Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caddo Lake, Texas - Stepping Back in Time

Caddo Lake is a work of art that comes directly from the hand of God. Magical. Mystical. Enchanted. Spiritual. It is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Creation. Don Henley of the Eagles is a native son of Northeast Texas (Linden, to be exact) and he has been a Son of Caddo for over fifty years. Listen to Don's own words and watch the short video of this earthly piece of Paradise. Caddo Lake is named for the Caddo Indians who lived in the area until the late 19th Century and is the largest (25,000 + acres) natural freshwater lake in the South. It is also one of the few natural lakes in Texas as well as the largest cypress forest in the world. Caddo as we know it today was formed in late 1799 by a series of natural events called The Big Change. From Wikipedia : "substantial development would only begin with invention of the steamboat and US annexation of both Louisiana and Texas in the 19th century. The cities of Port Caddo, Swanson's Landing, and Jefferson in Texas, and Mooringsport in Louisiana, had thriving riverboat ports on the lake. Gradually as the log jams were removed in the lake and the Red River by Captain Henry Miller Shreve and then by the Army Corps of Engineers. The lake changed shape and eventually fell over ten feet, destroying the East Texas ports and their riverboat industry." Directly out of those times, you can still catch a ride on a vintage steamboat called The Graceful Ghost out of Uncertain, Texas. There's so much more to say about Caddo Lake and the surrounding area, but we'll get to that another day. Until then, get out to Caddo when you can. And observe the Handiwork of God.

Food and Lodging at Caddo Lake

 There isn't a helluva lot close to Caddo Lake, but fortunately there are places eat and sleep on or very near the lake. The biggest "town" on the lake is Uncertain. Really. That's the town's name - Uncertain. I highly recommend a visit to Uncertain if for no other reason than to get an expensive cheap ass trinket that says "Uncertain, Texas" on it.

OK, here is a link that features several places to stay and/or chow down at during your visit to Caddo Lake. The link to the City of Uncertain (above) also has information for guests of the area.

I have been to Uncertain and Caddo Lake so I can tell you first hand that the people are extremely friendly (they are Texans after all), the air is clean (and very muggy!) and the food is pretty damn good.It's  all of these things along with the experience of being in a place where a dinosaur could pop up at any second that makes Caddo Lake a mystical, magical encounter.

Footnote: Be sure to take along plenty of insect repellant! There are several gazillion species of biting bugs in the woods of East Texas including ticks that may carry Lyme Disease and mosquitos as big as small helicopters. I'm just sayin'.

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