Spirit Trail’s Magic Forest

Spirit Trail

The Spirit Trail takes you through the Magic Forest–the section that runs Jefferson Road to Lakeview East.  Going through that canopied area, you notice the curves in the path, the foliage on the trees, and other signs of nature.  At this time of year, the leaves are falling.  And until the end of December, this section will be cordoned off as there may be hunting in that area.

In the spirit of the hunt is the bow-hunter’s anthem–a song called Fred Bear.  It’s performed by Ted Nugent, a hunting advocate who doesn’t live far from here.

Live version: 

Studio version:

To get to know the legend a bit better, click on this link for seven Fred Bear quotes.

Viewing the Dam

The DamCam has been restored to service.  It is now positioned so you can view Dam Strong rebuild progress.  You may also notice the latest DamCam enhancement–sound.  This should allow you to hear waves and water falling over the dam.  When windy, you may hear that sound instead.  Technical adjustments are being made to improve audio performance, and the camera may be down while tweaks are taking place. (Scroll down for problem-solving tips).

The new DamCam has far more capabilities than the old one.  The camera view can be easily changed to suit the occasion. Right now, for example, the view spotlights the work on the dam.  Later, the view will include more of the lake, as before.  An experiment today showed that the camera can provide a clear view as far away as Eagle Point.  The old camera was not capable of that sharpness, and changing the view required climbing the pole.  So, as the situation warrants, this website will alter the view to make the best use of the DamCam. 

Thanks to Mike McKay for financing the purchase and installation of the new camera.  Mike has been an integral part of the entire DamStrong project, including paying for the eventual landscaping of the area around the dam.

Below is an artist’s aerial rendering of the area around the dam when complete.

The rectangular shapes represent Spirit Trail benches.  All four have been purchased by donors in support of Dam Strong and the Spirit Trail.  There will also be a bike rack.

Viewing tips:

If a live view doesn’t come up after clicking DamCam on the website, click the photo that does come up.  That should lead you to a live view.

If still no live video, please refresh your browser.

For Safari users–if clicking DamCam brings no image up, try going to settings, find Safari and click “clear history and website data.”

Work continues to refine the audio.

Clark Lake’s Seasons

In this short video, view the seasonal changes Clark Lake goes through, all from one location–looking west toward the Head-of-the Lake from the Eagle Point shoreline. Watch the snow melt, ice disappear, grass turn green, leaves adorn the trees, docks and boats go in.   The sequence starts with winter, moves through spring, and into the full bloom of summer.

The photos were taken in 2012.

Dam Update #2

Watch this short video to see progress as crews restore integrity to the dam at Ocean Beach.  The restoration work for the south shoulder is similar to the rebuild of the north shoulder that took place in 2012.  Both projects were funded through donations to the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.

An epic fail of the dam could draw down the lake level by 2 to 4 feet.  Imagine where that would put the new shoreline.  A recently found news article from 1954 predicted a much worse outcome when the spillway itself was in danger of failing.  A County official said the lake could lose up to 7 feet of water. Emergency repairs took place and disaster was averted. The north and south shoulders play a critical role in keeping water in the lake.  That’s why the current Dam Strong project is imperative. 

Click here to view Dam Strong Update #1.

Catch up on the history of this project thru these links.

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Here are links that provide more information on this project. 

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Here are links that provide more information on this project. 

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Here are links that provide more information on this project. 

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Here are links that provide more information on this project. 

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Spirit Houses

What would you call an small, intricately adorned house located along the Clark Lake Spirit Trail?  A Spirit House, of course. Four of them have recently appeared along the north shore.  Each has its own story, and there will be a time to reveal their secrets.  For now, take a look below, and keep your eyes open as you travel the Spirit Trail.

 

 

Surprise Sunset

Earlier in the evening, you would not have guessed at this one.  But suddenly, in its glory appeared another awesome Clark Lake sunset.  Check out the two versions below taken at slightly different times, but not far from the other along the Eagle Point shore. 

Photo: Rick Belcher

Photo: Bill Leutz

The Impressionists would be interested.

Dam Strong Update #1

Work has begun to restore the integrity of the dam at Ocean Beach.  Repairs will fortify the south shoulder of the dam.  A previous restoration of the north shoulder took place in 2012.  Both projects were accomplished through donations to the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.

