Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pedaling By The Green Trinity River In Gateway Park While Thinking About Clear Texas Water & Apples & Cherries

In the picture my handlebars are on the Gateway Park FWMBA mountain bike trail, pointing to the Trinity River, which is currently an interesting jade shade of green.

I really don't think a jade shade of green is a good look for a river, even though it nicely color coordinates with the surrounding foliage.

I can't help but wonder what makes the Trinity River a jade shade of green.

I have seen rivers in Texas with really clear water. Like the San Marcos River that flows out of Aquarena Springs. I've seldom seen a springs with water as clear as that in Aquarena.

Texas State University San Marcos runs the Aquarena Center, which is a sort of combo education center/entertainment complex.

I've only been to San Marcos and the Aquarena Center once. At that point in time, adjacent to Aquarena Springs there was a Ghost Theme Park. As in an abandoned theme park. The rides were built on a hill that rises by Aquarena Springs.

After I finished pedaling a few miles in the Gateway Park shade I went to Town Talk.

Town Talk was a madhouse zoo today.

A place holder in the busy checkout line got cranky at me when I suggested she get out of my way so I could unload the stuff I wanted to buy. She made quite a fuss. It was sort of the checkout line version of Texans who don't understand the right of way concept when they are befuddled at a four way stop.

I got apples and cherries, both from Chelan in my old home state of Washington. The apples are Delicious. The cherries are Rainiers.

Town Talk was also selling big boxes of plums for only $5 today. This was way more plums than the bushel of plums I previously got from Town Talk. I was a bit overwhelmed with the previous over supply of plums so I passed on the Town Talk plums today.

Earlier today I agreed with Marie that Washington was more expensive than Texas. Steve A then pointed out that the annual A/C bill is a lot bigger in Arlington, Texas than in Arlington, Washington. I thought that this was amusing.

Not all is cheaper in Texas. Keeping cool is costly. Pretty much free of charge in Washington. Most of the time.


Marie said...

Durango, I just received my third electric bill since moving here. I am definitely NOT amused - Steve's point is a good one. I've already spent more for electricty (air conditioning) in three months than I spent for all year in the Evergreen state. But Rainier cherries, you say? I'll pay any price for those! Your hilly green path has me encouraged. These temps and that green water - not so much. But we take the good with bad, eh? By the way, your recent post about the Quanah Parker exhibit made me run to my bookshelf - I have a copy of "The Last Comanche Chief." His and Cynthia's story, and that of the Comanche in general, is a real gut wrencher. Not much of a living Native American legacy exists here like it does in the Northwest. I remember going to Suquamish for the canoe races this time of year. Well, thanks to our amazing distribution system, I can at least go get some cherries. Happy trails!

Durango said...

Howdy Marie, I have not read "The Last Comanche Chief." "Comanche Moon" is really good, covers both the Comanche history in detail, as well as Quanah's and his mom's.

The 'missing' Indians perplexed me when I was first in Texas, having come from Washington where there are so many tribes, with tribal lands. And casino resorts.

In 1999 I went to a very cool Pow Wow at the Fort Worth Stockyards. There were Tulalips there. It turned very spooky. I tell you, Native Americans have special powers. This little Indian girl sought my group out, high in the stands, came up and introduced herself, said she was with the Tulalips but that she was really a Blackfoot from Montana. Well, the visitor who was visiting me from Washington, was the recent widow of a guy who was half Blackfoot. Like I said, spooky.

Have you found Gateway Park yet in your wanderings? The trails, both paved and unpaved are not too heavily used. The park is not well maintained, not like parks like River Legacy are.

Gateway Park is real close to Town Talk. Have you discovered Town Talk yet? It takes a couple visits for Town Talk to reveal its charms. It is like going treasure hunting. You never know what you're gonna find there.

Marie said...

