Lake Marble Falls, March 2007
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The dam for Lake Marble Falls was the last of the 7 Highland Lakes dams to be built, and the smallest. The river canyon was narrow and the dam built from 1949 to 1951. Lake Marble Falls is not large, only 5.7 miles long and just over 1,000 feet at it's widest point, but it's big enough for the annual Marble Falls Lakefest! Every summer the lake becomes a quarter mile dragstrip, with boats reaching 240 mph.
In March there were no dragsters on the lake, just Alison, Jody, Forrest and I on my 1987 Flying Scot. We launched at Johnson Park, good ramp and parking area. To get to Johnson Park, just turn west when you are on the north side of the 281 bridge and head for the lake. Forrest went to the pool-deck area of the Hampton Inn to film while we did some jibes and sailed under the bridge, which cleared my mast by several feet. We sailed downstream to the dam and back to Johnson Park to pick up Forrest for sail upstream past Meadowlakes to the 2nd set of powerlines. The powerlines looked a bit close, and upstream of them the lake becomes shallow and rocky, so we headed back. About a mile upstream of the Hwy 281 bridge, the lake becomes shallower, sometimes only 2 feet deep.
The wind varied. The rock cliffs and hills sometimes blocked the south wind we had that day, and sometimes helped it. We found good wind down by the dam and west of the bridge, but in between it was weak and shifty. We saw only two other boats, an aluminum fishing boat with a young man and a family out on their ski boat. Weekday in early March makes for a quiet lake.
My Flying Scot mast is about 29 feet above the water, so we tried the side of the bridge, where it's taller. We cleared the bridge by 5 to 10 feet.
Lake Marble Falls is a nice lake to sail, you can see the whole lake in one easy day.