We were up and on the move early this morning for the dedication of a new sign on the equestrian trail for Doc Stevenson. Doc is a member of the "friends" group here at the refuge and was instrumental in establishing the trails here. I met Doc a couple of weeks ago when he dropped by for a visit. He is a very nice man and a retired physician that lives some distance from the refuge.
I drove the auto tour route very early this morning when I went out to open the gates, checking for down trees or other obstructions in the roads but found nothing. We wiped the two side by side four wheelers down again and took them to the dedication site. Todd and Sue set up a small tent and the flags. When we got through with the last minute preparations, we returned here for a last cup of coffee before it was time to go.
There were several people already in attendance when we got there, but many soon arrived. A lot of horse people arrived with their horses for the scheduled ride after the dedication. I met the Sheriff of the county, Tom McKool and one of his Chief Deputies, Jay Webb. Sheriff McKool and I had a very nice visit and I learned that we have a common friend, Ken Head. Ken and the Sheriff were State Game Wardens but both are now retired.
When the dedication was through, Mark, the refuge director, asked me to drive one of the four wheelers to take one of the two reporters for a ride around the trails. I met Jane, a reporter for the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas magazine out of Texarkana. We enjoyed the ride out in the country along the equestrian trails and only ran into a couple of problem spots, but the Rhino four wheeler did well and we didn't even come close to getting stuck. Jane took a lot of photos, many more than the editor will use, but she is prepared to do follow-up stories about the refuge. Please look for the article in the May edition of the magazine which is published on the first Monday of the month.
When we finished our trail tour, we returned to the visitors center and took a break. The friends group had furnished hot dogs and chips for everyone but we only got something to drink. I then took Jane and Gail, another friend of the park, on a tour of the park grounds. I pointed out several historical sites in the park as well as the Starr ranch to the two ladies. They enjoyed the drive and Jane took more photos. I will be very interested in what appears in her article in the magazine.
We returned to the visitors center and had a hot dog as the party dwindled down. It had been a very nice day and I enjoyed meeting Jane and spending the day showing her around.