Gator Pond  LbNA # 13893

OwnerCalicoRose      
Placed DateMar 20 2005
CountyMcMullen
LocationCalliham, TX
Boxes1
Found ByThe Boxhounds
Last UpdateJul 12 2008

Clues

Choke Canyon State Park, consisting of two units, South Shore and Calliham, is located on 26,000-acre Choke Canyon Reservoir, a water supply for Corpus Christi. The park was acquired in 1981 in a 50 year cooperative agreement among the Bureau of Reclamation, the City of Corpus Christi and the Nueces River Authority.

History: From scant evidence available, we know that Paleo Indians crossed the Frio River Valley more than 10,000 years ago following game such as bison and mammoth. After the disappearance of large game, more than 8000 years ago, nomadic hunters and gatherers associated with the archaic culture camped near the river making tools, building fires, processing, and gathering food. Numerous Archaic sites in the Choke Canyon area have been recorded.

Calliham Unit: Facilities include screened shelters; campsites with water and electricity (50-amp hookups); restrooms with showers; a trailer dump station; walk-in water campsites, which have tables, grills, fire rings, and lantern posts; 4 primitive campsite areas at the outlying boat ramps (no reservations taken); group picnic pavilions; a sponsored youth group area, which has picnic tables, fire rings, lamp posts, and access to a boat ramp (no drinking water or toilets); a group dining hall (capacity 100) with outdoor grills and restrooms; a group recreation hall (capacity 40), with a kitchen, and a barbecue pit; an amphitheater; a sports complex with a gymnasium (with stage, folding chairs, and air-conditioning and heating - capacity 300); a swimming pool with a bathhouse; shuffleboard, tennis, volleyball, and full basketball courts. There is also a man-made, 75-acre lake adjacent to the tent camping area; 2 miles of hiking trails; a mile-long bird trail; and a wildlife educational center that offers educational programs. Campsites and group facilities are reservable. Located outside of the park are four boat ramps - FM 99, Mason Point, Bracken, and San Miguel; each has an honor box to collect fees.

Flora/Fauna: The reservoir and surrounding terrain are characterized by eroded, gently-rolling brushland crossed by silted stream valleys. The land was formed during the Cenozoic Era (the period following extinction of the dinosaur) by accumulating sediments from seas that once covered south Texas. Ancient rivers flowing to the southeast dumped their sediments into what was then part of the Gulf of Mexico, producing new land. Seas intermittently covered the newly-formed land by river-carried sediments which eventually dominated. These sediments are generally composed of volcanic ash, claystone, siltstone, tuff, shale, and shaley limestone. The present location of Choke Canyon Dam is near the ancient Gulf shoreline of about 30 million years ago. Erosion of these sediments and subsequent deposits of river silt eventually produced the present terrain.

Both Calliham and South Shore have a wide variety of wildlife that inhabits dense thickets of mesquite and blackbush acacia. Choke Canyon is the westernmost common occurrence of the American alligator. Rio Grande turkey, whitetail deer, javelina, coyote, opossum, fox squirrel, raccoon, and various skunks are among the most common animals. The crested caracara (Mexican eagle) can also be seen in the area. The following fish are in the reservoir: largemouth bass, white bass, striped bass, white crappie, bluegill, longear sunfish, green sunfish, flathead, channel and blue catfish, carp, freshwater drum, and gar.

Directions: Calliham Unit is located 12 miles west of Three Rivers on State Highway 72 to Tilden.

For more information: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/choke/

To find this box enter the Calliham Unit and pay your entrance fee. Follow the road around to the shelter area. Park at the first parking area on the left after entering the shelter area. Find the dirt track/trail (NOT the paved trail). Follow this track, passing 2 orange and white posts with warnings for underground buried electrical cable. You will see a sign post with 2 arrows (facing away from you) just past the 2nd orange/white post. Turn left at this intersecting trail and go 86 steps. You will see a tree with a bird house hanging from it and a post with a bird feeder on your right. Continue 55 more steps until you see a bushy multi-trunked or multi-basal stemmed tree on your right about 5 steps off the trail with an "aged" diamond shaped wooden birdhouse with a green roof hanging from one of it's upper limbs. The letterbox is hidden in the middle of the multi-stems covered with twigs.

This area is very grassy and bushy. Please step carefully watching for biting and stinging critters and thorns.

Please let me know the status of this box: stashiro@hughes.net