Monday, March 26, 2012

Lake Eufaula Oklahoma

We parked our rig within about a mile of this lake Saturday. It felt rather nice yesterday to step out of our home and to see green grass with puddles of water sitting around- not like the flat sandy dry land which we had been seeing in Texas. It was also pleasant to hear the sounds of frogs, crickets and geese honking as they flew overhead. However, after touring around  today, we are rather fed up with all the water standing around and the mosquitoes who are swarming over that water! Muddy trails kept us from from touring the Honey Springs Battlefield. I do believe that a little history lesson of this area is warranted before I proceed any further here. In the 1830s-40s The Five Civilized Tribes (Choctaw, Chickesaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Creek Indians) were relocated from east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory. The area around Checotah, Oklahoma became the home of the Creek Nation. The Civil War came to the Indian Territory at Honey Springs (located northeast of Checotah) on July 17,1963. The battle was historically significant because of the racial diversity of the soldiers. There were Indians, whites, Hispanics who came with Texas forces, as well as black troops from the Kansas Infantry Regiment. The majority of the Indians fought for the Confederates, while the black troops fought for the Union, there was a total of 9,000 troops. It was the first time when black units played a key role in a Union victory. At the battlefield there are 5 monuments for all the troops involved- pictured below is the monument for the Five Civilized Tribes.
After seeing what we could of the battlefield, we drove to Lake Eufaula. It is Oklahoma's largest lake, and the 15th largest man-made lake in the United States. Major inflow sources are the waters of the North and Canadian Rivers and the Deep Fork River. The shoreline ranges from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs. After hiking some short trails at Lake Eufaula State Park, we drove over to the lake's dam. Currently the gates are wide open to receive the heavy flow of water from spring rains. We were there at sunset, which explains the golden glow over the dam in the picture below. Today we are continuing our trip east.

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