If the dam failed, the water level of the lake could go down 2 to 4 feet.  In 1954, failure of the spillway led one expert to make an even worse prediction – a 7 foot loss of lake level.  Emergency repairs took place, and those repairs of the spillway appear to remain solid today.  The shoulders are also essential to the integrity of the dam.  That’s why the current project is so important.  

Bill Bendele, whom you saw in the video, is the contractor.  Recently, Flip Reynolds pitched in to clear the obstructions from the culvert that allows water to leave the dam spillway and travel down Goose Creek.  The culvert, that helps support the weight of traffic on the Ocean Beach roadbed, has suffered the effects of time and weather.  At some point, the County will be faced with a rebuild.  Below is a photo of the interior of the culvert.

Here are links that provide more information on this project. 

Dam Strong Means Strong Dam – The donors who made this project possible.  Plus view a video of comments from some of them on why this project is essential to the future of Clark Lake.

Dam Strong for Clark Lake – Includes video that gives depth on work to be done

Dam Strong Fund opens – Also view drawing of how the project will look when finished.

Weekend Rain Lifts Spirits

Is it possible for rain to lift spirits?  See how it happened this weekend at Clark Lake–a weekend that started with warm weather and a Friday evening sunset.  Watch the short video.

Concern over the dry spell was washed away with the rain. Spirits went up as the lake level went up.  According to Flip Reynolds, the lake gained about an inch and half.

Click here to learn more about Oktoberfest.  View story about Clark Lake’s swamps here.

Community Center Gets Support

Over 100 people showed up tonight to support the Clark Lake Community Center at its Oktoberfest Harvest Moon event, and to have fun doing it.  At $50 a ticket, this biennial event plays an important role in financing maintenance of the lake’s historic 120-year old structure in the County park.  

Adding life to the evening were silent and live auctions.  For the latter, Tucker Boyers auctioned off Lynn Vermeulen’s 18-foot Hobie.  Lynn and his crew sailed this boat to victory in Fleet 58 races at Clark Lake and elsewhere.  At one time, Clark Lake broke the record books with the largest number of Hobies at any U.S. inland lake.  Sail number 15003 was part of it.

The high bid came from the Lajdziak’s.  The Hobie won’t have to travel far to its new location.  Like Lynn, the Lajdziak’s live on the south shore of the east end.  

Son and father–Andrew and Robert Lajdziak

The Oktoberfest theme was evident in the food, decorations, and the 100-dollar costume contest.  The contestants, not wanting to be separated into winners and losers, voted to return the prize money to the Community Center. 

To accommodate the crowd, the event was held at the Clark Lake Yacht Club.  Like the Community Center, the Yacht Club is also an important part of Clark Lake’s history. 

Events like these don’t happen on their own.  It takes dedicated volunteers to plan, organize and run an event like this.  Tonight’s activity is only part of the Community Center effort.  Maintaining the structure is an ongoing challenge.  More than an historic building, the Community Center project also reflects the community’s endeavor to preserve its icons and make this one available for events like birthday parties, weddings, meetings and life celebrations. 

Most work at the Community Center is performed by board members and volunteers.  That included the Oktoberfest fundraiser.  Below see volunteers in action cleaning up the Yacht Club building after the event.

  • Tricia Boyers and Diane Deming scrubbing the kitchen
  • John Deming & John Karkheck cleaning the oven
  • John Karkheck and Mike McKay take a break and pose for a selfie

Swamp Dried Up

In an unusual turn of events, the swamp between Eagle Point Road and Lakeview West has dried up.  How unusual is this?  Dave Curtis says “I only saw this happen one other time, and that was in 1988.”  The swamp is on Dave’s property.  He’s lived at Clark Lake since 1943, so he has good historical context. 

The Eagle Point Road swamp has been around as long as anyone can remember.  It’s a place where you studied tadpoles turning into frogs, watched turtles sunning themselves, and swatted mosquitoes.  Not so for the one on North Lake Road.  At one time it was an apple orchard.   It’s been said the sewer system installation disrupted the draining system in that area.  Water accumulated and stayed.  Today there is still water in that area, but not much.

Below is a video that will give you perspective from ground and air at both locations.  Thanks to BJ Lyons for the drone video.  

With the water gone from the Eagle Point swamp, not much is revealed.  But if you magically removed some of the cracked mud, there could be surprises.  The only one spotted recently was an old real estate for sale sign that rested on the muddy surface.