Hey, Durango! I'm becoming a frequent flier here - no I've not made it to Gateway Park or Town Talk. I did trek over to the new Trader Joe's a couple weeks ago but couldn't make it past the parking lot cluster. Had to be other West Coasters jonesing for their TJ fix. How could I begrudge them? No, today I found myself at Whole Foods buying cherries and then at Clear Creek Nature Preserve up in Denton County. Part of a journey to see about a slightly used kayak. Still plan to get to River Legacy per your recommendation. I'm building a list of must-sees as I meander through your bloggings. But Durango, how do you do it in this heat? I have to live life to the fullest by 9 a.m. or I'm toast. Literally.

Durango said...

Howdy Marie, frequent flier miles are a good thing. I made it in the FW Trader Joe's. I parked a distance away and walked back. I was very disappointed. I'd only been in the Trader Joe's that is south of Sea-Tac, can't remember the town name. The FW one was nothing like the WA one. I felt no impulse to buy anything. It was sorta like when I first moved to Texas, missed Costco, then Fort Worth got the first Texas Costco. Went to the Grand Opening. Was shocked. Costco had been Texasified. Walked in to see saddles and Remington statues for sale. No coffee roaster, no fresh sushi. Then the Southlake Costco opened and with way more transplanted Yankees living in the Southlake zone, that Costco is more like a west coast Costco. Still no sushi, as of my last visit.

I have biked that Clear Creek Nature Preserve trail. I remember the waterway looked very inviting and made me want to return with my inflatable kayak. I never did. I pedaled all the way to the dam that makes, I think the name is, Ray Hubbard Lake. Long bike ride. River Legacy Park has a kayak trail too. Can't imagine paddling it though.

As for how do I do it in the heat? That question was sort of funny, typing it out. My number one concern moving to Texas was the heat. I was never a fan of those Washington summer days when it'd get into the 80s. I did not know about acclimating. By my first summer in Texas, by being out in the heat, I got used to it. When it is HOT I do not go to the Tandy Hills unless the humidity is low and it is windy. The other places I go have enough shade that I do not over heat. On the bike the heat is not an issue, til I stop pedaling. Oh, and both hiking and biking you have to go shirtless. I could not stand it if I had a shirt on, because the shirt would get soaking wet and it'd be miserable.

After a few years of Texas heat you may experience the bizarre opposite. As in when I go back to Washington in summer, after already being used to the HEAT of Texas, I feel chilly. I remember July of 2004 with the Tacoma locals in full whine due to it being almost 80. I was shivering and in long pants. From July 20 til August 20 of 2008 I was cold pretty much the entire time I was in Washington.

Marie said...

Durango, you will be glad to know that I got in about an hour of walking and jogging out in it today. Yes, acclimate I will. Sadly, going shirtless isn't really an option on account of my gender. But you've motivated me with your daily aerobic discipline and excellent attitude - thank you! I'll trek on to other posts now!

Durango said...

Howdy Marie----You could be a trendsetter and pretend you are in Oregon or Washington or Austin and go topless whilst hiking. I know you could do this on the Tandy Hills, most days. And in an emergency, quickly coverup should you see anyone.

Where did you get in your hour today?

I've been meaning to mention Oakland Lake Park. That's were I went today. It's very close to the Tandy Hills. The breeze blowing across the lake has a nice coolness to it, even on a day like today, when it is HOT. Oakland Lake Park is easy to find. Just exit I-30 at Oakland Blvd. Head south on Oakland, take any of the next couple lefts, go a block and you'll see Oakland Lake Park and Fosdick Lake, with parking on the west and east sides of the lake. And a nice paved trail around the lake where you'll see a lot of turtles and ducks.

Marie said...

Durango, I went to White Rock Lake in the early a.m. Worked up a righteous sweat. I have to travel a lot during the week, but I try to check out a new locale every weekend. I will add Oakland Lake Park to my list. I won't be setting any trends though! I am enjoying the hilarity on your blog. I think I might adjust yet...