Friday, June 30, 2017

Possum Kingdom and Hell's Gate

originally from feb 2011


Possum Kingdom is "The Great Lake of Texas." It's the most beautiful Texas lake I have seen, and it's absolutely magnificent. The lake began with the Morris Shephard Dam being built in 1941. The lake was filled in three months, and in doing, submerged a small town called Pickwick. Apparently, when the lake is low, you can still see a rock chimney from the town of Pickwick. Possum Kingdom has a capacity of 724,700 acre-feet, and has a shoreline of 310 miles. It's full of scenery and full of legend as well. Possum Kingdom State Park is probably my favorite state park in the whole state of Texas.


Possum Kingdom is notorious for Hell's Gate. Hell's Gate the name of a formation where cliffs were carved by a river running between limestone rock. The cliffs are an awesome sight, and you can drive your boat right between them today. Legend has it that the name "Hell's Gate" came into existence in 1800's, after an unfortunate event involving fur traders traveling along the Brazos, and Comanche Indians camped out nearby. The traders, after many unproductive days of trade negotiations, brought out their cheap whiskey to help influence the Indians. After a some overindulgence the Indians passed out, and the traders stole the Indians' fur and disappeared into the night. Overloaded with items, the traders only got a few miles before the Comanches woke up and took off in pursuit. With the Indians moving in, the traders found that they were trapped at a location high above the Brazos where the limestone cliff is cut by a creek flowing into the river. The trader, preferred the idea of rock two hundred feet below to what punishment he would receive from the angry Comanches. As he lept off the cliff he swore that he would rather go through the Gates of Hell than return the stolen furs to the Indians. That spot became known Hell's Gate.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Slab Today

Originally from June 2016.

Just a quick update to a recent post. The Slab, the swim hole I just visited in Kingsland, Texas, is flooded and in the news today. I just took pictures of this exact spot in the last photo journal. Now it's under water. Texas is flooding, but I heard a dry summer is expected. Anyway, wanted to show this photo.

News Article

The road from the news is in the background of this picture, below the tree line. Taken two weeks ago. 


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lake Meridian State Park, Meridian, Texas

Originally from March 2011

Camping season is here! One place we will visit a lot this spring is Lake Meridian. It's a great location, just 2 hours from Dallas and 2 hours from Austin. There are several pull-through sites at Lake Meridian State Park and that makes camping easy. There is also sewage hook-up at Meridian, which is nice when you have it.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Check the Shirt - Lake Tawakoni State Park

Originally posted July 2013:

I'm officially a State Park Volunteer! It's something I've always wanted to do. And with my daughter going into her senior year of high school, well, I'm kind of depressed. I figure now's a great time to start doing things that make me happy and take my mind of my soon-to-be empty nest. Ugh that makes me sad just saying that. But I went out to the closest State Park possible, Lake Tawakoni, and did some volunteer work. OK, I picked up trash. But I got to walk around the lake and anywhere I wanted to go while doing it, and I got to wear a Texas Parks and Wildlife Volunteer shirt. If only for the day. (yeah I had to give it back)

The moment I took this picture was a truly happy moment in my life. I felt like I was finally where I was supposed to be. If only for a few hours. Don't get me wrong, it was hard work. I mean it was 95 outside and super humid. The lake is pretty though and I was surprised by all the "beaches" around perimeter. I got lost a few times. Once to the point of concern.. :( I learned some things. 1. Everything is better when shared with another person. - I was kind of lonely, and don't really plan on doing it by myself again. 2. You're a volunteer, so you only have to do as much work as you want.- I sort of over did it and felt kind of sore and dehydrated the whole way home. 3. You don't have to pick up anything you don't want to. - luckily I learned this one really really quickly. Some stuff just looks gross. (who would do that?) 4.Volunteer work for the betterment of others is by far more fulfilling than anything I have ever done for myself.

But otherwise I feel accomplished. Nature lover finds nature. Mark that one off the list and I'm very likely doing it again soon. (Want to try different parks as well. Lake Ray Roberts? After Ranger  _____ called me to discuss volunteer opportunities!)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Inks Lake Day Trip Summer 2013

Originally posted September 2013:

We had a fun day at Inks Lake this summer. Kids got to kayak, and the grown ups just hung around and stayed cool. It's a beautiful little lake our aunt knew which site to grab. This park is always busy, so you do have to book in advance. The other problem is you can't reserve a site, so you have to get there early and claim it. That is typical for Texas State Parks.

