Just under the wire I went ahead and picked up two more local parks. I was considering doing them in July since July is going to be mostly day trips anyhow. I am also half way through the year. Here are some fun facts:
Miles Driven: 7,178
Per the Facilities & Activities Index in the back of the State Park Guide I have 50 parks/sites left to visit and I have been to 49. Seems to about the midpoint. So I guess that I am on track 🙂 My plan appears to be coming together well.
It feels like I have been to so many places and experienced so many things that any more would seem impossible for one state. The great thing is that I can’t wait to see what else is out there that I have no clue about as of this date. Just looking at the descriptions in the guide make the desert, water falls and mountains seem like a fantasy. I mean really, sand dunes? I have yet to see any bats fly and it has been much hotter than my master plan of hitting “hot” areas in the winter. I still have some winter months left though.
I have not done such a great job with the national parks/preserve/monument/recreation areas/memorial/trails/seashore/river. Brainy me just went to the National Park Service site for Texas, who knew right… Ok, in my defense when I was planning 2017, I used an app that literally only shows one national park in Texas. Big Bend. I also knew there was Waco Mammoth site a new addition to the national park system. I have stopped at the Padre Island National Seashore because I saw the sign and drove through the Amistad national recreation area (kind of – I saw lots of water from the highway). Along with seeing various parts of the Rio Grande. In fact Seminole Canyon is a part of the Rio Grande/Amistad water system. Good for me. Now that I have visited the NPS site and printed the pages for tracking I will have to consider my steps going forward. There are 14 things to add/check off the master list. Enough of that for now.
Fort Richardson – The park seems to have it all. Or at least a lot of options. It is not just the remains of a fort complex, is has camping, hiking, equestrian and an associated trailway system. I have recently come to appreciate these trailway systems. They are on a future goals list. I explored the parade grounds and the remaining structures. I was not able to go inside any of the buildings since they were all locked. I am not sure when they are open to the public, most likely on the weekends. After roaming around the grounds and peeping through windows to see the closest displays, I went on the Rumbling Spring Trail. One spring did softly rumble and the trail description says watch your step, which is someone’s joke of it is impossible not to watch your step in this mostly rock covered trail. There is little relief from trying to determine which rock to step on next. I was in need of a walking stick, which I have thought I have needed for a while. I also considered looking at them in the park store….needless to say that after the next parks trail where I was even more in need of a stick, I ended up buying one on the way home. Well after both of the hikes of the day. Smarts.
Rumbling springs video-
Possum Kingdom – No, I did not see any opossums at Possum Kingdom. I did see a doe grazing in a campsite until I scared her away. I did see a possum…on the road…but not in the park. This is a small park where most of the action seems to be on the other side of the lake. Many many lake homes outside of the park boundaries.
I intentionally chose the challenging Chaparral Trail. It was planned when I decided the day before that doing both parks together made sense. Addditionally it was midday and a half mile challenging hike seemed better than 1.37 moderate hike. I did not intentionally roll my ankle before I even got to the vertical foot challenge. I am going to estimate that it was about 50 feet straight up the rocky washout path. This is based on my 7 flights recorded on the iPhone. And the trip down was not as steep but more challenging in trying to keep on a path, any path. I am pretty sure that I was just in a washout some of the time. The stick was needed on this path due to the stinging leaves on the weeds that lay across the trail. #notmuchfun.