomer rally and they were the very first people we met with that group. It was good to see our friends and we were able to spend some time with them. On Saturday Kitty prepared some dutch oven cooked stew with bread pudding for dessert, also cooked in a dutch oven. It was delicious and we enjoyed our visit with them. They came over to our place on Sunday and we had another nice visit. It sure made a nice weekend.

So long.

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