DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
HOOVER’S VALLEY — What exactly is a sheep shank? And how do you use a bowline or even tie one?
Whether you’re tying a hook on the end of your fishing line or securing the latest garage sale booty in the back of your pick-up, using the right knot can save the catch of the day or your new (used) deck chairs from becoming a road hazard.
But let’s face it. Sometimes, knots can seem pretty daunting with all the “take this end, wrap it back around, come up underneath, go through and around” type of instructions. It’s easier to just wrap and knot the rope or line upon itself.
Unfortunately, those makeshift knots might not be what we need. After all, a surgeon’s knot or blood knot to an angler can keep the fish on while a good bowline can keep things secured.
So, just how do you learn to tie a knot?
One way is buy a book on knot tying. These offer a plethora of selections, often with step-by-step directions on tying the knots.
A great resource for sure, but not always the easiest to understand, especially when a multi-step knot is involved. You can become a bit confused as the diagram shows one end of the rope (or line) continually going back over itself and coming out this way and that way
You can always look for knots on YouTube. Again, like the book, these videos offer a good way to learn. But sometimes the instructor goes fast or it just doesn’t make sense. Since it’s a video, you can’t really raise your hand and ask questions.
So, what’s a better option?
The Inks Lake State Park Survival Series on July 5 at the park amphitheater is a good answer. For the month of July, the series’ topic is knot tying. Not only will you get a great introduction to the world of knot tying, you can ask questions because the instructor is right there.
And you can have him or her go over it several times.
The Survivor Series is 4-5 p.m. at the park, 3630 Park Road 4. The program is free, but entrance fees do apply. The park will provide all the necessary materials, but you should bring a water bottle.
Go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/inks-lake or call (512) 793-2223 for more information.
JULY AT INKS LAKE
Located at 3630 Park Road 4 West near Burnet. Entrance fees are $6 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Call (512) 793-2223.
• Devil’s Waterhole canoe clinic and tour, 1-3 p.m. Thursdays and also on Saturday, July 5 and 19, (weather permitting) — Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children plus park entrance fee. Learn canoe basics and take guided tour to Devil’s Waterhole. Wear swim clothing and water shoes. Pre-registration required.
• Electric boat tours, 7:45-8:45 p.m. Fridays (except July 4) — Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children plus park entrance fee. Electric boat trip on lake to Buchanan Dam. Pre-registration required. Meet behind park store.
• Fishing with a Ranger, 6-7 p.m. Fridays — Free with park entrance fee. Covers basics of fishing. Gear and bait provided. No fishing license needed within the park. Meet behind park store.
• Independence Day Bike Parade, July 4 — Free with park entrance fee. Patriotically decorated bikes take part in parade. Decorating starts at 9 a.m. in central park area. Parade is 10-11 a.m.
• Kids Kayak Clinic, noon-1 p.m. July 4 and 12 — Cost is $3 plus park entrance fee. Ages 8 and older learn kayak basics and safety. Parents must accompany children. Program behind park store. Pre-registration required.
• Moonlight paddle, 8-10 p.m. July 5 and 12 — Cost is $15 plus park entrance fee. Ages 15 and older take guided canoe tour to Devil’s Waterhole. Life jackets provided. Pre-registration required. Meet behind park store.
• Night Sky Party, 8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday — Cost is $4 plus park entrance fee. Gaze at stars, planets and galaxies with high-tech equipment. Program near playground in front of Chris’ Landing.
• Twilight paddle, 8-10 p.m. July 5 — Take a canoe tour of the lake on a non-full moon night to see the stars. Cost is $15 plus park entrance fees. Ages 15 and older. Life jackets provided. Pre-registration required. Meet behind park store.
• Underwater Discovery!, 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Thursdays — Free with park entrance fee. Wade into shallow waters with seining net to learn about aquatic life.