Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bastrop, Texas.............the land of the great fire; 2011

I had followed the news back in 2011 of a raging fire in Texas.  The news stressed that this was a fire of emence proportions and treatened extremely large tracts of forest lands and the town of Bastrop Texas itself.

Since then, I have on occasion searched out news of Bastrop and have found some interesting videos on YouTube of the rebuilding process going on by volunteers and young paid staff....kind of like the original CCC group concept.

Sadly, the forest was severly damaged.   Miles and miles and miles of prime forests were destroyed.

I decided to go there on this years trip west to see what man has done to assist in it's stabilization and future renewal.

I must say, I was impressed to see the efforts going on but it will take decades of labor intensive effort by a dedicated staff to assist nature.
Some wonderful projects have been accomplished on the walking trails, such as this magnificently built walking bridge on one of the trails and evidence of chain saw activity is everywhere, clearing downed trees, especially as they fell on pathways throughout the park.

Pete, my pooch and I walked the trails on 2 days and enjoyed the silence of the forests but sadly, the vegitation is slow to return and with the exception of a field mouse and a small lizard and a few birds, the animal life was slim.

The downtown of Bastrop is, as many other small towns, now converted to artsy galleries and restaurants and bars.............and lawyers, banks and real estate agents.

Enjoying a short walk down Main Street, I met up with this Texas cutie!  She was standing outside a gift shop/gallery, but would not give me a glance... 

Mission Tejas

Decided to get away from Nacogdoches for a break and went west on Hwy 21 40 miles to Mission Tejas State Park.  It was not a big park and parking my 40' rig took some extra thought, but all worked out well.

The important thing was to get out into the woods again and enjoy nature, walking quiet trails and listening to birds and leaves and other gentle sounds not found often in town.

The Mission dated from earliest attempts by the Spanish government and the church, to lay claim to lands west of the Mississippi, before France did.

The missionaries were too harsh to the Indians and were forced by them to leave...abruptly.

A reproduction of the missions church or meeting building stands high on a hill and was interesting, but moreso to me was the ability to walk on part of the original Camino Real...the Kings Road.

                                                                   Original foot path.
                                                             Original wagon road.

Originally a path probably of native American origin running in a basic east west direction, it became a route for the Spanish on horseback and later their wagons for trade and expansion into the south of Texas from Mexico.