Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday at Arrowhead

I spent Thursday morning by going on a couple of hikes here at the Park. Both hikes were in the area of the

equestrian campground. There was one trail that petered out about 3/4 of the way through. The ground had standing water and when I pushed my walking stick into the ground it sunk about 8 inches before coming to a stop. Luckily the grass in this area was so high and thick that I was able to walk in this area and not sink into the mud. The grass spread my weight out. I still had water to deal with, but my boots worked perfectly and kept the water out. I'm sure because of the conditions the park crew can't get the mower in there to maintain that part of the trail. I did come across area that had wild plums growing. I might go out on saturday morning and pick some of the ripe/near ripe ones. After hiking I went back to camp and cooked steak and mac & cheese for brunch. Hung around camp without a shirt on and now my back and stomach are red. A plus from last night, I rigged a small fan to the roof of my tent cot and had a cool breeze all night last night I slept great.

On thursday evening I went into town to the MPEC to attend the Western Swing Festival. I met with my friend Rod Moag and his friend Peter Oresich. Peter is visiting from Slovenia and has a radio show there. I don't have pictures of Peter or the friends that came with him, but I'll get some tonight.

I saw the Bob Wills' playboys last night as well as Leon Rausch and Tommy Allsup. Dennis Ivey and his band played as well as John England and his band. The music wa excellent and I can't wait to go back on Friday to see the next days bands. I have an all day wristband for Friday and Saturday, so I might as well go and enjoy the A/C. And there is free high speed Internet so maybe I can get some stuff done while I listen. Will post about Friday after Friday is done.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Wichita Falls, TX

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lake Arrowhead

I'm camping this week at Lake Arrowhead State Park. I arrived yesterday at about 2:30. When I got here I stopped at the park office. I asked the attendant if I could go scout out areas and chose a spot then come back and tell her which one I wanted. She told me that I couldn't do that. I asked her to recommend a spot and she suggested #25. After check in I went to the campsite. The big plus to 25 is that it's a complete pull through. That's it. It was right next to the road and had no shade. I then checked the other sites on this loop and other loops and determined that either 29 or 27 would be the best available sites in the park. 29 had abundant shade and I could set my tent cot up on the same side of the parking pad as the water and electric hookups. After checking the covered picnic table I discovered that there was a large wasp nest in the eaves over the picnic table scratch 29. I knew 27 had shade also, but not all day like 29 had. After checking for wasps I determined that that was the site I wanted. I then went to the office and had them change me to site 27.

After getting camp set up I called an old friend and made plans to meet in Wichita Falls for supper. We decided I'd mee Ear at her house and we'd go from there. She did the driving so I got to sit shotgun and see all the sites. We went to eat at a hole in the wall Mexican food restaurant called Casa Manana.

The food was excellent, especially their signature tacos served with red corn taco shells or tortillas. After eating we went to the offically recognized, worlds smallest skyscraper. You'll have to google or wikipedia the story. But short version is that the building was a well executed scam from the 1920's and that the scale was 1 foot = 1 inch. So instead of several hundred feet high, it's only as tall as a 3 story building. After going through downtown and seeing the sites, including the Bar L drive up beer joint

we went to Monkeybutts and I got to meet her and see the place where most of their family have lived throughout the years. We also saw the waterfalls and drove by the Allred Unit, where 'Ear' works.

I also took time before heading into town to take some pictures of the prairie dogs here at the park. The prairie dogs in the prairie dog town were shy but the ones by the swimming beach were more photogenic.

After all that running around I came back to camp and went straight to sleep. Oh, on the way back from visiting I found a walmart that had a gas station. I took the time to go in and buy a small fan

and that really helped me sleep last night. It kept me cooler and the noise was like the fan at home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Park Road 63,Wichita Falls,United States

Friday, April 16, 2010

Meridian State Park 4/9/10 - 4/11/10

I camped at Meridian State Park this weekend. I left on Friday (4/9/10) for a 3 day (2 night) stay at the park. The park was a 2 hour drive from Georgetown, TX. I took I-35 to Waco then headed west from there on highway 6. I enjoyed the drive down 6, it was a non-hectic, scenic drive. No confusing signage or tricky road junctions. At this time of the year, and because of the good rains we have had the wildflowers were in bloom. I enjoyed seeing the different types along the road, but by far and away the bluebonnets were the most plentiful.

