Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Possum Kingdom

I found myself thinking late last night that I need to go to Possum Kingdom in the morning... so that's exactly what I did the morning of August 7, 2001. I intended to visit both sides of PK lake. I wanted to visit and take some pics from the bluffs with the spectacular views on the east side. The west side of PK is quiet, good roads and PK State Park has some fairly decent hiking and a nice swimming hole.

I woke up around 07:00, dropped a load off, showered, grabbed a shirt to wear while hiking, some shorts for swimming, the book I wanted to finish under the sun at PK State Park, and my camera. I packed the beemer bags, attached them to the bike, started the engine and promptly sped off to the Denny's just around the corner. What? Did you think I would start a long day of riding and hiking without putting fuel in my tank?

I was out of the Denny's and down the road by 09:00 and that's when I realized everything I had left behind:

  • Pen and pad for documenting the trip
  • Tripod for the camera
  • Camelback to use while hiking around PK State Park

When I gassed up in Jacksboro I bought a pen and pad. I was surprised the rinky-dink gas station had pens, not to mention a small pad identical to what I usually use. It was the beginning of another karmic day, or so I thought.

Here's the map. I chopped off the part between the metroplex and Jacksboro.

click to enlarge

The ride that's worth talking about begins at Farm Road 4 just west of Jacksboro on US 380. This road is marked as FM 206 on MapQuest and in MS Streets/Maps software, but it's marked as FM 4 on 380 road. It's a nice, winding and sometimes sweeping road that goes all of the way to Graford, Tx. Graford is an excellent town to shoot for if you're planning on going to the east side of PK Lake. From Graford, take 254 West. Following the sign directing you to PK Lake will eventually get you to Park Road 36. Now if you go this route, the payoff is a bluff that overlooks PK Lake. The best ones are on some property known as The Ranch. Continue on PR 36 and take a left on La Villa Road. There's a little pizza joint just before the street. Take a left on Scenic Point Drive. Take a left on Harbor Way. Take a right just before hitting the fence. This road is not marked, but it takes you up to the bluffs. The road winds and climbs all the way to the top of the bluff. Take a right and go all the way to end of the road. There's a dirt road at the end that will take you to the observation deck. Here's what you may see:

After taking some pics, chillin' and relaxin' I decided to get back on the bike and go to the west side of PK Lake for some hiking and swimming.

Making your way back down, don't take a right on Scenic Point Drive to go back from whence you came. Instead, take a left. This will you take out of The Ranch and onto FM 2353. Go south until you get to FM 16 and take a right. Go south on 16 until you get to US 180. That stretch of 16 is another nice bit of road. It will thin the chicken strips directly from your tires. Good stretch of road for this part of the country. Head west on 180 until you get to the little town of Caddo. From Caddo take Park Road 33 all of the way to PK State Park. PR 33 is another great stretch of road and is totally recommended if you're in the area.

So I pull in through the park gates, park the bike and walk up to the counter with my $3 daily fee already whipped out. After smiling at the lady who could be my own grandmother, she apologetically informs me that they are not admitting daily usage folks because the park roads are going to be repaved starting that afternoon! Needless to say, I was disappointed. I was going to hike around for a spell, get nice and sweaty and then hop in the lake. What a bummer. So I smiled at granny and told her, "I'll be back!", and walked out of the office already plotting my way back.

As I'm heading back out PR 33 I remember Ranch Road 3253 which eventually gets you to the north shore of PK Lake, but as I'm contemplating how much to brake and which gear I want to manuever the turn in, I think I should just head back home and go through Ft. Worth and Bedford for two reasons. First, I needed to run by BMW of Ft. Worth to purchase an oil filter and see if my license plates had arrived. Filter good, plates bad. Second, I needed to stop by DFW Honda to see if the Kuryakyn accessories came in for my VTX. Accessories good.

Then I went home and figured out there wasn't anything specific in the BMW manuals about what screw is the oil drain plug on my bike. I get to call them in the morning. I also installed the accessories on the bike and wrote this cheesy report of the day's events.

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