Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mother Neff State Park

On this Saturday, after the farmer's market, we decided to visit Mother Neff State Park. Mother Neff is one of the oldest Texas state parks. Isabella ("Mother") Neff donated the land in 1921.

Several years ago, it was severely damaged by flooding along the Leon River. This is the first time we visited it since it was repaired and reopened.

The first thing we noticed was the new entrance and ranger station. This is significantly up the hill from the old location. This spot used to be and undeveloped part of the park.

We stopped at the Ranger Station and flashed our season pass to get in. We picked up a map:

As this was our first "real" hike of the year, we selected a loop of new trails with little change in elevation:

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

Today was a beautiful day. After the farmer's market closed and we packed up our booth, we decided to do something different - we decided to take a walk.

Oh, yeah... I guess I should mention: we have been setting up a booth at one of the local farmer's markets. We have been selling handicrafts and farm-fresh, brown eggs laid by free-range, naturally-fed chickens. We cannot call the eggs "organic" because to legally use this term, we have to fill out a long application, submit to numerous annual inspections and, of course, pay an annual fee to the US Department of Agriculture. To be able to sell eggs legally in Texas, we already have to undergo an annual state inspection and pay an annual fee.

We decided to take a trip to Lampasas, TX and walk through their park along Sulfur Creek.

Back when Lampasas was founded, it was known for its mineral springs. People traveled from far and wide to bathe in the city's famed sulfur-laced mineral springs. The remains of these facilities have been upgraded and improved over the years and still provide the municipal swimming pool.

We started from the pool, heading east along the south bank of Sulfur Creek. This bridge across the creek marks the current end of the trail. If you look along the banks to the east, you can see the remains of the trail continuing on. We crossed this bridge and returned westward along the north bank.

As we approached our starting point, the trail crosses the pseudo-suspension bridge. This bridge is a replica of the original suspension bridge that was originally built on the same spot. The current bridge is a solid self-supporting structure. The towers, cable and suspenders are just for decoration, making this bridge look like the original.

And, here we are, home in time for another beautiful sunset...

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