Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dam Walk

Top of O.C. Fisher Dam. Photos are clickable.
Beautiful sunny days here in West Texas. I took a walk yesterday along a trail that borders my town and our state park. The trail is along the top of the dam that once held back waters from O.C. Fisher lake. Our county has four large lakes but the drought has reduced them to dry lakes save for one which is 75% full. I remember as a kid the lake in our state park was a beautiful lake full of boaters and fish. But today is is a mud puddle.

That does not stop outdoor enthusiasts from getting outside and enjoying the wildlife and nice weather. The dam walk stretches for 7 miles one way. I only did two miles because I wanted to be back to my truck before sunset.

Bicyclists use this high view dam trail frequently. I saw three on my walk. It is always level and the views are very nice whether by foot or bike. Runners were enjoying the trail, too. I say trail but it is actually a paved road used for maintenance on the dam and the flood gates further up the road.

Our local soccer leagues have built several fields below the dam and it is full of kids and parents on the weekends and evenings. It is a big deal here and I wonder if it is more popular than football because it seems everyone turns out for it.

Buffalo herd in San Angelo State Park
The city skyline of San Angelo is below the dam on one side and on the other side it is the property of San Angelo State Park. I go there often because it is a great getaway from the city without having to go too far. It is full of hiking and biking trails and it has a very strong volunteer base that keeps activities in the park going all the time. It has several campgrounds for year round use.

  • Click here for a hiking and biking trail map (pdf) that will make you hungry for getting outdoors. 

I am confident that one day this lake and the others in the area will be full of water again. I don't know if I will be alive to see it but I would not doubt if rains would begin to fill it up sooner rather than later.

Once full lake is waiting for rains to fill her up.

My travel trailer is home now, parked behind my house. The repairs were done as promised however I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of the clean up. It looks like they kind of rushed the job and did not care so much about how it finally looked. But it certainly looks a lot better than what it did before: broken side fenders. I am happy to have that done and paid for. Hopefully I will have no more problems with that.

I am experimenting with taking time lapse photos of interest. Here is my first practice of a sunset Tuesday night. It is not a very good example but I am learning the ins and outs of the feature on the iPhone. It is very simple to use but it sure uses up the battery juice. Maybe I'll have a good one to show you soon. It is about 30 seconds.

Thank you for those of you sending me several ideas about what to see and do in Laughlin, Nevada. I appreciate your suggestions and have them on my list. I'll report on the trip during the week when I go in March.
Today's Devotional
To err is human. - Alexander Pope
If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. ~ Matthew 6:14
Make it a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Laughlin, Nevada Planning

The folks and I have signed up for one of those package deals to Laughlin, Nevada. It covers roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, and rooms for 4 nights along the Colorado River. One of the resorts there sponsors these trips for $259 a person. Sounds like a very inexpensive vacation to me so I am really looking forward to it coming up in March. I think there is a daily buffet meal thrown into the deal, too.

Photos are clickable. These photos are from Internet resources found by clicking their addresses.
I am looking forward to seeing some of the sights of the area while I am there. Of course the casino wants you to spend time there at their tables and machines but I am more inclined to see the outdoors of this part of Nevada and Arizona, especially before it gets too hot and I am told that March is a good time to visit this area.

One of the main things I would like to see is the Big Bend of the Colorado State Park. I expect they have some great trails there and I would like to check them out.

Another item that has been on my list is to see the new bypass bridge near Hoover Dam. The

Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

is a spectacular engineering project that will be a real treat for me to see. We will then have lunch in the town of Boulder City and then drive across Hoover Dam for a return loop drive back to Laughlin on the Arizona side. Sounds like fun.

Laughlins Greenway Trail system is a must do and I am sure I will be visiting it everyday especially since it is just out the hotel doors.

There are several trails in the area and some cool drives. I doubt that I will be able to see everything on my list but that is part of the fun of taking trips: planning. 

