Life at the Lake

We spend most weekends “at the lake,” but the fact of the matter is that we spend very little time in or even near the water. Oh, we catch an occasional glimpse of the shore as we drive in or out of the park. We see a couple of ducks swimming in a tiny inlet as we walk the dogs. But our time is primarily spent amid the heavily wooded park.

Still, Joe Pool Lake is “our” lake. It’s the place we return to again and again as we seek to get away from it all. Since the pandemic, we’ve frequented Cedar Hill State Park, on the eastern shore of Joe Pool Lake. We’ve seen many fine sunsets over the water from that vantage point, and this weekend was no exception. Life is good here.

The lake itself was completed in 1985, and filled by June of 1989. It covers nearly 7,500 acres, is 75 feet deep, and spans parts of Dallas and Grand Prairie.

The lake was named after Joe Pool, a congressman from Oak Cliff who served for five years in the 1960s. He was highly influential in passage of legislation and funding of the lake, so it’s only fitting that it should bear his name.

A freshwater lake, it’s operated by the Trinity River Authority for conservation, flood control, recreation, and municipal water supply. Recreation facilities include a number of parks, paved boat ramps and parking lots, and public swimming areas. Because it’s stocked with bass and catfish, many local anglers are drawn to its waters.

We wanted to provide a few details about “our lake” because we’ve had so many memories here and plan to create many more. And because, after nearly eight years of camping along its shores, we finally stepped into its waters. A colleague of Cliff’s and her husband boated across the lake from their campsite at Loyd Park for a visit at the shore. We say “visit,” but it actually resembled something of a drug deal or a meeting with some nefarious character you might see in a James Bond movie. Frequent campers Mack and Jöelle, who spied us from a perch high above the lake, wondered what we were up to. They were relieved to learn it was nothing untoward.

Although Friday was windy and warm, an overnight weather front made for ideal conditions on Saturday, with cooler temperatures and calm conditions. We enjoyed sunset cocktails, a crackling campfire, an al fresco dinner of grilled porkchops and veggies, and a long walk under starlit skies.

Sunday found us enjoying our regular pursuits: watching “CBS Sunday Morning,” reading The New York Times, imbibing in breakfast cocktails, having brunch, and napping away the afternoon. Next week, we’ll head to the other side of Joe Pool lake for a month of campouts at Loyd Park, on the western shore. We love our life at the lake.