Saturday, January 23, 2016

Looking Over New Gateway Park Overlook Before Town Talk Dud

For a long long time Saturday's were my day to go mountain biking the Gateway Park Fort Worth Mountain Bike Association trail prior to going treasure hunting at Town Talk.

For many a month now Gateway Park and Town Talk have not been my Saturday norm.

Til today.

First off let's get Town Talk out of the way. TT was a dud today. Crowded. All I could find to put in my cart were giant tortillas. With that being all I could find, I bailed, and vowed not to return unless I happened to be in the area. Town Talk has gone downhill under its new owner, I've concluded, after having such suggested by Mr. Stenotrophomonas.

The Gateway Park part of today turned out to be interesting. That and I had myself a mighty fine walk. The photo above is looking at the currently closed entry to the FWMBA trail. Closed due to work being done in Gateway Park by, I think, the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision.

Some of what is being done to Gateway Park I could understand, some of what I saw perplexed me, such as that which you see below.

Every where I walked I saw orange mesh, such as you see above, acting like a flimsy fence around trees. To what purpose I could not figure out.

I have no idea when the Gateway Park mountain bike trail will be fully doable once more, with part of the problem clearly visible below.

When the Trinity River went into flood mode it flooded all the low lying areas where the mountain bike trail trailed. And then when the river receded lakes of water were left behind. I assume the only way this water will drain is via the slow evaporation method.

I will need to explain what you are looking at below.

On the left that big chunk of gray is a dangling chunk of the old Gateway Park paved trail that succumbed to a long ago flood. The blue on the right is a slice of the Trinity River, well below being in flood mode. In the center of the photo you see splashes of white. The camera did not quite capture the astonishing array of litter left behind, stuck in tree limbs, when the river receded.

Today's Gateway Park inspection did not take me to the location of the new Trinity River Overlook on the west side of the park.  Today's inspection did take me to the location of the new Trinity River Overlook on the east side of the park.

When I last saw this location, late last year, I saw that the decayed, water damaged boarded up boardwalk overlook had been removed. I was sort of surprised to see the new west side overlook looking good and nearly completed. Above we are looking west at the south part of the new overlook. That would make that slice of blue on the left the Trinity River.

The mud you see in the foreground was frozen solid, so I walked over it to walk over the new overlook.

Above we are standing on the new overlook, looking northwest, with the Trinity River behind us. This new overlook looks to be much more solidly built and better designed than its ill-fated predecessor. Wood is not a construction element. And the entire structure appears to be above what a flooding Trinity River can reach.

Today's walk around Gateway Park had me thinking that the improvements being made may bring this park a lot more visitors. I've long thought Gateway Park was under appreciated by the locals, due to seeing so few people making use of the park's many miles of shaded  paved trails.

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