No. I didn’t take a detour through Portland, Maine.
This is Oklahoma City. Can you believe it?
“Lake Hefner.” I saw the sign when I first drove into town and, as stupid as it sounds, bunny ears popped into my head. Could it be? Is he originally from Oklahoma City? And there’s a parkway, a street, a golf course and I’m guessing more Hefner things down here I haven't noticed yet. I figured the history would come out as I spent some time in town. Common sense said that “Hef” and Oklahoma simply do not mix. And as many of the readers out here already know, when I’m in doubt, my law school training pushes me to get the facts and Wikipedia appears to be a damn good source for those. I love that site. It turns out that Lake Hefner is actually a 2500 acre reservoir built in 1947 to increase the city’s water supply. It’s named for a former OKC mayor, Robert A. Hefner.
With memories of Barbie Benton and Dee Dee Lynn out of my head, it was time to finally check the lake out. I first saw it last weekend when Kathy Jo and I were driving back from Guthrie and the sight of water … well … it just felt great. I do miss the sight of open water and I'm pretty sure it's one of the things I'd crave if I ever decided to settle in the middle part of the country. We’ll see about that because I have to tell you, there’s a hell of a lot I’m liking about the mid-west.
The lake is about 3 minutes from my hotel room and since they've been forecasting rain for the balance of the week, I figured today would be a good day to check it out and get some photos before I head north to Wichita over the weekend.
I drove over about 3:00 or so and there were just a few people walking around one of the paths lining the water. Some folks were riding bikes, but it was pretty windy so I’m sure that kept a lot of people away. Add to that, it was still working hours so the emptiness didn't surprise me and I preferred it that way. There was a nice strip of restaurants and bars along the lake’s southeast edge and by 4:00 cars started to roll into the area. I can see why the lake is a popular spot to unwind at the end of a hard day. There's just something about the sight of water that helps to soothe the soul. At least that's the effect it has on me.
I needed a day like today, limited to walking and taking photos when the spirit moved me. I only wish I'd had my bike with me; I was aching to take a long, quiet ride around the water. I miss those adventures down the West Side Highway. (Can you hear me, Howard and Gail? I remember that crumb cake at Chelsea Pier. Also, I hope my Raleigh's doing okay in Dumbo. I left her in a pretty awkward position in the storage bin). Just so you know, this green-way rated about a 9 1/2 out of 10 on the "Shangri-La Scale." More on that at another time.
One more look at the Oklahoma state tree - The Redbud. Enjoy.