February 13, 2011
This one is dedicated to my daughter Beca for making me remember to cherish the small moments in life….they only come once!
Today is a beautiful day. Temperature in the 70’s and sunshine, sunshine, sunshine! The perfect day for a day trip. My oldest daughter is home for the weekend has decided to come along with us today. Double treat! This is turning out to be the best weekend in a long time as yesterday I spent the afternoon with the younger of the two girls sitting in the sun waiting for our hair appointments. If anyone has or has had girls between 16-20 knows these small moments come few and far between and are definitely treasures to embrace. We have decided by decree of time of day to find a park around an hour drive from home, and not to mention that Beca probably would not appreciate a longer excursion as much as we would. We limit our choices to parks within 100 miles of Dallas. With the hour glass running we quickly settle on Lake Tawakoni State Park.
Lake Tawakoni is a fairly small park located near Wills Point east of Dallas off Interstate 20. We stop in Wills Point to grab a bite to eat. With Three Italian BMTs, 3 macadamia cookies, and a bag of chips under our arms we quickly get back on the road – a few minutes later and a couple of turns we’re at the park. An important point needs to be made at this conjuncture in our journey’s story: As you near the turn off point from 47 to 2475…..don’t turn at the sign….I REPEAT…..DON’T TURN AT THE SIGN!!!! Turning at the sign means almost definite tire damage, shock and more SHOCK, and possible head and spinal cord injury. Turning at the sign means that you cut your travel distance by maybe 20 ft but subject your vehicle to a multitude of potholes – one of which I swear was so deep I saw rice float up from the depths. The three cars following us were definitely locals as they continued on past the sign turning shortly up the road and crossing our paths – scoffing I’m sure! We carefully avoided the abyss…
Pulling up to the gatehouse we are notified that all the water in the park has been shut off due to a water main break. The only convenience station (I saw this written in one of the park maps once….sounds so much nicer than toilets) available was those at the gate. Great! Luckily we brought plenty of our own.
We have mentioned this before but the lakes are very low at the moment. If you go to the official site for this park you will find a picture of children frolicking in a swim area. Today, all that remains of the swim area is grass and sand. The waterline has receded back at least 100 ft. Today, two small children and their father utilize the space instead to run back and forth working hard to raise their kites in the wind. Next to a lake as open as this it make a perfect place to catch a breeze. It is nice to soak in the sun while enjoying a good meal.
Stomachs filled, we head to the trails. We loved this sign…..just in case you didn’t notice the trodden, worn down path below the arch!
Shyla, as usual, has found a scent that has motivated her to take the lead. By now we have learned to quickly pull to the side and let her pass. She does not take kindly walking in the middle or behind others and does not hesitate to knock your knees from under you as she stream trains her way ahead – such a fun-loving brute! As usual, she finds her way to the water’s edge…just to make sure she gets a quick dip and a taster. It’s like an addiction with her. She can’t help it. She could of just finished off a bucket of water, which she frequently does now with the medications she has to take to control her condition, yet she dives in and eagerly begins lapping it up like she hasn’t had water for a week! You can actually see her stomach grow as liter after liter enters that belly of hers. She gives the term water-logged a whole new meaning.
The trail we chose today is not as pretty as most we travel but does lead us to a point on the lake that is remote. Maybe a little too remote for the poor bird…or what remained of the bird we found along the shore. Looked to be a large water bird of some sort. The wing was so unbelievably light it is amazing that it is strong enough to support their weight. The feathers were still attached to the wing bones and the bones did not seemed damaged so I wonder if it died from illness and not from being attacked by an animal. I’d like to think it was old-age!
The wind was in full swing today and the water, while clear, was very choppy and extremely cold indeed. But it didn’t stop Shyla a.k.a. Waldo from taking dips. The water is definitely not fishy smelling as some of the lakes tend to be and has a sandy texture on the bottom.
As you can see today is my turn to carry the “Beast.” Yeah, the camera is very impressive. What camera wouldn’t be sporting a 12 inch lens, but I could do without the weight. I must look like the Hunchback from Notre Dame! At least I get to choose which shot to take today and since I don’t get many opportunities to shoot either Andrew and Beca they are now the focus of my attention.
The trail ends at the camping area for the park. Some people like window shopping….with us it’s campsite shopping……I do not know what our fascination is with viewing the sites at all the parks we visit. I think we enjoy envisioning our camper sitting in one of the sites. These sites are fairly clear and have plenty of trees around for shade in the summer. Not many campers here today however, except for the hosts. We really like the site below as it actually had the fire pit between the campsite and the picnic table. A cozier feel.
We finish with a walk to the fishing pier. It is late in the afternoon and as Beca and I sit and talk we watch flock after flock of birds swoop and then descend into the protected cove to our left. Within a few minutes the top of the water is covered with water fowl and ducks.
On the way home, we pass a ranch at 80 mph. Andrew is attracted by the setting sun and the intriguing name. Immediately, I envision Bugs Bunny and Porky Pick being corralled by Elmer Fudd. I wonder what other interesting “Wascally Wabbits” inhabit this place?