Friday, July 3, 2009

Cranfield on Norfork Lake!

Norfork Lake, if you haven't been there to camp out, you have really missed something. It is located about 5 miles east of Mountain Home, Arkansas. Our first visit there was in the late 60's. To get there, at that time, you had to cross a ferry to get from one side to the other. That was before the twin bridges were built and to me took away a lot of the excitement of seeing the lake for the first time. The water was so clear that you felt like you were looking into a swimming pool.
We were there one week around the 4th of July at a campground and boat dock called Cranfield. It is located on the west side of the lake and is on a little peninsula that goes out into the lake. The campground is in the center and there is a boat ramp with swimming beach along a lower road on the east side. Our campsite was across the road from the swimming beach up a small hill. There was a place at the bottom to park the boat, so you could keep an eye on it.

We were there with another family that we always skied and camped with. They had four children and we had three, so there was a lot activity, such as water sking, swimming and sight seeing. We all went over to "Dog Patch, U.S.A." at Jasper, Ar. one day to keep the young ones busy. When we first got there, I had to take the boat over to get a tune-up at a marina, so we took the short trip then. We did a lot of sking on the days before the 4th, but it was so busy on the Holiday that we planned other things. That night we played card games until around mid-night before going to bed. It was very hot, so there was a lot of good cold beer dranked that day.
A short time after going to bed, we heard a noise near the camp and after we investigated, discovered that we had a ice cooler that had been stolen. When we had located the cooler, They had taken it down to the bottom of the hill before finding out that it had no beer. After returning to camp and settling down again, we heard a loud shot-gun blast coming from the next camp down from us and a vehicle sped away. It seemed that the someone had tried to hit their camp and ran to a pick-up to escape, when the camper ran out into the road trying to stop them with the shot gun and was almost run down. He ran to the side of the road and fired a blast into the side of the truck. The pick-up stopped and the driver got out and shouted "You **B, we are going to get our friends in Mountain Home and come back out here and clean this hill off, like Grant took Richmond!" and took off with wheels spinning and leaving tire marks.
The camper went to a pay phone (Before cell phones) and called the Sheriff's Office and gave the discription of the vehicle and what had happened. A officer came by later and said that the vehicle had been stopped with several guns and individuals that were headed back out to the campground. The next morning, we loaded up and headed for home.


  1. Great post. Mercy though, I had no idea such wild things happened around the lake. People were supposed to be nicer in the good ole days. Don't blame you for leaving.
    I kayak on Norfolk and am totally amazed by the clarity of the water. Beautiful and so far, no shot gun attacks.

  2. That was our only time for anything like this to happen on any of our camping trips. We have been to Bidwell State Park across the hiway 101 at least four times since returning to Arkansas. It is a very nice place to camp and very good fishing. (Arkie38)