Saturday, July 25, 2009

Scorched Prairie, Dodging Gestapo Agents & Being Depressed In Texas

The scorched prairie at the Tandy Hills Natural Area covers a larger area than I expected to see burned. In the photo you are looking at the remains of 2 prickly pear cactus patches surrounded by blackened ground.

It is going to be interesting to watch the burned area come back to life. A fire like this returns the prairie to its natural state, getting rid of the predators, like Mesquite trees. It would be a good thing if a way could be found to safely burn the rest of the Natural Area.

We were predicted to hit 101 today. But, coming up on half past 3 we are still chilling at 99. I was in the pool early this morning. The water still retained a pleasant chill. That won't last long if we get a string of 100 degree plus days.

I parked at my new Tandy Hills hiking launch spot at the top of Tandy Mountain, off the streets guarded by the Fort Worth Gestapo. I figure this new parking location saves me about a mile. 20 trips to go hiking the Tandy Hills and that saved mile will amount to a gallon of gas saved. I am all about being conservative.

The Queen of Wink has got me thinking about all I miss about living in the Pacific Northwest. The abundance of fresh produce, seafood, flowers growing everywhere, the smell of evergreen trees perfuming the air. You don't notice that constant Christmas tree smell til you move away for a few years and then return.

By July most of the hiking trails in the Cascades are free of snow and open. I can not remember the last time I hiked up an actual mountain. That's depressing to think about. So, I'll stop thinking about it now. And switch to plotting moving back to the Northwest. I sort of miss living in a participatory democracy where freedom reigns supreme.


twister said...

I think probably there is a direct correlation with the amount of tickets a city's police force writes and it's revenue shortfalls. Cops are a serious source of revenue and it seems obvious to me that this is the way a city pays its police force as well as other bills. It's an unfair and corrupt way to tax the populace. I mean, come on; "you were driving too slow"? That's ridiculous. There's a saying, you can't go home again. I don't know how long you've been away from WA, but there's is a distinct possibility the WA. you left will not be the WA. you'll return to. You'll leave your home and go back to a place that was once you home but it isn't anymore. In a year or so it'll feel more like home but I think it's likely you'll still miss "home".

Durango said...

Twister---You are now the 4th person to say some version of the FW Cops being on some sort of quota requirement. Revenue enhancement via citizen harassment seems like a really bad plan.

As for that you can't go home again thing. That happens to me every time I'm back, like my hellacious month last summer in Tacoma. When I return to the valley I lived it it always makes me cranky because so much has changed. And not in a good way. And then there is Seattle. It has changed so much in the 10 years I've been gone. It used to be easy to find a place to park in the downtown zone, for free. No more. There are parking meters everywhere. And then, once you realize there is no more free parking, just finding a parking space is a pain. I ended up paying 20 bucks for 8 hours to park in the heart of Pioneer Square. And then there is the traffic. Tacoma is not too bad. But, heading north and going through Seattle is horrible. Way worse than anything you see here. And unlike here, you don't just get off a jammed freeway and easily go on surface streets. When you've got water on all sides, hills and mountains, it makes for a totally different road system than you've got here.

I could move to Eastern Washington. That is totally different than the west side of the mountains. Hotter summers, colder winters and way fewer people. And lots of orchards and vineyards and wheat fields. I went to college in Eastern Washington. I liked living there. Yeah, that's the way to go. Move to Eastern Washington.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

You could move to Eastern Washington and then after you're there you could stumble across things wrong with it as well...

What fills your happy meter? Finding the perfect place is probably a long shot, but you can find you a place that fills that meter 80% of the time :)

I asked a friend, after 6 years of being a bachelor if he were happy being single...he said, "85% of the time, I suppose." Then I asked him, "Why would you give up 85% in order to get 15%?"

Durango said...

I've lived in Eastern Washington before. I liked it. Nothing about it annoyed me.

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Well, then...there ya go...utopia's calling.