Dallas White Rock Lake Trail

2016 has been a rough year on Sweetie and me. The weather has been perfect for growing allergies leading us both to some bad bouts with sinusitis. Most of our walking has been indoors at Grapevine Mills Mall. One fine weekend, though, we risked headaches, sneezing, and wheezing to walk along White Rock Lake.

Bikers, joggers, and strollers all share the trail around White Rock Lake.

It was a beautiful day, drawing out the bikers, strollers, skaters, runners, dog walker, and joggers. The ducks were active on the lake with a nice breeze coming up from the south.

Duck on the lake.

Spring had begun blooming.

Someone planted this flower!

Most people paid attention to the signs. (I always read the signs, even if I don’t always follow them.)

Follow the rules of the trail!

In the 20+ years I have lived in Dallas, this was the first time I’d ever been to this end of White Rock Lake. Sweetie and I spent some time admiring the rush of water from the recent spring rains.

Just like on the news, the falls are wonderful to watch

I hadn’t even realized that there were more than one set of falls! Nor had I known that there had been a fish hatchery in this area.

The second set of waterfalls.

I really like this bike fix-it station.

The bike fix-it station was totally cool, especially with the tools and air pumps!

This is the quiet side of the falls.

Bird calls abound.

I ended up learning quite a bit on this 10k walk.

My 2016 resolution: walk all around White Rock Lake!

 

180 Years of Texas Independence

2016 marks 180 years of Texas Independence which was celebrated at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park. Sweetieheart and I made the three-hour drive with a brief stop at the CzechStop to pick up some kolaches.

It was a glorious day: temps in the 70s, light breeze, sunny sky with puffy clouds. Reenactors wandered freely. Reenactments. Music. Food. Everything I could ask for on the first day of Spring Break.

Sweetieheart meets one of the composers of Texas Independence.

Sweetieheart meets a Kodak moment

We found our first geocache accidentally. It was a Kodak moment and we took advantage of it.

We also found our second geocache accidentally. We were visiting the reenactors’ village when I decided to turn on the geocaching app to find the location of the nearest geocache. It was 140 feet away!

We found our third geocache on purpose. We were circling the zone and I’d already spotted the cache when this couple strode boldly right up to our tree! I cried out, “Hey! No fair! We spotted it first!”

The response? “Oh, are you cachers? We’re new. What are we supposed to do?”

They were absolutely new to the game. They had downloaded the introduction to geocaching app and decided to come to the park to try it out. They had no idea that the park was celebrating Texas Independence. They had no idea of what to do with a cache once it was found.

They were from Katy, TX

Sweetieheart showed them how to fill out the log. Then he showed them what was in the cache. Then we showed them how to log a find on the app.

They'd spotted the cache but didn't recognize it as a cache.

We saw them later circling another cache and we caught up with them at a third cache. The intro app limits the number of caches they can find. I hope they enjoyed the game.

We, on the other hand, felt the day was perfect, from beginning to end. Happy trails!

Third Time’s the Charm

Believe it or not, it took me three times to find this darned cache!

My excuses:

  • I’m short and it’s tall.
  • It was dark the first time I tried.
  • Danged nano!
  • Too many darned muggles!
Hint: Grapevine Mills Mall

Hidden deep in the (rain) forest is a geocache!

Walking a Trail

In January I visited Austin for a teaching conference. I arrived with laryngitis and it only got worse. You see, Austin is Allergy Central of Texas so I moved from allergen-filled North Texas to the even more allergen-filled state capitol.

I knew I wouldn’t be in any shape to explore Austin, especially since the conference began so early in the morning and ended so late in the afternoon. Few volksmarches are available at night.

I had also heard a rumor that there was a walking trail somewhere near my hotel. I don’t know that I found the official trail, but I did find a paved and well-cared-for trail that led around a small, duck-filled artificial lake.

 

Fort Richardson Walk

Sweetieheart has been busy this year. It’s his junior year of college. There have been times when my husband accompanied me in his place.

The Fort Richardson Walk, sponsored by the Tarrant County Walkers, was one of those walks. The day dawned misty and slightly threatening of rain.

