Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Shady Walk To Dry Wichita Falls

Yesterday on the way to the Sheppard Air Force Base Air Show & Open House I glanced to my left at the location where regularly Wichita Falls is flowing over its man made precipice to find myself surprised that Wichita Falls had become a Dry Falls.

My old home state of Washington has a former waterfall known as Dry Falls. This is not a man made former waterfall. Eons ago during the melting of the last Ice Age massive torrents of water carved out Coulees in Eastern Washington, and at one point the water created a giant waterfall, about 30 times larger than Niagara Falls. In modern times that long ago waterfall location is known as Dry Falls, where the only water one now finds is known as the Sun Lakes, location of one of my favorite Washington state parks, that being Sun Lakes State Park.

Today I drove to Lucy Park and parked in the first parking spot I saw upon entering the park, due to that parking spot being the closest to the currently dry Wichita Falls, which I wanted to walk to and get a close up look at the formerly wet waterfall.

I was barely in Wichita Falls a week, way back in May, when I walked to Wichita Falls the first time. At that point in time I did not know how to get to the falls. A nice Texas Travel Center lady pointed the way. That time I had parked about as far from the falls as one could possible park in Lucy Park, which made for a long walk.

At the top you can see the current dry state of Wichita Falls. You can go to my blog post from the first time I saw Wichita Falls up close by clicking on Hiking To The Top Of Wichita Falls and see what Wichita Falls looks like when it is not dry.

Today's walk to Wichita Falls was much shorter than the first time, and very pleasant, mostly under shady tree cover, as you can see via the photo documentation below.

That is the Wichita River you see to the right of the short bridge, above. The Wichita was flowing a lot of water today.

Below is today's dry view from the top of Wichita Falls, You can go to the blogging of my first time at this location to see what it looks like with water flowing over Wichita Falls.

I have asked a few locals if they know what has dried up Wichita Falls. So far no one knows. It did not appear that any sort of maintenance work was taking place which would explain the water lack.

Was Wichita Falls dry during the long drought? I have never thought to ask that probing question before.

I was not the only person hiking to the dry Wichita Falls today. On the way back from the dry falls I ran into a family of five. The mom of the group asked me how much further it was to the falls. I told her they were almost there and asked if she knew the waterfall was currently turned off. Oh no, said she. She did not know. I told the mom that it was still cool to see and to be sure to find the bricked trail to the top of the dry falls.

I was almost back to my vehicular transport when I saw the scene you see above. A  pair of anglers fishing in the Wichita River. From a distance I saw what looked like fish lines angling into the water, wondering to myself, is someone actually fishing in that reddish brown water. And then I came to the fishing platform that hovers over the river and saw the pair of fishing pole holders.

I did not interrupt the fishing pair ask what they were angling for. Could it be catfish? Would this make for extra muddy tasting catfish? Or are catfish only found in lakes? I have no idea.

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