Monday, September 06, 2010

Colorado City Lake State Park

I'm on call this weekend, so I can't go anywhere too far away.  But it's Labor Day weekend, so yesterday I decided to get out of town.  I went east on I-20 about an hour and turned south to Colorado City Lake State Park.  The area is home to several moderate-sized man-made reservoirs.  Colorado City Lake was built by a power company to provide water to their coal-fired power station, which looms over the south end of the lake, just across from the state park.  In the park, much of the shoreline is made up of outcropping rock (!).  Sabkha and I poked along the rock.  It's a cross-bedded sandstone but also appears to be heavily bioturbated and pelletized.  Much of the rock has a nodular, carbonate-looking form.  I was surprised by the number of spiderwebs in and among the rocks.  Thinking back, Arizona really was remarkably spider-free in most places.  Texas has spiders everywhere -- even in arid regions.

View Larger Map

Colorado City Lake shoreline in the state park.  Sandstone.
Desert vegetation.
Sabkha taking a swim.
This picture doesn't make the power station look very looming!
Close-up of cross-bedding sandstone outcropping along the shore.
Overall, this park was really beautiful.  The more we poked around, the more interesting places we found.  The water level was pretty low -- I think around five feet below normal.  This allowed us to walk out onto the peninsula that separates the campground area from the boat launch area.

Unflooded peninsula -- but still gooshy!
Former animal life.  Future rock.
Sabkha enjoyed running around on the muddy/rocky beach.  She was really enjoying herself.
Some lovely grass growing in patches.  Seemed to show timing of the water level drop.
The sun was getting a little low in the sky when we started on our last mini-adventure in the park by walking the interpretive trail.  There were number signs but no pamphlet or other information, so we had to focus on the scenery and the pleasantness of the evening.  On the trail, did see some wildlife.  A little creepy but not as bad as the really evil-looking centipede I saw at Inks Lake State Park last year.  These critters are why you sleep in a tent in Texas.

The interpretive trail was lined with groves of prickly pear with a good crop of red fruits.
Fishing structure.
The interpretive trail dumped us out into a campground and we walked along the campground road back toward the car.  Suddenly a pit bull ran at us from a campsite, with the owner hollering after it.  Sabkha and the pit bull sniffed each other, but I could tell right away it was going to be a dogfight.  Sure enough, the other dog attacked Sab.  I pulled Sab back repeatedly with her leash, which was probably a mistake as it encouraged the other dog and allowed it to land its bites.  Eventually the owner, who was afraid to grab his own dog (which raises the question of why you have the dog at all) managed to hold his dog back.  Sabkha got a gash near her eye and was also bleeding from her lip.  Neither injury looked too serious, but it's tough to tell due to her black fur.  I was pretty mad.  I really need to carry my Halt anti-dog pepper spray.

After surviving the dog attack, a little shaken, we drove back to Midland in the dusk.  There is a little state park in Big Spring that I'd planned to stop at but time didn't allow.  Another time.  Big Spring is situated on a substantial bluff (for west Texas).  A few miles west, passing Outback Adventure Track east of Stanton, we saw plenty of riders out and about with their headlights shining in the gloom.

1 comment:

Plants Amaze Me said...

Sounds like a fun adventure! But oh poor Woo Woo, a scary dog fight, Yikes!