Posts Tagged With: Bob Eden Park

Crystal Canyon, and Back to Bob Jones

Our most recent park discovery is Crystal Canyon Natural Area in Arlington.

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This is a smallish park with a single half-mile soft-surface trail loop.

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It packs a lot of appeal into a tiny package, thanks to the woodsy setting and some interesting geographical features. The creek is fantastic, but you have to go off-trail to explore it.

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The “canyon” part is what lured us to this park. We miss the mountains of California and were looking forward to a bit of climbing, so we were kind of disappointed by the overall flatness of the loop trail.

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But near the end, a smaller “desire path” branches off from the main trail and heads straight up the canyon wall. It’s not exactly rock-climbing, or even particularly steep, but it’s a nice little workout and offers a rewarding view from the top.

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In the end we gave Crystal Canyon three thumbs up, but mostly for the creek and the hill-climbing detour.

In other news, the Texas mud has finally killed my 19-year-old Ariat riding boots.

My new Ariats are waterproof. Let’s see if they’re a better match for the Texas climate.

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The day after my new boots arrived, I got to try them out at Bob Jones Park, which was just as awesome the second time around.

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This time I used my Professional’s Choice saddle pad, which puts a solid inch and a half of high-density foam between the treeless saddle (and my butt) and Mahogany’s spine and withers. It also has a cut-out over her withers, so there is no pressure on them.  It was very comfortable for both of us, but almost comically oversized for the saddle. Here is a picture of me taking a picture of sailboats on Grapevine Lake, in which you can see the pad and the saddle .

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On a related tangent, every time I see a photo of myself on a trail ride, I am jarred by how much my camera case disrupts the lines of my clothing. I’ve decided to buy a small tactical pack to hang on my saddle that will hold everything that I carry on rides: camera, phone, keys, etc. I much prefer having that stuff on me rather than my horse, because if we get separated only one of us knows how to use the phone. I think vanity is going to win this one, though. Also my keys jingle-jangle distractingly when I hang them from my belt loop, and my phone tends to work its way out of my pocket at the trot. So I guess the pack will solve three issues at once.

Anyway, beautiful park. I can’t wait to see it in the summertime.

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I have a future post brewing about all of the benefits, problems and solutions involved in transitioning to a treeless saddle. Stay tuned!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Family, Friends, Horses, kids, Life, trail rides, treeless saddle, Winter | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Evening Walk

The weather is turning to fall, and the trails are beckoning.

When I was working at Cheddar’s, a coworker told me that I should check out the trails at Bob Eden Park. Thursday afternoon, the kids and I finally got a chance to do that. Turns out Bob Eden Park is just the first in a charming string of parks connected by trails that follow Little Bear Creek. We have explored bits of that creek before, but this section was new to us. Here is the part that we covered on Thursday:

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The trails are sort of a continuation of the ones I wrote about in this post, in the sense that they follow the same line of power poles for a while. Really they’re more of a sequel, though, since there is no direct footpath connecting the two areas.

So, Bob Eden Park.

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It has sand volleyball…

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…a playground…

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…and wide open spaces.

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It connects to Little Bear Creek Community Park…

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…which has tennis courts…

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…a picnic pavilion and restroom facilities…

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…and more wide open spaces.

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At this point the trail forks. We chose the left fork, but we’ll probably go back and explore the right fork at some point. The trail we followed wandered along between the creek and a couple of different roads.

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Eventually we came to McCormick Park.

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It has a nice gazebo…

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…a playground…

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…and a handy directory of the trails.

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Also, this snake painted on a log:

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A little farther along we found another gazebo…

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…another playground…

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…and this sign, which was tall and hard to photograph.

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It says, “The Preserve at McCormick Park,” referencing features such as a bird-watching area and a historic grove.

We continued on…

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…but by the time we got to the lake the sun was setting…

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…so we headed back.

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This is a wonderful trail system connecting some really lovely park areas. We will definitely be back to explore the rest of it.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, environment, Family, kids, Life, trees, Weather | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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