We took our ratty old pontoon boat out on the BIG Pond this week. This is one of the lakes created by the Corps of Engineers back in the 50's and 60's. There are several rivers which flow through this lake/reservoir so there is a section within the lake known as the ' big water'. Even here there are markers indicating hazards due to the falling lake levels.
Did I mention big? This lake has about a thousand miles of shoreline and spans some sixty thousand acres. I cannot do the math to say how much water has been lost but I can tell you it is a ginormous loss to bring a lake this huge down 14 feet and still dropping. Folks who payed big money to live on the lake are grieved.
It is gone! It isn't possible to sit out on his deck to enjoy the sunsets because the insects are ferocious. There is something about a drought which increases the insect population exponentially. He is feeling abused. Mostly because he invested in what was once prudent and now is not. Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.
The wisdom of the Corps of Engineers is questioned in the paper almost daily. The Corps is still in charge of how much water is released from this reservoir. Somehow the needs of the people and fish downstream always trump the needs of those of us on the lake. If recent articles are accurate the amount the lake would be down from nature is about 5 feet.
The devastating additional 9' water loss is due to sequential decisions by the Corps. I expect bombs or lynchings any day. Folks are way past furious about being selected to be devastated. A huge class action lawsuit is brewing. I fear this will be just one of many, many water wars to come.
This time out instead of using one of the numerous public ramps we went to a marina and paid to use their ramp and docks. Commercial docks are much longer so they still have some water. More than a dozen of the public ramps are now closed because they no longer terminate in water. There are new hazards of every description. I am stunned and appalled by the things people have been throwing into the lake for years. I guess to avoid dumping fees. Even with all the difficulties, hardships and heartbreaks all around the lake it remains, for me, a great get away day. I love being out there! It isn't the beach but somehow this too is a place where I can actually just .... be. I can be content to do nothing! I need not even talk. I can just sit back and enjoy the wind cooled air, the smell of the evergreens, the picture cloud show, the fish jumping and the birds singing. If it gets hot Blowfish will stop the boat in the deepest coolest water for a refreshing plunge.
|This is not our Will.|
Sometimes we go on a "dinner cruise" launching in the late
afternoon and bringing a picnic supper. These are especially nice outings as the lake is often quiet with little boat traffic and no constant buzzing from the jetskis. There is a "bird island" which is home to large cranes and herons. Watching them return to their treetop nests for the night is captivating. Once we watch this ritual we head back to the docks . If we have things timed well we have the boat out of the water and onto the trailer in time to enjoy the evening fadeout from blue to orange . Islands become quiet, trees present as a unified silhouette rather than individual species, the water looks like molten liquid and I feel the foreverness which survives mankind and droughts alike.