Sunday, June 28, 2009

Road Trip!!!

I might get this blog post done. Not sure as I have had it half
completed and lost it.

Today we went on a road trip. Joedy had been wanting to go to Parks, NE more specifically Rock Creek State Park. So we headed out after Sunday dinner.

We went up the river road to St. Francis, KS. Stopped there at the "K" store for refreshments, good thing too as we were gone over 6 hours.

Our first item of interest were the "Breaks", which are north of
St. Francis. The photo doesn't do them justice. Very interesting formations that would be interesting to explore, if it weren't for snakes. I am sure there are a number of rattlesnakes around these as it is prime country for them.

So on to Parks, which has a post office by the way. As we left Parks and came around a bend we see this sign "Sage Hill Vineyards" and they are open. Okay we have to stop and check this out.

We cross the cattle guard into the pasture and take off on this trail that meanders through pasture, yet all the time our destination is in site. We cross over a small stream, the Dickcissels, Meadowlarks, Lark Sparrows and other birds were singing away and then another cattle guard to arrive at their vineyard and tasting room.

A very nice place and we go in to check out the wine. It wasn't long after we were there that one of the owners finds out we are from Burlington and she asks if we know her husband's sister, who lives
in Burlington. Guess what we know her. Small world. The other
couple that were there at the same time were from Goodland, KS and they ask us if we knew another family that lives there. Yes, we know them too. After we have had a few samples and visit we purchase a couple of bottles. We are going to let the red age a few years. Thought I would take a photo of the road as we were leaving. It is worth the side trip. And the gentleman who owns Sage Hill is in charge of Rock Creek fish hatchery.

So we head on to the lake and come across a doe. I thought I had seen a fawn by her side, but when we backed up to check she was
the only one there. She did give Joedy a nice pose for a photo op

We saw a number of turkeys on our trip and we did see one doe with a fawn along the way. Another turtle today, so that makes 2 turtles in a week's time. Pretty good for not having seen any turtles for years. A couple of snakes we did not recognize as well.

We arrived at Rock Creek State Park. A very nice little lake surrounded by a number of different trees and shrubs, along with some wildflowers, wild roses, and numerous water lilies growing on the north end. The mulberries were ripe too. I thought the most interesting item was the equipment that I am assuming they use to open the gate to allow water to leave the lake. If it isn't what they use, it is still one of my favorite things of the day. There were a few people still there and they have built little jetties out into the lake that people can fish from and there are picnic tables on them as well. A very nice place.

On our way to Parks we came across a ranch that apparently isn't used anymore. This was on highway 34. The corral had a beautiful crop of sunflowers growing in it. We didn't know if they had been planted or if they had come up volunteer. It would be a great site to see when they are in bloom though. Doubtful that we will drive back that direction to check it out.

We attempted to find one more area of the breaks called Devil's
Gap, but failed to do so. I believe we went too far south before
going west. However, we saw some great areas of the breaks, a huge wind turbine they are erecting in the town of Wray, CO. Not sure what words would describe it. Maybe out of place. I wonder how long it will be that the turbines are defunct and sitting around unused like many of the houses we came across today? Yep, you got it, I am not a fan nor a proponent of the things.

We decided to go to Beecher Island, came across more breaks on our way there. The Arickaree River flows through here and it was
the site of an Indian and Calvary battle. There were a couple of tents sent up i n the campgrounds. Can't say much for the river though. Our daughters attended 4-H camp here years ago and came home with food poisoning. So much for extension agents knowing how to take care of food. Of course it wasn't their fault.

After 212 miles, we returned home. We caught the sun setting in the west on our road trip.
We were both tired and glad to be home.

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