Wednesday, December 26, 2018

North Cooper Lake Park

A few days ago, it was Christmas Eve, and though it had rained (again) the day before, it was reasonably short-lived, and by Christmas Eve itself, it was dry enough to go for another walk. I hadn't been to North Cooper Lake Park in as long as I could remember (over 8 years, it would appear), and it's the second-closest park to my house, so I went there.

Turned out there was an official-looking spur leading off of the main trail, and me without my GPS!

Never again!

Fast-forward one day (Christmas day). Everybody gets up, does the Christmas thing, eats, takes naps. Except me. I go for another walk at the above-mentioned park. This time, with GPS in hand.

That trail spur went and went, and the further it went, the more official-looking it was. There were various little bridges here and there, made out of railroad timbers, or 2x4's covered in chicken wire. Somebody had put a lot of work into it.

Good Bridge

I started making odd little discoveries too. There's a weird abandoned building out there. It's circular, one story, like 40 yards in diameter, covered in vines, and I can see an open door, but I can't get close enough to tell what the heck it is. There are signs in the park itself forbidding closer inspection, and from the woods, it's surrounded by a fence.

It looks water-treatment-ish, but I really don't know, and the internet doesn't either.

There are some old, unmaintained pipes leading away from it, and a weird metal box that looks like it's somehow associated with them.

Weird Metal Box Water Treatment Plant Ruins

And some old brick footings nearby...

Old Brick Footings

But none of it made a lot of sense at the time.

Further up, there was a lot more general rubble being used (it appeared) as erosion control for the nearby retention pond.

General Rubble

It seemed like maybe the brick footings were just more rubble, as opposed to actual footings for a structure near their present location.

Then I stared finding trash. Big trash. Like a washing machine.

Washing Machine

Way back up in the woods though. Nowhere near any place that you could get the vehicle that would have been necessary to transport it in. So the woods must have looked pretty different a while back.

There was more such trash all over the place. I quit even marking locations of them. Just stuff all over.

A little spur of a spur led down to a feeder creek of Nickajack. Upstream was Cardinal Lake, formerly known as White Oak Lake, so I got to thinking of the creek as being White Oak Creek, but I have no idea what it's actually called, if anything.

There was some weird blue gas tank on the other side, that I didn't feel like getting wet to examine closer.

Gas Tank or Something

Didn't look like trash though. Looked like it was currently in operation, so that made it even weirder.

Upstream a bit was a little shoal. Almost a falls.

White Oak Creek Shoals

But not quite.

The main trail had a couple of branches, and there were some former routes and whatnot, but it wasn't a complete spider web. I didn't have time to explore it thoroughly, but I figured that was cool - reason to come back.

There was even more weird trash toward the end of the trail.

No idea at all what this is.

More Weird Trash

Or this strange, rebar and sheet metal concoction.

Sheet metal and Rebar Weirdness

The neatest thing out there though, was an old abandoned antenna.

Abandoned Antenna Base Abandoned Antenna

Completely surrounded by trees. It must have once sat out in a field, but not any more. In the summer, I'd bet you could miss it entirely.

The associated radio shack was close to the road.

Abandoned Radio Shack Abandoned Radio Shack Interior

The roof was missing, the interior had been gutted, and a tree had toppled about half of one of the walls, but enough of it was left to be recognizable. A big bundle of cables still ran from the tower over to it, and up over one of the walls.

Again, no idea what it was for. It's not on any maps, and the internet has never heard of it.

And that was it for that little stroll. I got back just in time to get dinner started - chicken, mac-n-cheese, sauteed green beans, King Hawaiian rolls, and pumpkin pie. I'd gave the chicken a C, and the beans a B+, but the rest was top notch. Not sure my little walk did enough work to make room for it, but it sure was good.

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