Saturday, June 30, 2012


After leaving Big Thicket, I headed North toward Lufkin, Texas.

I arrived at the Cherokee Trace Park in Jacksonville Texas a little after 1:00 P.M.  The sun was out in full force so I started wondering just how many animals would be out for viewing.    As I entered the gates to this 300 acre preserve, I was met by a small gathering of deer.  Although, the park gives you a couple of laminated sheets with the names of the park animals, I couldn’t tell if they were White tail Deer or something else.   It didn’t matter to me what they were, I just have fun watching and feeding them.

This place is so big.  It has small hills and big open savannahs.

 You drive at your our pace, keeping under 10 MPH.   The admission is a day pass so you can come at different times during the day.  You are issued a large bag of pellets to feed the animals.  You can buy addition bags for $3.00. There are rules you must follow; do not get out your car for any reason (good idea) and throw feed on the ground do not try to hand feed.  There all have big teeth.  The girl at the counter told me make sure you windows are up if they start getting close because they will stick their heads in the car and take anything they can find.   People have lost glasses, purses, your bag of feed, maps, clothes, everything.

It surprises me how many animals were out.

Most of them rested under the trees and when you would approach they would get up and come for the feed.  Although, some of the larger and maybe the older ones would just sit and look at you and not get up, too hot to move, I guess.   Not were aggressive but some used the, I’ll block the car and you go get her to throw out some food, method.   Here is the link for the Cherokee Trace Park,  The drive through the park was so relaxing just what I needed.  This was the major change of scenery I’ve needed.   I took many photos hope you enjoy them. 

Can you tell what kind of bird is in this tree?

 It’s a Roadrunner.  Right in front of my car I spotted this bird running to beat the band.  I stopped the car and readied my camera.  He flew into the tree right in front of me.  He was a kind enough for me to wait until I repositioned my car so I could get these shots.  After about 6-7 minutes he flew off across the open field and landed behind a fence.  He then started to run across that field.  Boy, they are fast.

Since, my computer was kaput.  

I bought a map of Texas and Louisiana so I could figure out a way not to go through Baton Rouge on the way home.   My luck was running good this day because when I left the park I was in spitting distance of Hwy 84, El Camino, and the East/West Corridor.  Deciding this would take me into Louisiana and eventually, Natchez, Mississippi, where I could cross the Mississippi River.  Goodbye Baton Rouge!  I could intersect with I-55 and that would lead to I-12 and home.

There was still had plenty of daylight, so I started to head East.

Crossing over the Sabine Rive at the Texas - Louisiana state line was the town of Logansport.   Don’t know how I miss this town since I have been all over Louisiana, it was a treat and full of history.  Just over the bridge to the left was this beautiful riverfront park.  In March they hold a Sand Bass Tournament.  The prize for the first place team in March 2011 was $10,000.00. Not a bad day of fishing, if you ask me.  Logansport is a place I would like to spend some time.  I think I will go back when the weather cools down.

Photos of Logansport, Louisiana enjoy.
Couldn't have planned a better mini vacation.  

Have a great and safe 4th  of July.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ROAD TRIP!!!!!! (Part 1)

The problem with reading travel blogs is that it makes you want to travel.  

Last Friday, morning, I decided I needed a mini trip in the worst way.  Gas prices were dropping and it was a perfect time to hit the road.   The kennel had room for my buddy, Valentino (his first time in a kennel).   The plan was developing just fine, so I packed a few things, put the ice chest in the car, grabbed the dog and was on my way.  Valentino was delivered to the kennel without any drama on either end (me or him).  I was officially, starting my mini vacation.  

Now, I used the word “plan” loosely, because the only plan I had was to get out of this house for a few days.   The following is what I happened on as I drove the roads in search of fun, excitement and a much needed attitude adjustment.

Deciding west was the best way, since it would get me quickest to unseen before territory.  Traffic looks good as I entered I-12.  Just a quick comment here, if you don’t have to go through Baton Rouge don’t. Baton Rouge is a nightmare bumper to bumper traffic, 2 hours to cross the Mississippi River.  I would have turned around and went back home but traffic was bad in all directions.  At this point, I make a mental note to avoid coming back this way even if I have to go to the MS Coast and come home from the east.

My first stop was Beaumont, TX.  

The La Quinta Inn was clean and cool and I was ready for a great meal and some good A/C.   I plug in my laptop so I could search for what to do next.  The laptop is not working something about a missing ini file, great, this is just great, now what to do.   Just then my youngest daughter calls, (she was a little surprised to find out I was in Beaumont).   I ask her to do a search on animal drive-thru parks in East Texas.  She finds two.  Both are around Lufkin, TX area just off Tx Hwy 69.  What luck, I am right at the Hwy 69 exit.   Now, I have a definite plan.

Next morning, breakfast at the hotel and I’m off heading north on Hwy 69, this is going to be fun.  See the fun stuff I found.  What a great time I had on my mini vacation.  Sometime no plan is the best plan.

Big Thicket National Preserve

Not long into my drive up Hwy 69, I come across Big Thicket what a treat.  Big Thicket has a great information center with loads of information about the wildlife and plants in the area.
Part 2  tomorrow (still editing photos)

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Pause that Refreshes

A Short Prelude of Peace and Quiet.. or at least I thought!

This evening about 6 PM, I decided to take my little fellow OUT, the magic word.  He has been patient with me as I tended to things away from the house.  Mind you he has a ¼ acre in which to roam but it is not the same as taking a RIDE, another magic word.

We left for a drive along the lake and stopped at an outlook that extends out into the lake.  They have tables and benches and trees for shade.  There are also wharfs you can fish and crab off.  A  great place to unwind and watch the sun go down.

 As we walked, he did what dogs do, he read the scents that were left behind form other dogs.  People and cars can and went.  There was a couple who left on a motorcycle.  Valentino has never seen or been close to a motorcycle.  If was funny to watch his expressions as he tried to figure out just what to do about it.  Like watching a 2 or 3 year old learn about his world.
 What in the hey was that?
 OMG It moves fast!
Did you see that?

As we left, there was a car stopped on the wrong side of the roadway looking at something in the one of the inlet waterways.  I slowed down to see.  There, a big old alligator, just swimming around back and forth.  You cannot see in the picture but there was men standing on the bank by those cement pilings throwing a cast net just in front of the gator.  I guess the alligator thought it would get some food if he waited around. 
 The man Cast netting was just above on the cement pilings!
 He was about 6 foot long.

Now this is the reason I don't swin in this lake!

It was a bit of nature right here at my doorstep not quite out there Rving but fun never the less.

 Cypress tress and Cypress knees in the forground.
 One of the inlet canals

 Sailboats out in the Lake.

Interview went well this morning.  The job is interesting and something I would love to do.  This is a new position and they need someone to do some organizational stuff.  Right up my alley.  They will make a decision in about 2 weeks when the finish interviewing.  We’ll see!