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Posts Tagged ‘Texas State Parks’

South Llano River State Park

Entrance to the visitor center at this Texas state park made me feel as if I had come into a world of faries. In addition to the colorful wildflowers, I was welcomed by a scarlet tanager that hung around the building. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Earth Laughs in Flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” Claude Monet  

 

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  “I don’t know anyone who actually likes the dark .. I don’t care how much they say it doesn’t bother them. That’s why we used to huddle in caves and light fires when the sun went down.” — Paul Kane

The entrance to Longhorn Caverns and a journey down dimly lit tunnels. -- Photo by Larry Moore

Travels With Maggie

Just 70 miles away from Harker Heights, where my RV has been parked at my son’s house for almost a month, is Longhorn Caverns State Park. It’s perfect for a getaway day trip. I visited it during an earlier visit with my son, and was glad to have the company.

While I’m quite comfortable doing most things alone, I’m never comfortable in a cave. I have claustrophobia. I can’t even stand to be in a bird blind for more than a few moments before I make a dash for a sky ceiling. I need windows to the outdoor world, preferably with sunlight shinning through them.

And yet caves intrigue me. I seldom pass up an opportunity to go deep into the bowels of the earth where the air smells musky and feels primal. I attribute my ability to overcome my claustrophobia to my stubborn unwillingness to give into fear, a trait that serves me well in my solo travels.

But I’ve also discovered that as long as I keep moving through the dimly lit tunnels with my eyes seeking out the alien underworld formations created by water and time, I can put my claustrophobia temporarily on hold.

Comanches, Confederates and Texas legendary outlaw Sam Bass are said to have used Longhorn Caverns as their hideouts. I guess they weren’t afraid of the dark. As for me, I realized early on that I had to be law-abiding because I would go crazy if someone locked me up.

When my son and I exited the cavern, I drank in the hot Texas air with a feeling of relief.

“Come on,” I told my son. “Let’s go hike the nature trail.” And we did.

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