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Friday, August 24, 2012

Exploring the Refuge

Wednesday evening, after work, Ron and I decided to check out the Red River Wildlife Refuge we'd recently heard about.  Located just over the Jimmy Davis bridge, I can't believe that I never even knew this place existed.  Of course, until recently, it was just donated land.  But it now boasts a beautiful new visitor's center

and a small lake  that was filled with cypress trees and birds.

We were the only visitors that evening and it was so peaceful and pretty.  The mosquitoes were thick, but so were the dragon flies.

There were even some frogs and turtles.

And as the sun began to set, the trees across the lake began to fill with white egrets.

We sat on the porch in rocking chairs for a while and just watched and then visited with the Center's volunteer, Nancy.  It was really nice and we plan to go back to check out the 7 miles of hiking trails around the lake.

On the way back, we decided to stop back by the movie set to see what was going on.  Filming in that location is now over, so we parked and got out to take a few pictures.

Being up on the decking brought out a security guard, who yelled to me with a laugh---"Keep shooting until I get there"!  He was really nice and explained that we could take as many pictures as possible as long as we didn't step onto the property.

As we turned to go, this beautiful sunset was ablaze in the sky.  So pretty!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Zippin' By

This past weekend, Ron, Tyler and I began Saturday morning with "brunch" at Krispy Kreme.  I can't even remember the last time I had a donut, but these were wonderful!  We lingered over our food as we visited and watched them make more and more donuts.

After running a few errands around town, we headed to the "Outdoor Show" at the Century Link Center.  Now, 6 months ago if you told me I would be attending an Outdoor Show, I probably wouldn't have believed you.  And if you told me that I would enjoy it, I probably would have believed that even less.  I love the outdoors and wildlife and flora, etc. but guns and hunting?  Not so much!  But it was lots of fun.  Mixed in with all the hunting stuff were some good outdoor foods, a dog show and some beautiful wild raptors.

Ron and Tyler decided to try out the Zip Line across the top of Century Link, and since I'd brought my camera, I volunteered to capture the fun.   After getting suited up,

there was a little cutting up---I mean, what a great opportunity to embarass your son, right?!?!  (I think Tyler's face says it all).

Thanks guys, for at least one good picture!!

Up, up, up they went.

Tyler went first---he zipped across the line until they realized that the guys had sent him across without having the platform ready to catch him!  He had to just hang around for a while until they got things together.  Thank goodness he is not really afraid of heights.

Next up was Ron.  Now Ron is afraid of heights, so this activity challenged his fear a bit.  But, he did great, too and it was fun to watch.  It actually looked like lots of fun and after talking to the group, Ron and I decided that it might be a really fun Fall activity--to zip through the forests of East Texas.

There were also a few wild animals.  First there were the creepy variety --- and stinky:

And then the beautiful type.  The handlers had to put the falcon back in his cage before I could get a good picture because each time someone zipped by on the line overhead, he wanted to go after them!

Would you take a look at those talons?!?!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Meet the Family---Part Two

You may remember a few weeks ago when I met Ron's youngest son, Tyler.    That was great and he has been here for several weeks.   Part two of meeting the family was last weekend, when the three of us traveled to San Marcos, TX to meet up with Ron's daughter, Carmelle and her family.  Being the only daughter in my family, I fully understand how close a father-daughter relationship can be and also how tense it could be to introduce someone new to the crowd.   But, I also knew that if Carmelle was anything like her dad, things would be alright.   We spent several days together, mostly at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels, and it was so much fun.  Carmelle is a smart, beautiful girl who seems to be an awesome mother to her two children, M and A.  Her husband, Chad, was lots of fun, too and we all had a great time eating, tubing, swimming, visiting and playing cards.  Of course, I couldn't keep up with a real camera while we were in the park, so I had to rely on a few shots with Ron's phone.

Back at the hotel, Carmelle and Chad set the kids up with movies each night while the bigger people played some serious games of Phase 10!  I must say that we ladies gave those guys a good run for their money, with Carmelle being the big winner!

My favorite moments:  Sunday morning, after breakfast, we all decided to take naps before checking out at noon.  Just as we settled down with the Olympics on tv, a knock on the door brought A to our room.  She crawled up in the bed and proceeded to play the games on my iPhone (being a preschool teacher came in handy on this trip).  Before long, another knock on the door brought M in also.  He crawled up to nap with Tyler, complete with his new race car helmet on his head.

Where I've Been Lately - Part Two

To conclude our trip to Broken Bow, we headed to Beaver's Bend.  We visited the museum there,

and took a hike (don't worry---no trekking poles were used, and certainly no wrist straps)

where some of us walked on trees

and acted goofy on trees.

We looked for fish and tadpoles.

and found crawfish,

giant spiders,

a hollow tree or two

and maybe even a fossil?

After a couple of hours on the trail, we were pretty hot and tired, so we headed to the lake to cool off.    We rented kayaks and had a great time learning how to use them in  a rapid-free lake.

Next time, I think that might be the way to go down the river!

A storm was brewing over the dam late in the afternoon, but we made it to our car just in time and headed south.

Right after crossing the Louisiana state line, we spied a huge rainbow that followed us for quite sometime.   The trip was so much fun and the rainbow was definitely the "icing on the cake"!!

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