2019, Travel/Vacation

The Wichita Mountains In April 2019 (Part II)

Coming from Rush Lake, we took a short break at the Visitor Center. And then we moved on to Quanah Parker Lake. Driving to the lake, there were lots of longhorn and bison grassing in the meadow. Some longhorn cows crossed the road. The grass must have been greener on the other side. 😉 Some longhorn were scratching their necks against the nearby boulders. One of the animals was so close, I could almost touch it, if I was crazy enough to do so. But this Texas girl ain’t messing with a longhorn, nor a bison. That is a whole bunch of NOPE!

At the Quanah Parker Lake Dam, we saw the spillway gate was open. This was the first time, I had the chance to photograph the dam with the water flowing down into Quanah Creek. Usually when visit in September, the water levels are much lower due to the Summer’s drought. In Spring, there is plenty of rain. It will fill up the lakes. And the rest of the water goes over the spillways. Kevin, the girls and I wanted to hike the Little Baldy Trail. But something terrified Luis at the stairs leading down to the dam. I mentioned, there is another small trail right by the pier on the north side of the lake.

Arriving at the Education Center of the park, we hiked the small trail by the pier, looked at some plants and read the educational signs about flora and fauna. Katelynn found a small school of fish swimming near the shore and watched them for a little bit. Luis got really tired, and we called it a day. He was so happy being back in the car and could take a nap on the way back home to Texas. He probably was dreaming about his fluffy couch.

~ The End ~

2019, Travel/Vacation

The Wichita Mountains In April 2019 (Part I)

Yesterday, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, Luis and I visited the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge again. The girls have a four-day weekend. And Kevin took the day off. What’s better than go on a hike on a beautiful Good Friday?! This time, we entered the park from the eastern entrance by Medicine Park. Because first we wanted to go up to Mt. Scott. But for some reason, it was closed for entering by car. We didn’t want to take the long hike up to the peak of the mountain. So we decided to move on and hike another trail. But first, we went to the Holy City. Katelynn and Sara went inside the church, before I went behind the buildings with them. Kevin stayed with Luis in the grassy area by the parking lot. Luis can get a bit excited around people. And we didn’t want to take any chances. Before getting back to Road 115, there is a field where the Prairie Dogs call this place their home. It is fun to watch them, when they bark signals to each other. They seem fine being out and about, when visitors of the park just drive by. But once, we crossed the white line, they became territorial, ran back into their burrows.

Last time we were at the refuge, we went to the Jed Johnson Lake Dam. This time, we wanted to hike and chose to go up to the tower. Katelynn, Sara and I decided to cross the little creek and walked up a “shortcut” along the lake, while Kevin and Luis went the regular trail along the creek. But therefore our trail was a little bit more rugged and some steep boulders needed to be climbed, before we made it to the tower. Kevin just walked the easier, but longer way. Luis could walk, lie in the shade or water for a bit, before he trotted behind Kevin again. Our pup is such a couch potato. 😀

Standing next to the Jed Johnson Tower, we had a nice view over the lake. In the distance, Mount Scott could easily be made out as the highest peak in the Wichita Mountain chain. There are also several stories roaming the internet about the Jed Johnson Tower and the lake being haunted. Honestly, if there is a ghost, it is definitely not ill intended. I felt no bad presents going up and around the tower at all. But I sure was drawn to it. After walking around the tower and let Luis rest in the shade for a little bit, we took the same way back which Kevin hiked up with the dog. It was an easier way down to get back to the car.

Coming from Jed Johnson Lake, we also took a short trip to Rush Lake. Since we had quite a bit of rain the last few days, the lakes are full. The water of Rush Lake is currently going over the spillway and the below creek leads into the Jed Johnson Lake.

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Katelynn’s Back Home

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Hometown sign of Würzburg in Epcot/Walt Disney World

Katelynn and her school band had a blast, the last 3½ days. They left early Saturday morning to fly to Florida. When they arrived at Walt Disney World, they went straight to Epcot. Katelynn did show her friends “Germany” and the sign of the city, where she was born. The following day, they spent the day in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. She said, her favorite area was Tomorrowland. And she enjoyed the fireworks, while standing next to Space Mountain. On the third day, the group went to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and see the Blue Man Group in Universal Studios. Today, it was clearing the resort rooms, get on the bus to the Orlando International Airport (MCO) and fly back home to Dallas.

