I'll begin with the deer hunt from last week. It was the youth hunt but for me, there was something lacking. As you may know, there has been some major changes here at the state park and not for the better as far as I'm concerned. The two people that are now "running" the deer hunts are inexperienced and uninterested in the hunts and seem to be in a holding pattern until they can hire someone new to deal with the responsibilities. There was a hold on hiring some months ago when the changes were made, and now we are in dire need of some help.
The kids didn't seem as excited this year as in the past, and I don't know why. Perhaps they have sensed something? The fact that things are run so loosely by people that have little knowledge of hunting? I just don't know...
Onward through the fog of the Christmas weekend. We drove down to Blessing to visit with Stella's family this holiday season. We haven't been down here for about three years, so we made the trip. We decided not to take the trailer down but to stay in a small motel near niece Jana's house in Midfield, which is a tiny little area just outside of Blessing. The little motel, the Bay Prairie Motel and Lodge (link will take you to a short video of the motel) is a very small, family run motel that is more commonly used by hunters that come to the area. When we checked in, the man in the office told us he had a room on the front side with a queen size bed that he could put us into. Actually he could have put us into any room in the place because we were the only ones there! The bed that he thought was a queen, was actually a double bed, but it was so comfy that we decided to stay in this room. Everything else in the room worked well but it was sure hard to get used to a 32" television without HD signal. We have a 55" with Hi Def-almost Ultra Hi Def- reception, but we made do with it. We were only there for a few days, so it wasn't that bad...
We had very nice visits with the family on both Christmas Eve when, the children opened their presents and on Christmas day, which was aimed more at the adults. We played a crazy game using a huge ball of cellophane wrap and a pair of dice to win prizes. Jana and her helpers wrapped lots of different prizes. lottery scratch-off tickets, different denominations of money, coins, tiny liquor bottles and candy into an enormous ball. The prizes were donated by the people that played the game, so it wasn't real expensive to anyone.
Someone rolled the dice, trying to roll a double, while the person to their left unrolled the ball and keeping any prizes that they uncovered. It was a very fast-paced game that must have taken an hour to wrap up, but was over in minutes. I won a $5 bill and a couple of liquor bottles, so we came out okay. It was fun and made all the kids squeal when they won a prize.
As usual on a holiday, we all overate but it was a good time with family that we don't get to see very much. There was plenty to eat Sunday night, from homemade chili and tamales to several kinds of pies and cakes. Burp!!
I've gotta talk about the weather. We left Inks on Saturday to chilly temps but beautiful blue skies. Stella and I went over to nearby Palacios, where we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, the Palacios Mexican Restaurant. When we came out, it had turned quite chilly, so we hurried back to the motel where it was nice and warm. The cold front came through Saturday night and it was cold for the rest of the weekend. We had made arrangements back at home to keep things from freezing up and turned off the water and drained the lines. We set the furnace to come on to keep thing from freezing up, but set the thermostat at 50, not the normal 70's when we are there. It apparently worked because when we returned home, everything was working fine.
There are no hunters this week but they will return the week after.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
To begin today's entry, the third deer hunt went well. This was a novice hunter event, meaning all the hunters were adults with no experience in hunting. Their first day (Tuesday) was spent training at a gun range and getting in the "Hunting 101" course offered by TPWD. It was cold again this week but there was no rain. I neglected to take any photos of the hunters, but it was a good experience for all of them. I drove for Tony and his son Bobby and Jai. Tony and Jai were mentored and advised by Dustin and Clay who both work for TPWD.
Yesterday, Stella and I drove over to the Canyon of the Eagles Nature Preserve just outside of Burnet. This property is owned and operated by the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Association), and although we have seen the signs for this place for years, we have never been here. We drove about 15 miles out to the preserve, which is at the dead-end of Ranch Road 2431. We thought it was worth the drive to see some eagles. A day pass cost only $6, and we were directed to the park store on the banks of Lake Buchanan to see the eagles, but they were all the way across the lake! We went down but didn't see any eagles, but with the recent weather, we weren't too surprised. We also drove to the Eagle Observatory, but it was a night-time star viewing area. Bummer...
The grounds are very pretty, there is a resort with cabins, an RV park with full hookups and several picnic areas, so it might be worth a weekend to check it out.
Yesterday was the annual Park Host Appreciation dinner. In the past, the park employees had prepared all the food and one time, they acted in a skit that was fun to watch. This year the Friends of Inks Lake group had bought the pork loins and chicken thighs to be barbecued by Darryl a park employee but Hosts were asked to bring side dishes and desserts. The food was all good but we ran a bit short on side dishes.
Last Sunday, we went with Don and Linda to visit the Fort Croghan Museum and grounds for their Christmas celebration. They had lots of folks dressed in 1800's costumes in each of the houses on the grounds and it was a nice night. We ate some period cookies, drank some hot cherry cider and looked through the museum first and the grounds after. We love museums and it was nice to see the costumes in the old buildings.
While there, I met Millie the Director of the museum, when I asked about their hours. I learned that the museum closes for the winter months, but she agreed to meet me here today (Saturday) so that I could take some pictures. Don came with me, and we enjoyed hearing Millie talk about the museum and the history of this area.
This was a cabin that housed a man and his wife and eleven children! Wow, 13 people in a very small building.
This is called a dog-trot building. The left side is the kitchen and the right side is the living and bedroom. Remember, this was in the 1850's, so there was no electricity, and obviously before the days of television. Maybe that's the reason the other couple had 11 children...LOL
This tiny building is the schoolhouse.
I hope that you can blow this Rules for Teachers up enough to read it!
What would a school house be without a bathroom.
This is a list of soldiers that were lost in 1852-1853 while serving at Fort Croghan.
Millie told us that they had a "brush arbor" but now they have an outdoor meeting area. They had a wedding here a couple of months ago.
Every village needed a blacksmith shop. It was more impressive the other night, when there were people inside, working on blacksmith projects.
Inside of the blacksmith shop.
We had a very nice visit with Millie today and we are thankful for her to have opened for us to take photos.
It began to rain as we left, and now a few hours later, the temperature has dropped, so we are warm and snug at home. The deer hunts will continue next week, so please stay tuned.
Friday, December 8, 2017
This was the second week of ADA (disabled hunter) deer hunts here at Inks Lake. This program has been going on since 2015, when a local business owner wanted to find a way for his adult daughter who had been in an ATV accident, resulting in her being a quadriplegic, to deer hunt again. He sponsored the first deer hunt here at Inks and it has blossomed into a much larger hunt with a total of seven custom-made deer blinds that are ADA-compliant, complete to a hard packed surface around the blinds, suitable to supporting a wheel chair and a carpeted interior that is large enough to allow full movement of a wheel chair and still allow room for an office-type chair for another person if the hunter wants or needs another person with them.
Here are our for hunters, Michael, Jason, Shane and Bryan.
A very nice 10 point buck that weighed about 140 pounds.
A very happy deer hunter!
The hunt was successful, with five deer harvested. The weather did not cooperate very well, turning off cold and rainy on the last two days of hunting, but everyone still enjoyed it.
Next week will be a Novice Hunter event. This is adults that have never hunted or haven't hunted in several years. We began this hunt last year and it was a lot of fun as well as instructional to everyone. I'll tell you more about it next week.
Yesterday was our anniversary. (38. Long. Years.) We celebrated with our friends Chip & Bunky and David & Diane at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls. As usual, the food and service was great!