I arrived a little after two. The park office was well staffed and the two ladies working there were friendly and handled the people in line quickly. They only have three things for sell in the park office; ice ($2 a bag), firewood ($5 for a bundle) and walking sticks ($7-9) depending on what size you get. I picked site #10. The employee helping me told me that it was one of the more popular water/electric sites because it stood off by itself. I didn’t think of it like that, I just picked it because it was closer to the restrooms and showers. If I’d had know though I would have picked spot #14. It was really nicely laid out. If you go don’t take sites 11, 13 or 15, they are on a hill and rock covered. I didn’t see any good area to put a tent at these sites. Here’s a link to the map of the park:

This way you can see what and where I’m talking about.

I spent the first hour or so getting camp set up. It only took about 15 minutes to get the tarp laid out and the tent up. I’m getting better at it. Unpacked the sleeping pad (REI 3.5 self inflating) and got it laid out. Let me tell you, if you want a good pad for car camping, and don’t plan to hike long distances for camping, then this pad is great. I sleep very well on it, it’s comfy, I don’t feel the ground and it insulates you from the cold ground also. All in all a great product, a little too heavy if you’re doing a lot of hiking, but like I said earlier, a great addition to car camping gear.

After allowing the sleeping pad to fully inflate I unpacked, and laid out, my sleeping bag. It’s a 30 ° Coleman sleeping bag I got at WalMart because I wasn’t happy with the 15+ year old sleeping bags I took with me. They were too cold when you’re camping and it gets down to lower 30’s at night. The Coleman bag is nice, toasty (even hot sometimes), and does a good job. The only problem is that it is extremely bulky and heavy. I think as the temperatures warm up I’ll ditch the sleeping bag and go with a blanket or two (just in case it get cooler than expected).

I’m buying this for my next trip to Caprock Canyons State Park. I really like this concept and think being able to get the sleeping platform off the ground will be nice.

After unpacking and getting everything set up I drove around the park to get an idea of where trails were and where I might want to take some additional photos.

I did get a hike in on the Little Springs Nature Trail. It was a nice easy hike through mostly Cedar (Ashe Juniper). I could hear bird calls but never was able to catch sight of any birds. The park is a known habitat for the Golden Cheeked Warbler. I looked for one, I really wanted to get a photo, but had no luck. I need to research better for future parks so that I’ll know what wildlife is there and have a better idea of what is there to photograph.

I brought some of the small 4lb bags of charcoal. Just light the bag and it’s ready for grilling in minutes.  I also bought two of the bundles of firewood. I had a steak I wanted to grill and I knew it was going to get into the 40’s. I thought that the fire would make a nice way to fight off the chill. Had supper, the aforementioned steak, green beans and Lipton Green Tea. After that I cleaned dishes and got ready for bed. After the kids at the next site over quieted down I fell right asleep and didn’t wake up until the next morning.

That’s day 1. Day two (and 3) will follow in separate blogs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 2 Big Bend National Park

Another beautiful day in Alpine / Terlingua and the Big Bend National Park.

After visiting for awhile, we headed to the park.

The scenery was great

After a good day of enjoying the park and the company of good friends I headed back to Alpine for some much needed rest.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The big beautiful West Texas area

I'm back on vacation in the Big Bend area again. Made it in to Alpine yesterday and headed straight to the Field Lab to meet with friends John, Neil, Andrew and Guy. But mostly to see Benita

Stayed at TFL most of the day and had a good time. Even got to help one of JW's neighbors unload some stuff from his pickup so he can continue building his house.

I finally got my room at the Antelope Lodge. My crazy buddy, Psyclesam, had this room the night before. If I hadn't of known that I would have figured it out soon enough. 

Crazy Sam. That was pretty funny. 
Going to Big Bend National Park today to photo and have my breath taken away. Will post more tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photosynth...I don't think I did it right

Here it is:

I don't particularly like the way it turned out. I think next time I'm going to try for a panoramic shot. I think that may work better. I'm going to have to look at some other examples of panorama shots and see if it's something I want to try. So far, I'm not too impressed with the process. It's kind of clunky and hard to navigate the photos.

It will be a few weeks before I go anywhere that I can take pictures for my next try, unless I just go out and take photos of something local. If I do that it will probably be something along the San Gabriel River. I'll let you know here when I do my next project.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I haven't really had much of interest to post lately. I just figure nobody wants to read: I got up, ate, went to work, worked some crime scenes, came home, ate, slept and did it all over again. So, today I thought I'd write about something I came across on the search engine.

Photosynth, a nifty little web app that allows a photographer to take several pictures of an object, landscape, building, etc., and then upload them to the Photosynth program to be stitched together into a type of 3D montage. I'm excited to give it a try.

I'm going to have to think of a good subject for my first attempt. I will start out small and get the hang of it. I'll post my results here. Might not get to it for a day or two. I have supper with Dad tonight so I don't know if I'll have time to do it until tomorrow.

Regardless, I'll post a link to the results here when I get it done.