Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday April 6, 2012-Caddo Lake NWR

We woke to cooler temperatures and nice weather. It turned out to be a great day here. Hope your Good Friday was good too!

Our "place" at the refuge. We back up to a wide grassy area with woods behind. So far, we haven't seen any "critters" in the woods, but the dogs won't go into the grass after dark.

Here is Stella with our "kids" Cassie on the left and Tramp on the right. She is standing in front of Big Red, the four wheeler that we have been using.

One of the many trails in the refuge. This one in particular is on the equestrian trail and was built on an old railroad bed that the army took out. As you can see, they took out not only the rails and cross ties, but also the rock bed, leaving the dirt which was leveled and packed down to make this trail.

I don't quite understand why the army demolishes everything when they leave a base. It seems to me that some other government agency will likely take over the installation and could possibly use some or all of the buildings. I know that some of the building that were built back during the 2nd World War were built with asbestos and used lead-based paints, so it is less expensive to just tear them down, but not all the buildings were built this way. Maybe this is a small part of why the government is BROKE!

Todd and I were supposed to work on the kiosk again this morning, but he still didn't feel well, so we put off the work until this afternoon. Our friends Gene and Linda were coming by today to visit us. They are staying at the Brushy Creek COE park that is nearby. When they arrived, they decided to take a bicycle ride through the refuge on the auto-tour route. I was very impressed when they returned and told me that they had ridden all the way to Starr ranch on their bikes. It's about 2 miles of rough gravel road down to the ranch but they made it! And that's not to mention the four or five miles driven on the roads to get to the gravel road. It's been so long since I've been on a bike, I wouldn't remember how to ride one. Beside that, bicycles and I don't have a good history. My first two got stolen and I got hit by a car on the third and almost died. Seriously. But, enough about my past history.

When they got back we loaded up in our truck and went over to Jefferson for lunch. We ate at Kitt's Kornbread again and it was very good. Gene and Linda had salads but Stella and I had the cornbread sandwiches and we all enjoyed our meals. We'll spend more time with Gene and Linda in September in Colorado, and I told them that I would get Stella to experiment with some cornbread recipes so she can make us some sandwiches when we all get there.

We returned to the refuge and took Gene and Linda on a tour of the refuge. Now keep in mind that this is a part of our duties here and I wasn't just trying to get out of helping Todd to build the kiosk. Driving around with my friends is important too!

I took them to some of the historic places on the refuge and they enjoyed the tour. I took them to the INF area where the Pershing missiles were destroyed, showed them where the Russian delegation stayed while the missile destruction was going on and then showed them the original trailer where the Russians lived.

When we got through with the tour, we returned here and they soon left for Brushy Creek. Todd had gotten help from Will but they were through for the day, so we went inside and relaxed until a late happy hour with Todd and Sue.

Here is a link that Todd sent me on the revitalization and rebuilding of the Starr ranch. You probably won't want to read the entire article but there are some good photos of the ranch and some of the employees that are still here. I would love to have seen the ranch property when it was still being used.

So long.

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