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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DAY 233: ATLANTA - WRIGHT PATMAN LAKE, TEXAS

The first thing I noticed walking North West on Texas 77 is that the road was climbing rather steeply in elevation. Taking a moment to look around me, the trees suddenly are reaching for the sky. For months now, tree growth has been short with lots of underbrush.

We have left the Bayou country and have entered the foothills of the small mountain range running North and South along the Eastern border of Texas.

The big fire burning near ATLANTA is still huge as I walked past about 5 miles away.

Learned that all three fires near VIVIAN, LOUISIANA have been put out.

Texas Highway 77 is a real pleasure to walk...partly because with the passing of Tropical Storm LEE, the night air turned suddenly quite COLD, which continued for most of the day today. By mid afternoon, the wind had also died down.

Not many 18-wheelers on this portion of Texas 77.

There are some rather steep - but short - hills. Texas 77 tends to climb as I walk to the North...of course, it is down-hill on the way back to SPIA.

A number of very nice Ranch Homes along Texas 77. Do not see much in the way of farming...just large properties with large homes set back off the highway.



Click click...look closely all the way to the left...refreshing to see the wash hung out to dry in the warm breeze...always smells so good.

The one and ONLY Church I passed all day. Guess we are leaving the Bible Belt.

This pond is next to a mid-size Ranch House...very nice piece of property.

Sign said this is Black Bayou. Kinda far North to be called a bayou...but then.......


Walked 10 miles out and ten back to SPIA = 20 miles by noon time. Gassed up SPIA, Iced down the Ice Chest - with a new watermelon inside - and drove North on Texas 77, intending to reach the village of MAUD, TEXAS for the night.

Before reaching MAUD, came upon Wright Patman Lake, a man-made lake from daming the Sulphur River. Crossing two bridges, came upon a Corps of Engineers Camp Ground and on a whim, pulled in.

I would ask you to say HELLO to Trudy and her Husband Richard...but, they are camera shy.
Normal Campground price is $32.00. I was asked to pay $18.00. Mentioned I carried a life-time National Park Membership Card...Oh, yes, says Trudy, we honor that...you pay only $9.00 for the night.

THAT I can justify.

SPIA is hunkered down in spot 88 under the shade of many tall trees, all next door to the Toilet/ Shower facilities.

Emptied Black & Gray water tanks, hooked up electricity, tested all functions, and set out for another walk before dark.

The Campground is one of four around Wright Patman Lake. So, I headed South on Texas 77 to visit the lake.

Wright Patman Lake appears to be quite shallow - at the moment...per all the lily pads growing along the banks and in many places in the middle of open water.

The banks are quite high indicating that there often is MUCH more water in the lake than at the present moment...not surprising since this part of the World has not had significant water fall for a year or so.

There is, however, enough water to launch a small boat.

A panorama of Wright Patman Lake, which is quite large in area.





Two bridges carry Texas 77 over Wright Patman Lake. Neither was designed for "walkers". There is absolutely NO place to get out of the way. When 18-wheelers came by me, I had to straddle the bridge railing and hope their mirrors missed my head. For one "Wide Load", I even lay down flat on the railing as something whizzed over my head as he passed by...not slowing down at all.

Guess they figured I had no business on "their" bridge.

I arrived back at SPIA from my walk at 5:30 pm. It is now 8:36 pm...took three hours to create the above blog. Walked 28 miles today...and in a new pair of shoes, purchased at WALMART for the tidy sum of $14.00. No problem so far, so at the next WALMART, will probably purchase a second pair...been waiting for Brooks Shoes to get back to my many calls & e-mail, but so far, they have ignored me...probably because I'm just an old man not to be taken seriously.

In the morning, will leave SPIA parked and walk North on Texas 77. Before noon, will drive to NEW BOSTON, TEXAS, where we will change over to US 82 which we will follow West to the town of PARIS, TEXAS...thence, North on US 271.

We are closing in on completing our third leg of circumnavigating Western America..

Then, we shall see !

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