Pic of the Week 6/18/21
“Lake Eufaula Sundown”
Date taken: 6/8/21
Location: Lake Eufaula State Park Arrowhead Area, OK
Wow oh WOW what a busy month June has been!!! I know I’ve been saying that for the past few months, but this has to be the pinnacle of all our stress, time and energy. Within the last few weeks of May into June we moved my apartment, Ashlee graduated college, our wedding venue dropped us only five days before the wedding, and we had our wedding. So yea, its been exceptionally busy. There was one thing that was keeping me motivated, however. That was our honeymoon. It remained a secret until the night of the rehearsal, but our parents got us a three-night stay at the wonderful Calico Heights cabins in eastern Oklahoma. These tree top cabins hang along the cliffs around Lake Eufaula and offer a spectacular view from the hillside. We stayed in the Green cabin at the far northern end of the property. Our cabin had everything we could need for our stay (including a jacuzzi tub!) What an incredible way to start our lives together.
Photo by © Carla Blanchard Photography
The journey up there was a bit rough, after all the adrenaline and nerves from the wedding calmed down, we were tired and exhausted. We left a little later than I wanted, but we arrived to cabins just after sundown. The sky was bursting with brilliant pinks and oranges on the way reminding us that everything was going to be just fine. We awoke the next morning to find thunderheads billowing over the lake. The early morning sun was just filtering through lighting the puffy clouds in a pinkish hue behind a cobalt blue sky. The occasional rumble of thunder could be head echoing through the canyons. We watched the storms through morning until they were on top of us, and we retreated back to the comfort of our cabin. Not a bad way to start our trip.
Our tree top cabin at Calico Heights.
The spectacular view of the lake from our terrace. We enjoyed many meals under the shade of that umbrella.
It rained a good majority of that day, but once the precip stopped we decided to take the nature trail that surrounds the property. Ashlee enjoyed this time as she found many different subjects to photograph. She shot images of mushrooms, birds, bugs, and flowers. We decided we would head into town to a nearby state park Lake Eufaula State Park Arrowhead Area. I had never been to this state park before, so I was interested in checking it out. Our drive took us through wooded hills and small ravines until we reached the flat open area outside of Canadian, OK. On our way into the park a rafter of turkeys greeted us not far from the sign. We also startled some white tail grazing near the side of the road. Ashlee was already out of the car before I had the chance to stop! I believe she really enjoyed this part of the trip.
The Arrowhead Area of Lake Eufaula State Park is different than the main area of the park which is located another 20miles north of Arrowhead Area. It is the designated equestrian area, golf course, and RV camping. So, trails were limited, and we didn’t have a lot of time before sunset. After driving around for a several minutes, we came to an old picnic area that looked like it had the potential for some photography. Ultimately, we decided for another location to shoot sunset. Not too far down the road we came across another day use area just across from the main RV campground. This provided us with a nice view to our west so we could watch the sunset of the lake. On the way into the day use area I spotted an old dead tree near the water’s edge. I kept this location in the back of my mind. We arrived on site and much to our disappointed saw a layer of low clouds moving in from the south. Our sunset looked like it was about to be snubbed.
Thin beams of sunlight stretched out over the lake outlining the trees and rocks with fantastic backlight. While it was beautiful, it did not translate well into a photograph, so I moved on to my backup subject—that old dead tree. I walked closer to the tree and got more excited as I began to circle the relic taking note of any interesting shapes and compositions. Finally, I decided on the angle and managed to capture the sunset just in time. For a brief moment, the sun dipped below the clouds and just above the horizon. This painted the sky in a pastel of orange and reds which stood out nicely against the stark silhouette of the tree. The composition was simple and easy, but I feel like it captured the moment in just the right way. Something about old trees really interests me. Imagine the sunsets this tree has seen. I wonder what stories it would tell. We finished up our sunset shoot and made the short drive back to our tree top cottage excited for the next day’s adventures. Our honeymoon was an unforgettable experience and I have so many more stories to share from this trip!