Monday, March 13, 2017

Twin Buttes Reservoir

San Angelo is on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, so things tend to be pretty arid out here. San Angelo is fortunate to have several lakes. Admittedly, none of these lakes is very large, and they do dry up during droughts, but right now, we do have some water in these lakes.

There are 3 branches of the Concho River (North, Middle, and South) as well as 2 pretty reliable creeks (Spring Creek and Dove Creek) which feed the lakes in our immediate area.

Recently, Donna and I drove out to Twin Buttes Reservoir to see how it is doing. There are actually 2 "pools" for this lake, the north pool (fed by the Middle Concho River, Spring Creek, and Dove Creek) and the south pool (fed by the South Concho River). The 2 pools share a common dam and are connected by a channel. On Google Maps, the lake looks like this:

Twin Buttes Reservoir

In reality, it doesn't look that good. At top, where "Twin Buttes Reservoir" is written, is the north pool. You can see the blue line running southerly to the much smaller south pool. That blue line is, of course, the connecting channel. The blue area to the east (right) is Lake Nasworthy. San Angelo is east and north of that lake. There is also another lake, O. C. Fisher, on the northwest side of town fed by the North Concho River.

We had not been out to see Twin Buttes Reservoir since February 2012. At that time, I snapped some pictures and encourage you to take a look at them in "Backroads: Sherwood, Texas".

These are the Twin Buttes for which the reservoir is named.
We drove out US 67 a few miles west of town, then headed south on the entrance road just past the Twin Buttes from which the reservoir gets its name. The area really isn't attractive, not even to Donna and me, and we love the desert. There is something of a park area on this side of the lake, but it really isn't well maintained at all. Personally, I would not feel safe coming out here to hike or camp. We noticed that there were a few folks out riding trails on their dirt bikes.

At the very end of the paved road is a boat ramp and the best view of the lake. Even though the lake is currently at about 20% capacity, it looks rather pitiful. But there were 4 or 5 trucks there with empty boat trailers, so people are out on the lake in their boats. We did not see them, though, so they must have been around a bend somewhere.

This is the end of the pavement. You can see the outline of the dam in the distance.

Boat ramp is currently accessible, but I don't know for how long. Looks like the level is receding.
Although this view of the lake does not show much water, it more clearly shows the dam than those above.
Compare the photos above with 2 I shot back in February 2012 ("Backroads: Sherwood, Texas"). There are a few scattered shelters in this area, but I do not know what condition they are in or how much they are used.

On the entrance road, we noticed a small ranch with the following sign:

Alpac-O-Rama near Twin Buttes Reservoir
Now, I don't know the finer nuances of alpacas and llamas. My understanding is that basically an alpaca is sort of a smaller version of a llama. But we did stop and snap a few photos.

Livestock at Alpac-O-Rama

More Alpac-O-Rama livestock
Just down the road, we spotted some wild pigs. I wanted to get a photo of them, but on our approach they scattered pretty quickly into the brush.

I'm always amazed at the interesting things we find out here when we get off the main roads and prowl about.

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