Monday, September 14, 2009

beating the August heat

What's the best way to cool off from a Texas heat wave? Sometimes you gotta leave the state...

In early August, the kids and I took a weekend trip to Turner Falls, Oklahoma. We had hoped to make another trip down to New Braunfels for some tubing on the Comal River, but that part of the state had been suffering a bad drought, and we were afraid the water levels would be too low. So what was our "Plan B"? How about Turner Falls Park, located less than two hours north on I-35 (about 2 hours closer than New Braunfels) in Oklahoma's Arbuckle Mountains? Spring-fed Honey Creek cascades down 77 feet of rocky cliffs into a large natural swimming pool. A second pool, located half a mile downstream, features a diving board and slide. The cool, clear water was a perfect place to escape from the "dog days" temperatures of north Texas.

L's friend MV joined us for the trip... we left Fort Worth around noon, stopped for lunch in Gainesville, and were enjoying T-Falls by mid afternoon. The Sunday crowd was quite large and it took us a while to even find a place to park. The girls went off on their own, so M and I explored the various pools and hiking trails. We'd catch up with the girls again later.

MV and L enjoying Turner Falls

M cruises down the Turner Falls slide

I had been to Turner Falls once before, about 16 years ago, with K. I remembered the hiking trail and caves more than anything else. It's always cool to return someplace I last visited years ago --this time with the kids-- to share the experience with them.

Caving with the M, L, and MV... fun times!

M comes from the water

The next morning, we visited the Arbuckle Wilderness (a drive-thru wildlife park) and returned to Turner Falls in the afternoon. Stay tuned for more...


np: NFL Prime Time (week 1 re-cap) on ESPN

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