September Road Trip #2 Day 1 Lake Whitney, Mother Neff & McKinney Falls

The original plan for this road trip was 6 parks in 3 days that turned into 7 parks and 2 days. Something seems off with this, but it was a good road trip. I was smart enough to check park alerts due to this trip being on the edge of hurricane activity. One of the original planned parks was closed, others were only allowing day use activity, unless you were displaced by the hurricane. All the state parks are free to those affected by Harvey. Granted some parks were also badly damaged by Harvey.

It was pretty late in the game when I decided to pick up the extra parks. It worked out well to fill the days, which was my main concern on keeping myself busy.

Lake Whitney – One of the pick up parks. It was pretty much on the way. It just happens that the pick up parks were the first and the last parks on this trip. I contemplated them being the first and second but then decided coming and going was the plan. Plus this way I got to see even more roads never travelled in central Texas. I lived in this area when I first moved to Texas and had no clue all of the sights that I was missing. I probably would have had a better attitude had I seen more country. But then again I was a lot younger and a had a different perspective at that time that it may not have mattered.

Lake Whitney had many surprises. Like a baby armadillo! I have only seen the adult version in real life. (Not just in the pictures) It was also an example of just rolling right by her, it was a dog that stopped to sniff around that made me look back and see the baby. I also got up close and personal with a Blue Heron and got to see its flight. I did not have a camera ready to capture the event, but it will stay in my memory for quite some time. Finally my dog that gets to see parks in a stroller walked into the lake! She doesn’t like rain, sprinklers or baths very much. I have let her out to walk by the water before without her ever walking in and here she was up to her chest wading around. She must have thought she was a fisherdog. The other one just did her usual trick of rolling in crud, covering herself in whatever stinky thing she can find. Nice that this was the first park on the first day and I had to put them both back in the car at some point. Yuck.

Baby (looks bigger in the pic than she really was)
Happy to be covered in crud
Creepy roots eating rocks

 

Mother Neff – This is the park that I thought that I might have visited in the past when planning in 2016. I was incorrect in that thought. I have definitely never been to this park before. I have seen the sign from I-35 many times and never knew what I was missing. It is a small park and it is the first that practices a “no mow” policy to just let it grow. It is pretty that way. I am normally a fan of mowing on the trail. But the trails that I experienced were rocky ravines and a cave! That was pretty cool, it was a shelter cave of the native peoples of the area.

 

Shelter Cave

 

 

Big Play Armadillo

 

McKinney Falls – I had big expectations for the falls. I realize now that to see the falls of my expectations requires a visit after rains. There are not a lot of falls when the water is not flowing. There was some but again not to the expectations. There are some more falls in future trips that I have adjusted my expectations appropriately. I also don’t have many pics. I was there on a Sunday which means that there were more people out and about, plus is was a beautiful afternoon to play in the water. And there are things that you see in the pics that I didn’t see when taking the pics, that nobody really wants to see…. 🙂 The most interesting happening was the coyote hanging out at a campsite that kept running away when I kept driving by. My guess is that there was something to snack on that kept her coming back.

 

The Coyote

 

It was at this point that I knew that this would only be a 2 day trip and adjusted the schedule appropriately.

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