We left Foss Lake State Park in Foss, Oklahoma in the mid-morning on Saturday, May 13, 2023 and drove 250 miles to the Strayhorn Landing Recreational Area on Tenkiller Ferry Lake just outside of Gore, Oklahoma. It was pretty much a straight shot drive east on I-40. This interstate is always busy with semi-trucks and trailers whenever we drive on it and this day was no exception. A lot of them will blow you off the road without caring, but some of them are considerate and will pull as far to the left as they can when they pass you.
Tenkiller Ferry Lake was formed by the construction of an earth-filled dam on the Illinois River that was built between 1947 and 1952 in order to control flooding, generate power and provide recreational facilities for the public. The dam and the reservoir it formed were named for the Tenkiller family, prominent Cherokee natives who owned the land and the ferry that were purchased for the project. The dam went into full operation in 1953 and the reservoir covers 12, 900 acres with a shoreline of more than 130 miles. There are 10 marinas, more than 20 boat-launching ramps, and 14 campgrounds operated by the United States Corps of Engineers, State of Oklahoma, and private concessionaires. Strayhorn Landing, where we were camping, lies at the southern end of the lake and is about 9 miles from the town of Gore, Oklahoma.
The sites are concrete, level, and spacious. Ours provided us a nice view out our back window (where our desk is located) of the lake and the dam off in the distance. When Cindy made the reservation it indicated there was electricity only, no water, so we filled our fresh water tank before leaving Foss Lake. But when we arrived we found a water hookup at our site and every other site, so we hooked up to it.
Now, whenever I hook up to a campground water supply, I always run the water through our filter and hose for several seconds to make sure it is running clean. Almost always, the initial water flow will be dirty or discolored from lack of use. I did so with this one as well and after about 30 seconds the water flow was clear. I hooked it up to the water connection on Nomad and went on about my other set-up tasks. About an hour later I came inside to use the bathroom and found the water in the toilet was light brown and had particles suspended in it. Since we had a full 50-gallon tank of fresh water and I did not want my water filter to be clogged up by who knows what (besides finding the color and particles completely unappealing to drink), we disconnected from the campground water and used our own. It was really the only downside to this campground.
We were tired after setting up so we drove about a mile back the way we came to have dinner at a highly-recommended hamburger restaurant named Soda Steve’s. Let me tell you, it’s reputation was well-deserved. The hamburgers were delicious, Cindy’s French Fries and my onion rings were delectable, and our ice cream sundaes were delightful. We left VERY satisfied and full!
Sunday we drove about 30 miles to Muskogee, Oklahoma to get groceries and to see a movie. Cindy wanted to see “Book Club: The Next Chapter” that had just opened on Friday. We had both watched the first “Book Club” movie and found it to be funny enough to look forward to the sequel. The difference being that I could have waited for it to come to streaming while Cindy wanted to see it right away. Happy wife, happy life.
The theater was a disappointment. I guess the screen was not big enough for the format they were projecting, so the edges of the movie were off the screen and things were out of proportion so that a mid-screen face instead filled the area like it was coming out of the screen and attacking you. After our eyes finally adjusted to that weirdness the movie was funny and engaging.
There were no trails at the campground we were staying at, so we had to make do with walking the loop around the sites. We saw lots of Canadian Geese (and a few goslings), birds that Cindy said were called Scissor-tailed flycatchers. The geese like walking on the road encircling the campground and let me tell you, they dump their slippery goose shit right in the road.
We went to Soda Steve’s one more time before leaving. It’s one of the best places we’ve been to for food and they play 60’s and 70’s rock music. If we lived near there we’d probably end up eating there 2-3 times a week, lol, so it’s a good thing we don’t.
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