Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Visit To Mount Wichita Leads Me To Visit A Dam Spillway With Water Fountains

Due to excessive rain I knew Mount Wichita would be Mount Muddy today and hence, not climbable.

But, around noon I drove to Mount Wichita anyway to have myself a walk in the mist, mist which today in Wichita Falls has been like a stereotypical winter day in the Western Washington zone of the Pacific Northwest.

Whilst walking around Mount Wichita I came upon a pair of college students who were engaged in a conversation about water moccasins.

I was not interested in snakes, but I did interrupt the snake discussion to ask if they knew the story behind what created Mount Wichita. They did not know. I then asked if they were in Wichita Falls during the five year drought.

They were.

I asked how low did Lake Wichita get during the drought. The guy of the pair told me it shrunk way back til it was just a little puddle. He got out his phone and showed me pictures of the shrunk lake.

He then said if he remembered right there was a lot of informational signage about the lake at the dam's spillway. I asked how to get there. He told me. By his directions I realized the spillway was closer to my abode than Mount Wichita. So, I left the mountain and headed to the dam spillway.

That would be the Lake Wichita dam spillway you see above, with water spilling over the spillway. Above that is the only informational signage I found, informing about the Lake Wichita Pavilion which used to exist over the lake at this location.

Via the sign I learned Lake Wichita was completed in 1901. Eventually the Lake Wichita recreation area included a hotel, vacation cottages, baseball fields, a swimming pool inside a circular building with a carousel plus the Lake Wichita Pavilion which included a cafe, skating rink and a dance hall. The pavilion burned down in 1955, with all that remains being piers sticking out of the lake which we will see in a moment.

But first I must make mention of something in the second photo above. Near the information sign is that water fountain you see in the foreground.  I have seen several water fountains along the Wichita Falls trails. Quite a nice modern big city type amenity.

Continuing on, let's walk to the top of the dam.

As you can see a paved biking, jogging, walking roller blading trail has been installed on top of the dam. This trail extends all over Wichita Falls, including running right by my new abode.

If you look at the above photo closely you can see the aforementioned Mount Wichita in the distance, on the left.

Let's continue on to the dock we see below.

As you walk to the floating dock you can also see the aforementioned Mount Wichita in the distance. The bridge one walks across to get to the dock provided some pleasing rocking motion.

Looking south from the dock we see the aforementioned remains of the Lake Wichita Pavilion.

Do I need to mention that the Lake Wichita Pavilion appears to have been a real pavilion, unlike the imaginary pavilion America's Biggest Boondoggle has foisted off on the hapless citizens of another Texas town, called Fort Worth?

Currently Wichita Falls is in the process of building a new boardwalk type deal over the lake at this location, with a real pavilion eventually added. I suspect this will all be completed long before anyone sees anything worth seeing in Fort Worth's Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision.

From the dock I zoomed in for a foggy across the pond look at Mount Wichita, looking like a snow-free mini version of Washington's Mount Rainier.

That concludes today's look at the scenery of Wichita Falls.

I have yet to find anything here that I don't like or am appalled by.

Well, the roads in some of the parks could use some upgrading. The road to the parking lot at Mount Wichita is a bit jarring with the bumps and potholes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fort Worth had a mountain at one time and it still lingers there in spirit among the Fort Worth Way type of individuals. The Fort Worth mountain was located near the internationally renowned Fort Worth Stockyards and was called Manure Mountain (not joking) (I wish I were).