If you may know of something of interest in the area, let me know so I can write it on my list. Thanks.
Today's Devotional
People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. - Joseph Fort Newton
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. ~ Romans 12:10
Travel trailer update: The crew working on my Mobile Scout trailer is making progress with the replacement of both side fenders. They each cost $200 but it had to be done. Installation should be affordable but the checking of the refrigerator has me worried. The manager said don't worry because  he does not think it is an expensive or difficult fix; probably just some cleaning out of the lines. Hopefully it will all be done by next week.
 Make it a great day!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Texas Pecan Pancakes

Started the day with spectacular pecan pancakes from Cracker Barrel. Yum. You can't go wrong with a start like that.
Photos are clickable.
Checked on the neighborhood bluebonnet patch that is coming along very well this week. It should start shooting up its stalks in preparation for a full bloom before March. I planted some in Mom's flower bed in early December but it was probably too late for me to expect any kind of blooms this year. But I thought it was worth a try. I have seen them sprout among the pansies so we will see how they turn out.

There is nothing pansy about pansies. These hardy plants have survived snow, ice and extremely cold temperatures this winter. There was never a day this winter that they were not in bloom. They love the sunshine and so lately with lots of sun and warmer temperatures, they are really blooming and screaming for more sun. I also planted snapdragons and they did well until the real cold freezing temperatures shut the blooms down. The plant is still green and healthy but no hint of new blooms yet. They may be done with.
Screaming pansies.

I checked on the progress of my Sunnybrook travel trailer in the repair shop this week. They are replacing both sides of my side wall fenders that were damaged and ruined during recent blow-outs over the last year and a half. I asked the manager to check my RV refrigerator for me while it is in the shop because I have noticed that even though it works very well all the time the trailer is not moving (electric and propane), it starts to warm up inside the frig when the trailer is moving down the highway. As soon as I stop for gas or at my destination, the refrigerator starts to cool again. Strange. He (manager) said he would clean out everything that may have been causing this problem. He suspects the flue is clogged or something like that. As with a house home and a vehicle, there is always something that needs attending to on the RV, especially now that it is over 10 years old.

Today's Devotional

If we were to pin all of our troubles out on a line,
You would take yours,
And I would take mine.


6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 

7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Make it a great day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Upgrades, Repairs & A Walk

A walk in the neighborhood. Photos are clickable.
Busy day yesterday as I took care of improved tire business and took the travel trailer into the repair shop for upgrades and repairs. It feels good to get these chores done that I had been putting off but needed to get done.

I have several loops of neighborhood walks I take daily. Sometimes it is a mile loop but more often than not, I take a 2 mile, 3 mile, or even a four mile loop that stretches beyond the neighborhood into undeveloped pasture land that is very enjoyable. The weather here this week has been spectacular and it is most welcome. Warm, sunny days with a slight breeze has made me have spring fever here in February.
The photo doesn't do much justice to the neighborhood walk.
In my walk yesterday, I passed by a couple of houses that have installed water reclamation set ups. They are elaborate and are designed to collect a lot of water from their rain gutters that run around the  house. I am seeing more and more of these types of installations and it is good to see attitudes are changing in our drought environment.

Beyond the neighborhood, the trail I take is through pasture land that once was ranch  country when I first started hiking/walking this area over 20 years ago when things were quite wild. I would see wildlife that I do not see now that the city boundaries have expanded into the former ranch. I still see prints in the dirt and other evidence of wildlife here and so it is good to see they still find a home here.

As I was walking in the neighborhood, the sign on this truck's window caught my attention. If you can read it, it reflects a changing attitude towards home owners that they do not appreciate dog owners allowing their dogs to do their business in their yards.

Well, today is a day for cleaning out the rain gutters. I haven't done that in a while so it will be good to get that done and marked off my list of chores. It's gonna be a beautiful day to do it, too.
Today's Devotional
God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Every good and perfect gift is from above. ~ James 1:17
Sunday night, I heard a Great Horned owl hooting just outside the house and so I stepped outside to see if I could see it. I heard it hoot several times from a tree I was standing under and then I saw a glimpse of it silently fly away. That was a real treat for me to hear because I do not hear the owls very often as I once did when I moved into the house long ago.
Make it a great day!