Camping In Palo Duro Canyon

Mara and I camped in Palo Duro Canyon on July 24th for one night, our first camping trip since Wobbles was born and first night with Wobbles staying with grandparents. Mara wanted to capture audio for a new play that Cry Havoc is doing and the canyon is a perfect spot for that.

The weather really cooperated and was cooler than lots of July days might have been. We even got a little bit of rain when we first got to the camping site. We were in the Sagebrush camping area in site 118. On the website, it said it was the last one available for the night we were there. Upon arrival, there were lots of empty spots so I assume they are throttling the people they allow in because of COVID.

The campsite was a pretty good one. It was as far away from the bathrooms as possible which is actually good as that limits your noise and disturbances from that. It had a level spot for setting up up a tent, even though Sagebrush is predominantly an RV section because of the electric and water. After 4 years of not setting up a tent, we got the tent up with almost no trouble. The park has clearly been getting some of the bond money from the 2018 election. Our area had all new gazebos over the picnic tables and they were building some fancy glamping yurts about 300 yards behind our campsite.e They aren’t on the map yet but 2 of them are done and had occupants while we were there.

Getting the air mattress set up was another story. We had gotten a new one for Christmas 2019 from my parents but had never inflated it. It turned out to be mostly made for house guests as it had a wall plug as the main way to inflate it. We didn’t have the backup battery operated pump so we laid it out by the truck, plugged it in to the electric tower there. When filled, it looked like a small air balloon. It even has a backboard sort of thing to keep pillows from falling off the back. Luckily, we had brought the big tent and were able to carry it over and somehow managed to work it in.

Once all that was taken care of, we went out for reconnaissance on recording spots. The audio equipment that she has is incredibly sensitive. It can pick up car traffic and planes overhead so we were looking for remote. The first place we went was up the Rock Garden Trail. We hiked in about half a mile and set up in a semi shady place on the trail. We got some good recording including that of a lizard in a nearby bush that on tape sounds like a dinosaur stomping around.

That night, we went to the Equestrian area which turned out to be perfect. We found a grove of cottonwood trees about a half mile to set up chairs in. She recorded for about 2 hours while I read. Right at sunset, a flock of wild turkeys came in to roost for the night in the trees around us. It’s always fun seeing the big birds fly up to roost.

We returned somewhat early the next morning to the same place. The turkeys had already come down so we missed that. Returning to camp, we made a little breakfast and just enjoyed being outdoors before the sun got too hot. About 8:30, another small flock of turkeys came through hunting grasshoppers around the mesquite trees. They were no more than 20 ft from us which was cool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of them.

By 10 AM, it was already 90 degrees and time to break camp. Overall, it was a good trip though I’m ready for cooler weather for our next camping trip. We are probably inheriting an RV soon and that will be a radical change in our ability to go camping.

fwef

Disappearing

Things have been quiet here for the last few days, we picked up and went camping out in East Texas. Had a great time disconnecting from all the crap that goes on around these parts on a daily basis. Caddo Lake State Park is worth checking out if you’re in the area as most state parks are. Jefferson is a fun time as well. We saw Guy Clark at Music City Texas Theater in Linden on Saturday night and that was a treat not usually encountered on a camping trip.

Overall, a nice trip. I’ll try to get some pictures up if any are of note tonight.

That Didn’t Take Long

Yesterday, I wrote about TXU trying to blackmail its customers and the public by saying it would close down plants if it had to pay the fine recommended by the PUC of Texas.  Today, they have a different view on things after legislators and the private equity firms trying to buy TXU had something to say about it.

Can you imagine what it would feel like if you were part of a firm trying to pay $45 billion for a company only to have them come out and basically flip the bird to its customers, its regulators and to you?  I bet there were some heated conversations yesterday with one Mike McCall, head of the TXU wholesale section where he didn’t do much talking.  Serves him right for being a dumbass if you ask me.

I have the feeling KKR and Texas Pacific Group will be in close touch with TXU and all their public relations from here on out.  I have no idea whether taking TXU private is a good thing or not (my inclination tells me it’s a cautious positive) but if for no other reason than getting TXU to straighten up and fly right, I’m happy.

One good thing about living in the sticks is that you get your power from a cooperative which means the company has a tendency to want to keep its customers happy given the fact that they own it too.

TXU Loves Their Customers

That’s why they are threatening to shut down plants if the state fines them for manipulating the wholesale market, not unlike Enron did.  This is a poorly concealed effort at blackmail and it shouldn’t work.  If they did manipulate the wholesale market (which an outside monitor decided they did), then they ought to be punished for it, end of story.

Gov. Perry Signs No Retreat Law

Great news for Texas citizens.  Gov. Perry signed the law that allows Texas citizens to defend themselves without first trying to retreat in their homes, cars or jobs.  In theory, this law was already in place as no grand juries in Texas would ever choose to indict a homeowner who defended himself but it’s nice to see it in writing.