They say it's the stomping grounds of the legendary Bigfoot, but our times at Caddo Lake on the Texas-Louisiana border never included a sighting. Our family camped in a rustic cabin in Uncertain, Texas on the banks of the swampy forest that is Caddo Lake. We did this during football season, for I remember listening to Cowboys games via radio. I remember hooking catfish. And traveling by boat to nearby restaurants. And how my Dad--who apparently explored the area extensively as a boy--could navigate without a map.
To understand what a big deal that is, you have to know Caddo Lake.
It's Texas' only natural lake. (Yes, all the rest are man-made.) It's the largest natural freshwater lake in the south, containing the largest cyprus forest in the world. Its trees are 400 years old. And they have a creepy beauty about them. It's a cinch to get lost within them, to look down one channel and convince yourself that's the way back to the cabin, only to discover you are deeper in trouble. That's probably what feeds the legend of Bigfoot. A person could easily disappear within, and survive upon, Caddo Lake.
We never got lost with Dad, though. Either he knew his way around, or he faked it well enough to get us where we were going.
I have good memories of our long weekends in Uncertain. And I was happy to see it made Texas Monthly's "bucket list" of 63 things all Texans should do before they die. I do not know if my Dad had his own personal bucket list, (though he did many bucket list-able things--Machu Picchu, scuba, Alaska) but I have no doubt if he did, Caddo Lake was on it.