It was a misty, gray day.

The plaque at Fort Richardson

This was good. My husband is a vampire. Bright sun scares him and he overheats easily.

Neither of us had ever been to Fort Richardson before. We both like history although he likes martial history more than I. We were both intrigued by the possibilities of the walk.

To tell you the truth, this walk was satisfied us. We were able to explore the old fort ruins. Character actors were there to explain life in the Old Fort.

IMG_2797

Ed explores the Munitions Building.

I’d like to bring Sweetieheart along some time. He also enjoys military history…. and walking.

Crystal Canyon

A few weeks ago, I was working on my usual Halloween reading: ghost stories of Texas. I love ghost stories and I know many of the local ones. However, in Paranormal Texas, I found a tale I hadn’t heard of before and it was located just a few miles from my home!

Sweetieheart looks over the sign at the entry.

Crystal Canyon is being preserved as a natural area for its geology in the hills of Arlington. It’s a half-mile walk around on a nice trail lined with benches and informative signs. It’s also one of the newest parks in Arlington, having opened in 2012.

As a preserved natural area, there are no geocaches permitted within the park. However, there are a couple just outside the park.

The walk is appropriate for children, strollers, and pets (pick up after your pet!), as well as joggers and walkers. Water is located at the entry/exit to the park. The trail loops around a wooded area with plenty of shade which means it could be walked throughout the year with extra caution during the hottest parts of the year.. Warning signs include snakes (Duh! It’s the Metroplex!) and poison ivy (Gotta love Texas!) and scorpions (Closed-toe shoes recommended).

There were signs of fireworks and people who left the trail, but overall, the park was clean with little trash.

Carvings in Sandstone

I’d like to figure out a earthcache for the park because it deserves to be visited more often. It’s a lovely gem.

Walking across Texas

I’m so proud of my gals! As a team of eight, we walked across Texas (830 miles) in only six weeks!  Snce we still have two weeks left in the program, I’ve told my team that we’re now stuck at the Louisiana border and need to walk back to the Metroplex, three hundred miles away. Having seen what they’re capable of, I think we’re going to make it.

To form your own team, go to Walk across Texas, a free program offered by TAMU, Texas A&M University as a way to make Texans healthier.

Our Goal: 830 miles in two months  (east to west Texas)

Feet Treats

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a class on how to make foot scrubs. This is the result.

Aura Cacia gave us the gift jars. Cool!

My Foot Scrub

  • 4 ounces sugar – we were given a raw, more natural sugar than granular
  • Any light carrier oil – we were presented with almond oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil (I selected almond oil)
  • Approximately 30 drops of essential oil, total – we had the choice of lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, lime, and vanilla

Directions

  1. Add carrier oil to sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. (Hard to define since it depends on the sugar type, the oil type, and the weather.)
  2. Add the essential oils by the drop until the smell of the oils overpower the smell of the sugar. (I blended lemongrass, lime, and peppermint.)

A Proverb

Stolen off of Facebook

Proverbs are proverbs because so many find them true.

A New Favorite Geocache: George Mason

Symbol for the Virtual, or Ghost, Cache

I was looking to score new states, not to raise my number of finds (which is good because I really didn’t geocache much this summer–I’ve begun looking at quality rather than quantity).

Sweetieheart and I were in Washington, DC, for the fourth of July. On the third we decided to do the National Mall volksmarch. It was a good walk but we’d already seen most of the sites on previous tours. (We did get to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial which hadn’t been open the last time we’d been in DC.)

MLK and I share the same birthday.

As we walked, I’d occasionally look for a geoache. However, the many muggles kept us from making the attempt. Too many people hang around the National Mall on July 3rd!

Then we discovered a little memorial dedicated to George Mason. It was rather neglected with grass growing where it shouldn’t and the flowerbed appeared a bit dry. It also contained a nice bench to sit and enjoy the day and the view. Finally, it contained a geocache… one which wasn’t bothered by muggles.

I wish more people would visit this lovely little memorial. It’s just across the street from the cherry trees. It’s truly a lovely place.

The man who wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights deserves more recognition.