Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Long Way Home

Odometer 45876 mi
Trip Meter 166 mi

Friday March 27, 2015

We have enjoyed our short stay with the Austins at their Royse City, TX home.  We have such a great connection with them that within a few minutes of our arrival we are feeling like we last saw each other yesterday.  Fish and guests start to stink after 3 days and we've been living in their front yard more than twice that long... so time to get going.

Because of heavy rains in the days before we arrived we were not able to get to Jim and Sally's RV pad, and after staying in their driveway for a week our holding tanks were maxed out.  Our first stop was a the Corps of Engineers Campground, East Fork Park, on Lavon Lake about 12 miles away.  We
were grateful for the RV disposal site and the cost was a very reasonable $2 with our Senior Pass, but jeeze was it a mud hole- gravel anyone?

We headed out of the Metroplex by roughly the same route as we had come in.  We took State Route 78 up to Farmersville where we headed west on US 380 to Decatur.  At Decatur we turned northwest onto US 287 which would take us into Wichita falls.  Our overall plan is to head for I-40 at Amarillo and take that to Gallup, NM where we will head north on 491 to Shiprock, NM. From Shiprock we have plans to see Chaco Canyon before we head west to Page and up into southern Utah.

Highway 287 is a delightful road.  It khas the look of a freeway, with two lanes each direction and a very large grassy median strip.  There are some major differences however. US 287 is not a freeway in that it does not have the limited access of a freeway.  Driveways and intersections can, and do, interrupt the flow every now and then.  Another major difference in my mind, is the traffic, or should I say the lack thereof.  As you can see from the picture below, traffic is well spaced and for the most part unobtrusive.

When you arrive at a town 287 becomes one of the surface streets of the town.  Interestingly, it often isn't even the Main street of town.  Looking off to the sides you can see Main street with its one, or two story brick buildings, wide avenues with angle parking in front of the shops.  The buildings have character, awnings or covered walkways, ornate brick, turn of the century marquees or enameled signs, stately, grand, and sadly, often empty old buildings.

We chose to stop in Wichita Falls early in the afternoon.  A short travel day, so we would have time to get set up, wash the bugs off the windshield, and take a long walk before relaxing on the patio.  Joan found a city owned RV park near the Travelers Information Center between Hwy287 and the Wichita River.  The Wichita Bend RV Park only has water and electric hookups however the price is excellent at $17 a night.

Another great thing about this park is that it is adjacent to the 179 acre Lucy park

A rustic suspension bridge over the Wichita River connects the RV park to Lucy park on the other side.  Notice the lovely color of the water. We crossed over and walked the perimeter of the park on a very nice system of paved pathways.  We saw a sign on one of the paths indicating a falls and we were at once interested.

About a half mile later we were indeed greeted by the roar of tumbling water.  We stopped to read a bronze plaque at the base of the falls.  The replica of Wichita falls was a creation built by the City Council in 1987 at a cost of $400,000

The original falls were destroyed back in 1886 by a large flood.  100 years later, these falls were re-created with water pumped from the river below and cascading back into the river.

The afternoon walk was just what we needed, and the park was a real delight.  There are more walking/ biking trails that allow you to continue in a loop around the downtown.  Those will have to wait for our next visit however.  My Map Your Walk App showed that we had walkled just over 3 miles as we returned to the motorhome to make dinner and turn in for the night.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

1 comment:

  1. You missed the Bluebonnets blooming by three days. With temps in the 70-80's the Texas Bluebonnets are up all over now!