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Katelynn got herself a Walt Disney World Parks t-shirt and a Star Wars Porg plush toy.
2019, Travel/Vacation

Walt Disney World 2019

Tomorrow is the big the day, Katelynn will fly with her school band to Florida. This will be the fourth time for Katelynn being in Walt Disney World. But it will be the first time without us parents. She’s growing up so fast! 😦 😉 Katelynn’s band won’t march. But they still will have a good time seeing other High School bands marching in the parades. There will be also a few local bands from the DFW Metroplex.

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Katelynn’s High School Band t-shirt, she will wear during her trip in Walt Disney World.
2019, Travel/Vacation

100 Years Grand Canyon National Park

May 2008

◊◊◊◊◊

December 2017

Happy 100th Birthday, Grand Canyon N.P.!
(1919 – 2019)

2018, Travel/Vacation

Visiting Family In North Carolina

The last several days after Christmas, we took a short break and visited Kevin’s family in North Carolina. Katelynn and Sara hadn’t been in Georgia and South Carolina, yet. So, we chose to drive the southern route through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to get North Carolina. Since it was raining most of the time, we took it easy with the “End of the Year” trip. I captured several photos. But I wasn’t going all out as I usually do, when we go on bigger trips. Here are my favorite ones:

2018, Travel/Vacation

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma

Five years ago, Kevin, the girls and I drove to Oklahoma on Labor Day. We picked a spot at the most northern part of Lake Texoma, which is southeast of the town Tishomingo. Parking at the northern side of the lake, we took a little hike. It was humid, warm, and a lot of insects were buzzing all over the place. All of a sudden, a Gulf Fritillary sat down on Katelynn’s arm. Katelynn kept hiking with it for a bit, before the butterfly decided to fly to another flower. Kevin said: “I think I see a hummingbird right there.” But when I looked closer, I smiled and replied: “That’s close. Actually, it’s a hummingbird moth, also called a sphinx moth.” The girls kept watching it. And one said: “It really acts like a hummingbird.”

It was a nice afternoon in Oklahoma. We drove back home to have dinner in Texas. We all got out as a family and did something together on this September holiday. Sometimes, this is all it takes to make the girls happy.

2018, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 5: Getting Back Home To Texas

June 20, 2018

Our five-day vacation came officially to an end. After breakfast in the Motel, we left Cortez to drive home. We made our way from Durango in Colorado back to New Mexico. In Santa Fe we took a break and had lunch. Once we crossed the New Mexico/Texas Border, I was happy to be on Texas grounds again. It took us until 11 P.M. to get to our house. We had a fun trip. But it’s nice to be home in Texas, again. As always, it was lots of driving, my buttox hurt and my feet started to swell. But I can’t wait for our next adventure.

~ The End ~

2018, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part II): Arches National Park ~ Red Rock Wonderland

June 19, 2018

If Arches National Park is the famous park of Utah could be argued. But back in the day living in Germany, when someone mentioned Utah, the first picture coming into my head was the Delicate Arch. Therefore, the park was the one that stuck in my head. I didn’t know that Utah had many more National Parks, State Parks, Monuments, etc., until I moved to the United States. Since years, seeing the Delicate Arch was on my bucket list. On this trip, I’ve finally got to see it. We looked at it from the Lower Viewpoint, and we hiked all the way up the hill to the Upper Viewpoint. I scratched the Delicate Arch very lightly out on my list. Because I still want to hike all the way up to it and touch it.

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Arches National Park Sign at the Visitor Center at the entrance

But the Arches National Park has more to offer than just the Delicate Arch itself. There are many view points of interesting stone formation. Sometimes I think, these places are Mother Natures playgrounds. If she doesn’t want to play in this “sandbox”, she’ll play in another.

We didn’t make all the way back to the “Devils Garden”. There were just too many places to see along the road. And I’m not gonna post all the photos I’ve captured. Here are the 36 best photos I’ve shot in Arches National Park:

When we left Arches National Park, we drove to Cortez in Colorado, to rest for the night there.

… to be continued …