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HomeNL-2015-10 Lake Texana

Lake Texana
Ganado, Texas
Sept. 4-6, 2015
by
Terri Morgan

Paul Woodcock and I met up at Lake Texana located in the town of Ganado, off of Highway 59 South for a weekend of camping and exploring. Friday after setting up our tents, we took a tour of the area to get the lay of the land. There are two sections to this area, Brackenridge and Texana Park. The Texana Park campground was nice with waterfront sites as well as sites that backed up to a greenbelt. The RV sites doubled as tent sites with perks (water/electric). While driving through the campground, I happen to catch movement out of the corner of my eye and a large owl had landed in a tree nearby. I could not get a good picture but nevertheless, it was nice to see.

We drove around on some county roads, looking at launch ramps, mapping out a paddle trail and chased a herd of donkeys down the road.  Mustang Creek Wilderness Area offered primitive camping so we went for a short hike to view the sites and see what the area had to offer. The sites were nice and big with a fire ring and appeared to have had very little use. The view and breeze from the lake made it very appealing. We saw numerous deer and walked up on a little buck that was strolling away from us. When he caught sight of us, his eyes got as big as saucers, white tail went straight up, he screamed with fright (snorted) and peeled off. It was so funny. Upon walking down to the water from one campsite, a deer that was out on an island in the lake saw us and began crashing through the water, trying to make it back to the mainland. That was a first for me to see. I managed to get somewhat of a picture of the deer but it was on land by that time. We made our way back to the truck and headed back. Back at the campsite after dinner around the fire, I heard some rustling in the woods and low and behold an armadillo made an appearance. The pictures I took did not come out. I wanted to catch it but it was moving too fast and it darted into another part of the woods before I could get close.

Saturday was a rest day as neither of us felt like paddling so we read books and watched fellow campers coming and going. We spied a rather large bird in a tree and in looking through my binoculars I discovered it was a hawk. I picked up my camera and zoomed in as far as it would go and snapped a few pictures. I have no idea what kind of hawk it was so if anyone out there knows, speak up. The camp was raided that night as the raccoons could be heard making their way from site to site, knocking over bottles, clanging tin cans and generally wreaking havoc. I was glad I put my cooler/food in the truck. Early in the morning I heard a pack of coyotes calling and it took me back to my childhood when we would (could) sleep with the windows open and hear them off in the distance.

Sunday we paddled the Mustang Creek Wilderness Area that we had hiked the day before, viewing the sites from the water. We decided entry from the water was a better option instead of backpacking. Plus, we could bring more stuff via boat. We found that there were 20 sites instead of just the 10 that we saw on the hike. We stopped to cool off and saw an alligator swimming away from us which was just as well. Later that afternoon back at camp, I suggested we drive down to Port Lavaca for some seafood and cold beer. After gorging, we took a walk on the boardwalk, saw what I think was a baby rattlesnake, a bunch of toads, a few birds and great sunset. That night back at the camp, I took my flashlight and shined it out across the greenbelt and saw several sets of green eyes. We couldn’t tell what they were as they did not move so I walked up to the one closest to us and it was a deer. That reminded me of the pig eyes in the old movie Amityville Horror.

Monday morning I went fishing/exploring on Mustang Creek. It was a pretty creek with all kinds of wildlife. I could have easily spent the whole day out there. I paddled up about 2 miles, stopping along the way to fish. I took a picture of a pretty yellow bird searching for food near the bank. The water was still and offered a neat reflection of the sky and trees. I had gotten my lure stuck on a branch near the shore so I paddled over and got it unstuck. I just happen to look up and low and behold there was a doe just lying there on the bank. I looked down, nonchalantly took my camera out of my bag and took some pictures of her. I never did look up at the doe as I have a flip screen on my camera that allowed me to keep my head down and by not making eye contact there was no threat to her and she lay there peacefully. I took the pictures I needed, put the camera down and paddled off, acting like I never saw her. That was a special moment. I was probably 15 feet away. Further on up I was paddling at a pretty good clip and went flying past an alligator on the bank. I put on the brakes and thought for sure that would spook him into the water but he too stayed put, but with caution. I could tell he was watching my every move. I took the pictures I needed and left him to his domain.

When I got back to camp, it was time to pack up. We said goodbye and agreed to do this trip again in the fall and explore Mustang Creek further up. I was very pleased with the campground, facilities and all the wildlife. It was a good trip for recharging the soul.


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The author, Terri Morgan