Posts Tagged ‘wichita falls’

Bluebonnets -- Photo by Pat Bean

The Wichita Falls waterfall.

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it’s taken for granted.” — Bill Bryson

Travels With Maggie

After hiking a mesquite grove at Lake Arrowhead State Park, stopping to photograph bluebonnets that I figured would be the last ones I would see for the year, and visiting Wichita Falls’ tiny skyscraper, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not wonder, I stopped by Lucy Park to see the city’s better known landmark, its waterfall.

While the city is named for the waterfall that once dropped down from the Wichita River here, this is not it. That falls washed away in a flood back in the 1800s. The replacement for the original is a 54-foot tiered waterfall created by man back in 1987. They say you can see it as you cross the river bridge on Interstate 44, but I wanted a more personal experience.

It was a gentle walk to the falls through the landscaped park along the bubbling river, past ponds favored by mallards and beneath pecan trees. The time it took to view the falls, however, put me behind schedule. I create that problem a lot.

Once back on the road, it was quite windy. So I stopped just 50 miles down the road in Vernon, where I checked into the Rocking A RV Park and fixed some red beans and rice for my dinner.

I shared with my dog, Maggie, then together we took one final walk around the park before settling in for the night.

Since my travels are not measured in miles, I was one contented traveler. Maggie appeared pretty happy, too.

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View of Wichita Falls from the top floor of the world's smallest skyscraper. -- Photo by Pat Bean


The four-story, 80-foot tall skyscraper. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.” Pete Seeger.

Travels With Maggie

After leaving Lake Arrowhead, I stopped in Wichita Falls to see the world’s smallest skyscraper. That’s right. I said smallest. Not everything is Texas-sized in the Lone Star State.

The mini-brick building was constructed in 1920 with $200,000 that eager investors poured into the proposed skyscraper after seeing its plans. Thinking more of future profits than the construction project, the backers failed to notice a major flaw. .

Those architectural plans, as presented to them by a Philadelphia scam artist, were drawn in inches instead of feet. The result was a four-story, 10-foot by 16-foot building one-twelfth the size expected. And the investors had no legal recourse because they had signed the plans.

Well, except they did get back the cost of the proposed elevator, which never was put in. The only original access to the top three floors was a ladder.

Someone later added rough wooden steps to the fourth floor, and I climbed them with permission of owners of the Artifact Emporium, which is now attached to the skyscraper. You can access the skyscraper through their store, and they say they get many visitors daily who do just that.

Looking out at the city from the top floor, I thought about all the times I had signed papers without thoroughly reading the fine print. I think I’ll be more careful about doing that in the future.

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