Eisenhower State Park


Lake Texoma, Eisenhower State Park, Texas. Photo: Seth Gill (@milkshakebreakfast on Instagram)

Eisenhower State Park

I awake in the morning to the cold metal pall of the February sky biting my bones with icy wind. Myself and nine other lost souls eat breakfast quietly, drinking coffee, wondering what cosmic reason brought them to the Texas/Oklahoma border for ten days in the dead of winter to work on trails.

The daily ritual of exercises and stretching before the workday is a brief respite from the twenty degree temperature. Work continues on a stone retaining wall on a section of new trail that will be used by off-highway vehicles (OHVs).

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, an American institution more sacred than democracy itself. To celebrate, we drive into town to eat Mexican food and watch the game, sound off, with Mexican music playing in the background. Only two of us are really invested in the outcome, the rest too tired or hungry to care. We are all reluctant to leave the warmth of the restaurant.

I walk down to the fishing dock by our campsite to watch the full moon rise over Lake Texoma, perhaps the world’s least creatively named lake (Lake Texoma is a dammed reservoir of the Red River, a portmanteau of Texas and Oklahoma). I wonder if fish get cold in the winter. I walk back to my tent, and warm up in my sleeping bag as I fall asleep, dreaming of spring.

Robbie Helgason – Trails Across Texas Crew Member

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