I run a Maps App where every time that I open my phone away from home it tells me how long it takes to get home. Handy, and it gave me the realization that it just felt wrong to be staying in a hotel being only 2 1/2 hours away from home. But I justified it by the fact that I will be doing multiple parks and driving back and forth every day didn’t seem to make that much sense. What it did do is talk me into adding a park to Day 2. Atlanta the farthest east. It also made me decide that the rest of the parks in East Texas would be done via day trips. Maybe that will be July activity. Needless to say I have not finalized plans yet for July and July is sneaking up on us very soon.
Atlanta – The add on park. And a good thing too, it is another charming park…in other words it is small. Small all around. Since I was not planning on a major hike at this park I attempted the Terrace Trail until it petered out to less than nothing. Note that there was a warning sign at the entrance but it didn’t say that one could not go on the trail. It was probably actually off limits. Regardless it is what it is.
Caddo Lake – The lake that is really a swamp. Touted as the only natural lake in Texas. Which seems to be a pretty big claim for a state the size of Texas to think that all of the other lakes are manmade. It is hard for me to believe. Even more challenging is that the original “dam” was a mass of trees which was removed by man to navigate the river which drained the lake and is now a lake again maintained by a modern dam. How is that natural lake? That is really a swamp. I saw the swamp part, I realize that there is a larger lake attached, but I didn’t venture over to it. (It is not a part of the state park)
Now lets talk about the trails. They are most definitely not stroller friendly. When the map says there are steps, it is not kidding. The steps are up the side of the mountain so they are in sets of 50+ steps. And I know this because in taking the ADA trail (not really so ADA friendly) I missed the turn and got to go both up and down the steps. Bitching all the way because steps are most certainly not ADA and most definitely a pain in the ass with a stroller. Regardless, I did it and Charity did not like it. She likes going up better than going down because she just turns around and looks out the back as I pull her up. Going down she has the vantage point of hanging her snout over the edge just hoping that I don’t drop her into oblivion. Ultimately I would have missed the CCC moss covered pavilion, a welcome sight and surprise to break up the steps.
Martin Creek Lake – This is a warm lake because the water is used to cool the electrical plant. I just couldn’t help thinking that the water was contaminated and would cause freaky mutations of plants, wildlife, & humans alike. Supposedly there is good fishing (for mutant fish). Ok that’s not true, but it is all that I can think about. It does not help that I was blessed with a pack of ticks. At least 5 if not more jumped on me and/or HolaChica for a ride and a bite. Many many bites. This was on a Tuesday and I found the last tick on Friday. Who knows how many microscopic nymphs have burroughed into my skin and are mutating as we speak. It was the tall grass where they were laying in wait. It was not long before entering that I figured it was a bad move. Too bad the guy that I saw mowing in another part of the park had not done that trail recently. Oh and did I say that this was on the island? It was, and I saw deer on the island, and they were deer ticks. Damn deer. The island part was cool until I was invaded by ticks. I also wondering if the deer swam to the island or went across the foot bridge? Hmmmmm.