Richland Chambers Reservoir, Oak Cove Marina & Park, and Old Brickyard Golf Course
We made it through another week and after checking around (that Texas Outside web site is very helpful), we decided to go explore Richland Chambers Reservoir. Richland Chambers is about 60 miles south of Dallas on I-45 and is supposedly the third largest inland lake in Texas. You can read our review of Richland Chambers in the Lakes and Boating section of Texas Outside. We visited during the drought of 2006 and the water level was down about 13 feet as you can tell by some of these pictures - sailboat "Sea of Dreams" was high and dry as were a number of other boats. When you could find some water and float your boat, the fishing was good.
Friday night on the way down, we had planned to eat at Oak Cove's restaurant, but we didn't make it before they shut down the grill. So we stopped at the Highway 287 turnoff to get to Oak Cove, and lo-and-behold there was a Chili's restaurant which was packed at 9:00 -- guess there isn't a lot to do in Corsicana. In fact, after quizzing some of the Chili's staff on sites to see and fun places to go, the answer was "head to Dallas." We did stop by Gander Mtn, which is just across the street from Chili's, and check out all of their outside gear, equipment, and toys -- lots of ways to spend some serious money there!
Richland Chambers has no Texas State Parks on Richland Chambers but there are a few private campgrounds on the lake. After a few calls before we headed to Richland Chambers, our choice of where to stay became easy. The only boat ramp open, thanks to the drought of 2006, was at Oak Cove Marina and RV Park. In fact, the only reason that Oak Cove's ramp was still open is because they had just spent a fortune on dredging. Oak Cove is a small private park with a hotel, cafe, 4 lane boat ramp (only one lane was open), gas pump, and campground. You can read our review of Oak Cove by clicking here. The staff is very friendly and helpful and the park and hotel rooms are clean. If you want to fish Richland Chambers, Oak Cove is a good place to stay (hotel or camp) - Roline, the owner can provide a fishing report and a number of guide services work out of Oak Cove. In fact, Bob Holmes, who holds a record for Richland Chambers, resides on the Oak Cove property. You will find a list of guide services by clicking on the icon for Richland Chambers on the lake map (you will have to drag or move the map north to see Richland Chambers).
Saturday morning after a good breakfast and exercise (ok, so I only walked around the park for 5 minutes, but I walked pretty fast!), we were ready to put the boat in the water. Luckily, after hooking up, I happened to notice something hanging under the trailer by the tire. Turns out it was the spring that holds the axle to the trailer -- which means the trailer axle is not attached to the boat which means there is no way to pull the boat which means we weren't going boating! Damn the bad luck. After spending a few hours with some of the helpful Oak Cove staff and some of the locals playing dominos in the cafe (I got lots of advice and war stories on broken springs), I started calling for help and quickly found that everyone was closed and out having fun.
Since that shot Saturday, we cooked a good dinner, and headed to Bull Frog's for drinks, music, and a halloween costume party. Bull Frog's, a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive from Oak Cove, is a cool bar and restaurant that is right on the water - if the water is not down 13 feet like it was when we visited. There was a two man band, two people in costume, and 10 to 15 people having fun at Bull Frog's. Everyone said we needed to arrive earlier when more people in costume were there. We still had a good time partying with the small crowd of locals. Everyone said that during the summer, Bull Frog's is jumping!
Sunday, since we couldn't boat, he headed back up the road to Ferris and played golf at Old Brickyard Golf Course, which is a very fun and challenging course and one of our favorites. You can read the review of Old Brickyard in the reviews section of Texas Outside's Golfing Texas.