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DanB

Panther Creek Paddle Trip

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DanB

Last weekend my friend Bill and I drove 225 miles northeast to Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma for a four day wilderness paddling/camping trip. We departed on Thursday morning and drove in light rain nearly all the way to the put-in at Panther Creek. This boat ramp to the lake is the most northern access before the lake becomes the Mountain Fork River. I generally choose this area in the winter when storms are predicted as the lake has now become the river and is very narrow compared to it's 4 mile crossing near the dam. This minimizes our exposure to wind and big wave action. We loaded my Old Town Discovery 169 (17' canoe) with tent, sleeping bags and pads, cooking gear, food, rain tarp, water and clothing for 4 days.

 

We paddled in mild temps (low 60's) in a cloudy, overcast, winter sky. There are no designated camp grounds and we were in the Quapoopya National Forest, a complete wilderness area. This Army Corp of Engineer lake is a reservoir and has no development on it. It's located about 10 miles north of Broken Bow (the city) and is 23 miles long, running north/south. It's also very a popular fishing lake. We paddled south scouting for decent camp spots that might have a flat spot for the tent as this area has allot of mountains that descend quickly to the lake with rock cliffs. On the way we saw a pair of bald eagles perched on dead trees flanking the lake. We didn't paddle far as we found a good place to set up camp about an hour south of our put-in.

 

We arrived with just enough time to set up the tent, rain fly and started into the Dutch oven cooking. At dinner the rain re-started as a gentle pitter patter and eventually turned quite nasty as we retreated to the tent. I was pretty tired from working all week so I was in my sleeping bag and out like a light at 8:30pm. 12 hours later I was up brewing coffee and blueberry muffins, bacon and eggs. Friday was our pretty day as it was sunny and slightly cool and breezy. We went hiking and I took lots of pictures. It seems like so much time and energy goes into cooking/food preparation as I was back to getting the evening dinner prepared. Friday night was clear with tons of stars.

 

Saturday morning was like Thursday as it was cooler and overcast. The rain moved in quickly as we spent the whole day hanging out under the rain tarp. Early Sunday morning the thunderstorms moved in with strong thunder and lightning which lasted up till around 7am. Fearing that we'd be waking up to a hell of a storm we agreed to forgo breakfast and get up early, pack up and head back. As it turned out, the storms had already moved thru, the rain stopped and we had decent weather to pack up.

 

Overall a good weekend despite the soggy conditions.

Attached files 164938=4872-BB Lake, 2-13.JPG

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DanB

This is one of my favorite pics in this series as the sun filtered down the mountain thru the trees to the lake.

Attached files 164939=4873-BB Lake, trees, 2013.JPG

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DanB

We saw these bald eagles within 20 minutes of paddling south on the lake.

Attached files 164940=4874-Eagle, BB, 2-13.JPG

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DanB

Not sure if this is an immature/young eagle or a Golden Eagle as it is brown in color.

Attached files 164941=4875-Eagle2, BB, 2013.JPG

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DanB

Me in camp sitting under the rain fly which became our home most of the time with so much rain.

Attached files 164942=4876-Dan, BB, 2-13.JPG

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DanB

My friend Bill in camp. My Eureka Equinox tent is nearly 10 years old and still looks and performs like a new tent. It's very strong in high winds. I believe this is the 4 man tent (12x12) which makes a very spacious 2 person cabin.

Attached files 164943=4877-Bill, BB, 2-13.JPG

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yooperfan

If it's too wet to ride, you might as well play in the water. Sounds like you had fun.

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Ghost Rider 2

Pics look good. Did you catch any fish in those stick ups?

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m2102

That looks like the best way to leave all behind and rewind

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DanB

I've never fished this lake but lots do. I just like to get away from the outside world for a bit and enjoy some paddling, hiking and relaxing. I try to get out and do this 4-6 times a year and always in the winter when not so hot and cooler. I've been on this lake paddling in all conditions including snow and ice, rain and bright sunny skies with mild temps. It's all good to me.

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golly

that looks so :COOL:

 

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DanB

Thanks Golly. You like camping?

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yooperfan

4 days without a shower? You had a huge bath tub just outside the master suite. So what if the water heater was on the fritz. Haven't we all taken a cold shower before at least once?

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DanB

Dave, I was on a 13 day sea kayak expedition in Alaska 6 years ago and went without a shower. I got so rank that even I couldn't take the odor on day 12. I put a black water bladder bag out in the sun and stripped down amongst the glaciers and took the best shower of my life. God that felt good.

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golly

[user=4968]DanB[/user] wrote:

Thanks Golly. You like camping?

ow yes, if and when we get some SUN we are going camping over in France,

 

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DanB

[user=2471]golly[/user] wrote:

[user=4968]DanB[/user] wrote:
Thanks Golly. You like camping?

ow yes, if and when we get some SUN we are going camping over in France, 

Do you camp in the mountains or the forest, or both? What part of France do you camp in?

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golly

in the forest in france and the uk, where we are there is no mountains.

 

all over france

 

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DanB

No mountains here in East Texas, but is hilly and lots of lakes and heavily forested. West Texas is flat and no trees except for Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains near Ft. Davis. I go about 200 miles north into SE Oklahoma to the Quapoopya National Forest to Broken Bow Lake. It's a pristine wilderness area that I've canoed/kayaked/camped/backpacked in for the past 30 years. The mountains are not very tall at 1000-3000ft. however they really look cool flanking the lake and can give one quite a workout when backpacking. It's also a favorite motorcycle destination for many as Talimena Scenic Drive a little further north is a favorite of mine too. http://www.talimenascenicdrive.com/

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golly

thanks for the link, looks very nice shame ill never get to go there.:no:

 

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DanB

Golly, I feel the same way about your country and many other places that I may never get to see. Hopefully, I'll, be blessed with the health and finances to maximize my riding, camping and traveling for the time I have left upon the earth.

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yooperfan

Never say never.

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golly

[user=2226]yooperfan[/user] wrote:

Never say never.

unless they build a road i can say no, my bro moved to jeffersonville ky, and keeps asking me to come over, but i donot like to fly, after 911 no way.

 

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DanB

Golly, Honda makes a small jet that would be fun to fly on. Doubt we could afford to charter one unless of course you're of royal blood mate?

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yooperfan

How about a cruise?

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golly

[user=4968]DanB[/user] wrote:

Golly, Honda makes a small jet that would be fun to fly on. Doubt we could afford to charter one unless of course you're of royal blood mate?

royal blood, yes we are we ride goldwings you cannot get better. :evil:

 

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