Wanderlust satisfied

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2013 at 9:43 am

Well, it was an interesting trip.  It didn’t start out as well as I had hoped.  I got to the national forest and found things much changed since my last visit. Roads and trails were blocked off far more than they used to be, plants growing up profusely between the tire tracks.  Access to the lake was almost totally overgrown and impossible to penetrate.  And almost all the trees showed signs of a fire, bark singed, undergrowth stunted.  Looks like maybe 2011, but maybe 2009.

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I went around to the far side of the lake and found things no better.  Denied access, fee areas, and the like.  And when I finally got access to the lake, the water was hot, body temperature or warmer.  I went further on and got into the civilized area around the lake and found that Houston had already engulfed Willis, and all the old favored landmarks were either gone or changed beyond recognition.  Money, money, money…..  It was horrid, so I went back to where I had started.

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I was thinking about waiting until morning to make the hike to Camp Letcher Pond, but I had enough time before dark, so I hiked the mile plus in.  Right before I got there, it rained heavily, and I got soaked.  I managed to keep my wallet and the camera dry, but that’s about it.  When it let up, I went to the lake and I was totally disheartened.  The lake had dried up to about a foot deep, very little of the area had water.  What water was there was choked with duck weed.  The shores were choked with underbrush, and the dam had fallen trees every twenty feet or so.  It was quite difficult to hike the length of the dam.  It was a horrible experience.  And it rained again on the hike back to the truck.

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Despite the urge to vacate, I spent the night at a little spot on the side of a side road.  I can’t say that it was much fun, but I managed to get through the night without further trauma.

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In the morning I headed east and set down at Washington on the Brazos.  I spent a few hours under the giant pecan trees, decompressing.  A group of trustees from the Navasota prison unit showed up to clean the park.  I watched as one of them pulled a very large opossum from a trash can.  It did not enjoy being carried by the tail to the river bank where it was released.  I ate a bit there, then pushed on to Lake Somerville.

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I stayed a day and a half at Welch Park, where I had first piloted a boat solo.  I managed to sit out the heavy rain under a picnic cover until it let up.  I watched the few people there the first day, but mostly I sat and watched the water and enjoyed the cool breeze.  It was quite comfortable.  The second day had more people, as the weather turned sunny, and it was nearing the weekend.  It looked like they were going to have an event there.  I waved to many people who drove by where I was hunkered down in the shade of the trees.

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It was pretty trashy, not the big stuff, but lots of beer bottle caps, items about an inch or two that were considered too small to pick up.  I found about two dollars in coins there, mostly dimes.  I called it an overgrown sofa.  I was able to grab some AC power that night and charged everything.  There was no WIFI in town, so I wasn’t able to look up Pam’s phone number.  I did make contact with Tom in Brenham, but I never heard back from him.  So last night, I ended up coming back to Doug’s in Bryan, where I am now.

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I am definitely on the toasted side.  My face is reddest, but my left arm (no AC in the car left arm sunburn) is the deepest.  It’s not that painful, but it is enough to keep me out of the sun today.  But I have power and internet, so I’ll survive, even if it gets hot.

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welch

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