After coming back from our fabulous trip to MN we headed a little south to Denton, TX to another very nice Corp Park. This park is about 30 miles north of Dallas and although the park was really nice and we had a nice lake site anytime you left the park we had to deal with horrible road construction. We were both happy to leave this area after a 10 day stay and get away from the traffic and construction.
We stopped at Lake Arrowhead State Park in Wichita Falls, TX for three nights. Nice quiet park where we enjoyed watching the Prairie Dogs run around. Caprock Canyon State Park was our next stop for 7 nights. We picked this park for two reasons; buffalo roam freely through the park and great hiking trails in the canyons.
We got to see the buffalo roam in the park but never in the campsites. One day Joe and I went for a walk to an overlook about a mile from our site. As we were enjoying the sites Joe heard a snort and we turned around and there stood a very large bull buffalo. He looked at us and we looked at him. There are no trees just shrubs so a quick look around for a closes group of shrubs to run to if the tail came up in a question mark (a sign the buffalo is ready to charge) but all was well. He turned away and started grazing. We were going to head back to the campground but that was the direction he was headed in so we went the other way to give him space. Later when we did walk back to our site, he was grazing close to the bathroom at the campground. For the next few days we spotted him in the same spot in the morning and in the evening.
Joe and I decided to take a hike in the canyon and thought we were prepared. It was supposed to be a 3 mile walk maybe a little farther with the walk back. We took two 6ounce bottles of water (mistake one), a map, a few almonds to munch on, camera, pedometer, and took off for the walk at 11:00 (mistake two). Mistake three was dressing to warm. The trail was call the Canyon Rim Trail and it was marked as 3 miles. We knew it didn’t loop around so calculated that we would connect to another trail and make our way back to the campground. Four hours, 83 degrees and 8+ miles later we made it back to the campground, exhausted and thankful to be back. It truly was one of the worst hikes we have ever done. The “rim” trail took us along the rim of the canyon for a while and then took us to the floor of the canyon, and then up and then down. The trial itself was very nice but we started panicking when after 3 miles we didn’t come to the trail we thought we were going to connect with to get us back. We were both getting crabby, hot, no water left and weren’t sure where we were when we came to the horse camp at about mile 5.5. We were able to fill our water bottles with cold water, stick our heads under the water and see on the map exactly where we were at. The trouble was we were so tired and we were at the bottom of the canyon and had about 3 miles to walk – uphill – and we are in the desert so there is very little shade. It was hard to get motivated. When we finally got about half way up the canyon we were able to catch the paved road to walk to the campground. The trouble with the paved road was that it was very, very steep and even hotter and we had about one and half miles to go. Joe was so patient with me because I had to stop about every few steps to rest. Every woman needs to have a Knight in Shining Armor save her and Joe was my Knight. It came to the point I didn’t think I could move he told me to sit down and he would walk the rest of the way and get the truck. As it turned out we had only about ¼ of a mile left to the campground but my Knight saved me. We both know we made to many mistakes and think we have learned by them. Now we can laugh about it.
As we stand on the rim of a beautiful canyon in Caprock Canyon State Park I remind myself how blessed Joe and I are. We have been given the opportunity to see such spectacular sites. We can visit family in MN, WI, Ohio, TN and CA. We can put our feet in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. We can stand on the rims of beautiful canyons or walk to the bottom and see the marvels of millions of years. Every day we count our blessings and thank our children for understanding their vagabond parents.
Stay safe! Love to all!!