Merry Christmas

My Wife and I have our Wedding Anniversary five days before Christmas, thanks to me (long story!). This year we went to Las Vegas.

Neither one of us came back with a lot of money, but it was nice to get away for a few days.

I found one of the Free things to do while there. Ethel M’s Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden. Over a million lights on Cactus. Although it sounds different, it was actually very nice, AND they had really good hot chocolate!

Merry Christmas everyone.

Photographed: Henderson, NV 2019.12.21

Back on the Saddle: Follow-up

Last Saturday, our son, Fred and I rode the Emmitt Smith Gran Fondo bike race and rally. Over 1600 cyclist test their endurance in some challenging area roads across Lavon Lake.

Fred signed up for the 22 mile Ride 22 and I did the 41 mile Picollo Fondo. At one point I almost called it in and was looking for a sag wagon. For those of you that do not follow cycling, a sag wagon is a vehicle that will carry the riders and bikes back to the staging area in the event you can’t finish the ride for various reasons.

I stopped with 6 miles left to go. Juanita, my wife, was at the finish line and I text her saying, “I’m done”. Fortunately for me, another couple stopped in the same place as well. You may think 6 miles? But the we had already ridden 33 miles in some 5 and 6% grade hills and it was getting hot. At 11:15 am, the humidity was nuts!

After we talked, rested and waited, we never saw a sag vehicle and finally decided to persevere. I stopped a few more times on the way in but I finished!!

Afterwards we found the couple. They finished the ride too and the gentleman said he went straight to First Aid because he got chills. The temperature was in the mid 90’s and humidity was high as well.

Overall it was fun and I’ll do this ride again, but I will also prepare myself better next time.

Oh, I didn’t get my picture with Emmitt either.

Photographed by Fred: Parker, Texas 2019.09.14

Forgotten Photo, Almost

While browsing through the thousands of photographs on my computer, I came across this (and several more) I almost forgot about.

Most every year, when I was growing up, our family vacations ended up here. The Texas Cowboy Reunion in Stamford, Texas. My dad loved his horses and rodeo.

My Mothers family lived 10 miles to the north in Haskell, Texas and many of my Fathers relatives lived in Stamford. We always had a good time with family and friends.

Several years ago while visiting my Dad, we stopped by. The main gate was locked but a gate in the back was open.

This place was a lot bigger when I was a kid!

Photographed: Texas Cowboy Reunion Stamford, Texas 2007.08.25

A sign of the Times

Earlier in the spring we took a quick trip to East Texas. Coming back home we crossed Lake Tawakoni.

Before we crossed there was a little park, but coming out on the road I couldn’t pass up this shot.

Its a good thing they put this bridge here. Where else would they put all those signs?

Also, does the water curve underneath a bridge or is this an optical illusion?

La Lomita Chapel – Mission, Texas

A few days ago I posted about a trip we took to South Texas for my wife’s Catholic Daughter Convention. One of my goals while we were there was to photograph the La Lomita Chapel before the border wall possibly destroys the area. I succeeded although it was overcast, but the naturally filtered light from the clouds were both a blessing and a curse.

I was there a little too late to meet Father Roy. He was on the way out and with some other folks. I didn’t want to intrude so I didn’t get a chance to speak with him.

I did accomplish my photo outing without incident. I had been informed that there may be some suspicious activity at times around the area. A Border Patrol agent was patrolling on the levee just outside the mission so I felt safe. I stopped and thanked them as I was leaving the property.

This is a really cool old church built in 1865.

This little Church is less than a mile or so from Mexico and in the middle of the controversy with the proposed border wall. At the time of this writing, it is still at risk of being behind the wall, moved, or even torn down.

I said a prayer of thankfulness and peace to this place before I left. I felt blessed to visit and photograph this historic place.

Trip to South Texas

My Wife’s Catholic Daughter group had a State Convention May 2nd through May 5th in McAllen Texas. Neither one of us had been there in a while. I have been appointed (Actually I volunteer) as the Court #2100 Photographer so naturally I went as well.

The first stop was the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle – National Shrine. It is a beautiful Church and has a great history. We have been there a few times but it has been a while ago.

While we were in South Texas, I wanted to go to see the La Lomita Chapel before something happens like a “border wall”. This is a beautiful old church built in 1865 and is still standing today. Unfortunately for me, the day was a little overcast but that makes for some nice filtered light.

I went in search of the Border Wall and didn’t see much. I did see some structures in which a nice Border Patrol Agent suggested “I did not need to be there” so I promptly left. Hidalgo is right on the border of Mexico. It was really busy there with a lot of cars, trucks and people walking to and from the port. I really wanted to take some more pictures but I decided to leave well enough alone.

I also got to go to Bentsen State Park which is part of the World Birding Center. Of course this is not the time of the year to see many birds as most have already migrated north. I did see more White Winged Dove that I have ever seen in my life. They were everywhere. I also saw some very noisy birds named Chachalaca.

Zebadiah and Adriana got to go as well taking their first plane ride. Of course they didn’t get to see much while in my camera bag but they did get to see some things.

I am not sure I would specifically make a trip back down there but if something comes up, I would go again. I would be cool to go in the fall to see all the migratory birds and butterflies.