Wildfires and Caching

I’m sure everybody has heard about the wildfires in Bastrop, TX.  NPR even had a news broadcast about it.  Bastrop State Park, a 6000 acre park, was almost completely burned.  Only 100 acres were untouched by the flames.  The rangers there were able to save most of the CCC buildings.  Nobody was hurt but the fires burnt many homes.  It happened over Labor Day Weekend, while my family was having their annual get-together.  The fierce winds were keeping everybody from going outside during the day.  Little did we know those winds were also spreading the flames.  We could see the smoke from my parents property.My parents place is about 30 miles north of Bastrop.  It seems like all of TX is burning…

The following weekend I went to Pedernales Falls State Park to continue the central TX geocaching challenge.  This park is one of my all-time favorite state parks.  I especially love exploring the rock river bed.  We hiked a few miles while we were there.After hurting my sensitive feet on sharp rocks, I stood in the water for a bit and let the fishies nibble on my toes.  One of the weirdest sensations ever!  Like a millipede crawling up your arm 😉My next destination (as part of the challenge) was Monument Hill State Park/Kreische Brewery.  This brewery was one of the first in TX and was built by a master stonemason.Mr. Kreische used gravity to his advantage.  The spring water flowed down the hill into his brewery.It’s no surprise that Mr. Kreische’s home was also well-built.This wonderful pocket of nature and history also afforded a nice view of the Colorado River through La Grange.There was also a monument and tomb for soldiers killed during the war for TX independence.The following weekend my father and I went to Keller, TX to see my nephew play and sing at a rock concert.  We stopped at Mother Neff State Park on the way, the very first state park in the system.The concert was pretty badass.  It was a ’90s theme and my nephew rocked out!  The next day we all went caching.A few days after returning home, and as soon as Buescher State Park reopened, I drove over there to continue my geocaching challenge.  It was the first time I had seen the devastation from the fires.  It was heart-breaking.The fire jumped both Highway 21 to the north and Highway 71 to the south.  This road used to be a tunnel of trees.  Now it’s a tunnel of death.  It will take a very long time for it to recover.  It looks like they are trying to cut down all of the trees closest to the road.  I don’t know if they will be cutting down the rest.  I’m pretty sure Bastrop is not set to reopen until the end of October.  If a rain comes, the soil would be washed away with nothing to hold it there.  Good thing we are in a drought right?  :/  They say a downed power line caused the whole thing.After every 100 finds (geocaching again) I try to hide my own cache.  The next one will be at Type Cemetery by Yegua Creek Church.  There’s a perfect spot for a medicine bottle in one of these trees.There’s an historical marker at this site and several Swedish immigrant graves.  If you want to see these in person you should start geocaching 😉My last geocaching destination lately was Mt. Bonnell in Austin.  It’s not part of the challenge but I really wanted to drop off a TB nearby.  We came right at sunset.It also offered a nice view of the City Lights (capitalized in honor of Charlie Chaplin).  🙂

Happy Labor Day

My parents hosted their annual labor day celebration weekend again. It was almost canceled this year because of the porta-potty situation, but luckily the septic system was dug a few weeks beforehand.  Life is so much easier when u can poo in a toilet 😉 Both brothers, a cousin, a Tia and all of their changos showed up, plus one special guest.  The weekend was full of food, cards, soccer and laughter, plus homemade Jello shots concocted by a noob.  It’s always nice to hang out with family :). This post is courtesy of my newly downloaded Android app!