We saw a huge lizard, a water snake, and our neighbors across the lake had a massive water slide I had to photograph. Fun days! These are the good times!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lake Ray Hubbard

The lake was so dry we thought it would never come back. I went and took a few dry bottom photos with my nice camera because it was so unbelievable. After a while the dryness became normal. Every day I drove to work over a dry valley of grass and fledgling promising trees. I was told never ever EVER walk on that dry lake bottom because it was full of snakes.




Then the rain came. And it rained for months. Literally months and it never does that in Texas. We went for four weeks one time last Spring with daily rain. So then, the lake began filling up, filling up, and remarkably - it reached full! It was wonderful. For about a day. Then, a crazy thing happened. Cities started having to release water from local lakes due to... FLOODING! It made no sense. We were trying to figure out ways to keep that water until next drought. It was nuts to think of wasting it. But the lakes were actually flooded. 

So now in the month of July 2015, the rain has stopped, the sun has come out and we are finally, FINALLY able to go boating on our lovely Lake Ray Hubbard! We have gone twice in the past two weeks. I'll share some fun times lake photos. 

Some notable experiences - driving the boat across the rough part of the lake to dock up at Flying Saucer and have lunch. The trip was tricky and the docking was worse. The wind was really blowing and it took a "four point marine tie-up" (I hear it's called) to keep the boat from crashing into the dock. Picture to come!

Then more recently, driving the boat a different direction across the lake to eat lunch at Luna De Noche. That was just fun. Amazing huge-chip-nachos. And that dock was completely dry last year. Wish I photos!

The cove where ALL the boaters like to anchor up and hang out. There is questionable itsy bitsy little bitty bikini activity going on there. It's a lot of fun. :) Somehow we have family fun at the cove. Mainly because you're too far away from anyone to see exactly what is going on. Only kind of see and totally suspect. We call is the GGW Cove. Girls Gone Wild.

I think this is my second post about this lake. It's ok, I live here. It's literally 3 doors down. Thanks for reading. Time for photos!

My Youngest. Handsome Devil.

 My Family Minus One Who Was Working

 GGW Cove

 Our Boat Blowing in the Wind

 Four Point Marine Knot

Early Evening - Getting Tired!

And Tired

Me the morning before we left to go boating. I was really really happy!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Days that Shut Down Dallas, 2015

We've had three snow days in the past week. This is so incredibly unusual for Dallas! And, when the roads get icy, Dallas shuts down. And the news folks come up with inventive names like "Icepocolypse" and "Snowmageddon". I was thinking of calling this one "Snow-a-lupagus" or "Snow-pile-up-agus" like Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. But - I realized nobody would get it but me. Mainly because I'm so freaking old... (48!) Even people my age won't get it cuz it's so odd. So, I'll just call it Snow Days that Shut Down Dallas, 2015.

Anyway, I've been taking pictures, of course! Here are a few for your viewing pleasure.

This sign rarely comes down, and it rarely snows. Well guess what?!!

Snow day last week. What a life! Poor Stanley.

I can't remember why I took this. But it's looking out my car window at work.

This is 190 in Garland. I was stopped on the highway, heading to work last Friday. I got about a mile further and turned around. I saw three wrecks and witnessed one car smash into the median. 

Stella loves the snow! Stanley not so much. 

Ironic? Blooming flowers in the snow.

Madison's snow day in Lubbock yesterday.

This is me, sitting at the kitchen table in the dark last night. I was just waiting for the snow to start!

So much snow this morning!

Stella checking it out.

Before the trampling began.

Just cool.

More perfect snow this morning.

Pristine snow today.

You can hardly see the steps.

I don't know why.

Another chair photo.

Gosh one more!

This morning.

You can't tell but this is ice glistening on the tree limbs as the sun comes up. Use your imagination..


Now this is fun!

Ice is a novelty around here.

Glistening ice. Imagine it.

Out my dining room window.

Same. Different direction.

Stanley is so handsome.

Down the street.

Stella was running everywhere.


Run Stella Run!


Connor was cold.


My favorite. Look at that face!

So cold, so slippery.

Possum Kingdom and Hell's Gate

originally from feb 2011 HISTORY Possum Kingdom is "The Great Lake of Texas." It's the most beautiful Texas lak...