Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘Texas’

Why is the Ocean Brown at Galveston Island?

Why is the water brown in Galveston?

I asked this question myself the first time I saw the sea at Galveston Island, Texas.

Is the ocean really Brown at Galveston?

Yes

Is the water dirty on Galveston Island?

No, not really dirty in the sense you mean.

Answers… I promise answers.

I wondered these things myself and before I would stick one toe inside the water there, I looked it up. I wanted a scientific explanation (dumbed down enough that I could understand.) I mean… Is brown water in Galveston safe?

Here’s why the ocean water is brown in Galveston:

The Gulf of Mexico is fed in part via the “Loop Current”. This is a nifty term that scientist like to use ūüėȬ†¬†¬† This ocean flow (or current) send warmer water from the Yucatan Channel northward into the Gulf of Mexico. As this current comes in it bends and then heads towards Florida.

( I am no artist, but I drew a diagram to help you visualize.)

Loop Current ChrissyAdventures

Loop Current brings in warm water

The Loop Current is one of the strongest and fastest in the Atlantic Ocean. This is what happens in the lower portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Now… the upper portion of the gulf is affected by other factors. Look at my terrible diagram and notice the pink arrows from Louisiana towards Texas. Notice how the current is kissing the coast of Texas there?

The Mississippi River empties into the Gulf.¬† Not considering the tributaries this river has, the Mississippi alone carries roughly 2¬†million tons of sediment each day. This sediment is dumped into the Gulf waters around and near Louisiana heavier than other areas. But this sediment is also joined by sediment from the Red River. You see, the Red River joins up with the Mississippi to create the Atchafalaya River. Guess where that river empties…

Yep, it’s the Gulf of Mexico. Are you starting to see a trend?

Sediment of Mississippi River Map Gulf of Mexico

Sediment of Mississippi River as indicated by red markings

The¬†currents (above in pink) indicate how the sediment in carried in¬†two directions. Those currents carry a large portion of sediment to the coast of Texas. ¬†Sediment in other beach areas of the US have sea flora on the ocean floor that help trap sediment and clear the water. The ocean around Galveston is mostly shallow. Shallow water has a high sand and sediment turnover … literally. Therefore the water has a brown color that cannot be seen through.

The brown ocean water is very warm, almost tepid. Although it is murky water,¬†it’s thoroughly relaxing to swim¬†in the warm water.

Have you been to Galveston and seen the brown water? Did it bother you or did you enjoy it just the same! If you’d like to read more about Galveston Island, please click here to visit a guest post I wrote about it for Mr Roland Millward’s Travel Blog.

Visit Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

While we were in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in northern Texas, we asked several folks, “what is there to do in Dallas?” or “What are things to do in North Texas?” Often we were told about local parks. We did visit these local parks and were pretty disappointed. So began our search online to find things to do and places to go and adventures we could enjoy in North Texas. We discovered the panhandle area and the beautiful photos of that area. Amarillo was also in that neck of the woods, so we thought…

Why not?

I can’t remember if it was my husband or I that found Palo Duro Canyon State Park, but the pictures online were absolutely gorgeous. We dug out some Best Western travel cards¬†and found a pet-friendly Hotel in Canyon Texas. ¬† We prefer a Hotel to other accommodations.¬† After we booked our room, packed our bags (and our dog), we hit the road.

My husband chose our route based on the less travelled. He knew it would take longer to drive from Dallas to Canyon Texas, but it would allow us to see smaller towns, avoid toll roads and several hours of bumper to bumper traffic where cars freely weave in & out on multi lane bridges like they’re on a Nascar track. (I’ll share those back road adventures in another article.) The total drive took us roughly 6 1/2 to 7 hours. Please keep in mind, we drove easy, stopped often and enjoyed the sites along the way. The drive from the DFW area to Canyon would have taken only 4 1/2 to 5 hours if we were more destination focused.

Arriving in Canyon Texas, a small town about 20 minutes outside Amarillo Texas, we immediately noticed it was a cozy place. Main Street literally being its main attraction, the people were very welcoming and the traffic was slow. The pace of life was much more easy-going. The weather was beautiful.

20170521_193131_Burst01

The entrance to Palo Duro Canyon is about 8 to 10 minutes away from the Best Western Hotel in Canyon Texas. The following morning we had coffee and packed a couple of bagels, various snacks & plenty of water for our adventure.

One of the most important thing to do in Palo Duro Canyon is stay hydrated. The weather there can be tricky and the canyon floor can easily reach over 110 degrees for several hours each day.

At the entrance¬†we waited in line for about 25 minutes before we paid $5 per person. It’s important for any visitor to know that this park is highly populated as well as many of Texas’ other state parks. In the event the park is at full capacity, the Park Rangers pass out tickets to hold your place in line until they’re able to allow admittance (which can take up to 4 hours). I highly recommend being one of the first in line or you may not be able to visit the park on the day you arrive!

Palo Duro Canyon is very well-kept. The park rangers regularly patrol the canyon for exhausted visitors that may need a little aid. There were signs posted everywhere stating at least a gallon of water per person was recommended for each hour. We sweated this much or more and drank about a gallon an hour each on the trails.

20170520_204829_HDR

Shortly after we entered there was a beautiful look-out point fabulous for taking photos! We also noticed the cabins located off to the right. The park rents these cabins out for overnight stays. They looked very nice, but we did not go inside any of them.  Traveler tip: If you are looking to rent a cabin, do it well in advance Рpossibly several months out.

20170520_214229

From that point we ascended down on a curvy road toward the bottom of the Canyon. We passed the theatre area where the Texas Musical Play was presented in the evening. Ticket were available for purchase, but we did not attend.

20170521_191139_Burst01

Next there was a store/deli/tourist shop. The prices were a bit higher there then if you weren’t inside a Texas State Park but not too terribly unreasonable.

What did they sell inside the Trading Post?

They made homemade ice cream which was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend you try at the grill! One serving was large enough to share but not knowing, we ordered two. Their french fries were absolutely great and my husband’s said their hamburger was totally delicious. They also sold water and gasoline for those who were low on fuel. This was also the place to find t-shirts, postcards, and any other tourist gift and memorabilia to commemorate a visit.

There were too many campsites to count. We saw primitive, modern, and large RV Park sites as well. There was also a section on the far side of the park for equestrians. The camping sorts available were numerous and we saw people from all walks of life on different budgets enjoying their stay.

20170521_121301

There’s a small stream of water that normally runs through the bottom of the canyon according to the Trail Maps. The creek beds were mostly dry when we were there.

The many hiking trails were varied from super easy to extremely challenging. I loved hiking there because the brush and trees provided shade to cool off at different intervals.

The dirt in the Palo Duro Canyon is red. The rocks are many colors though. The contrast was beautiful and made for some gorgeous photos.

The flora in the canyon included small & large trees, several types of flowers and cacti, and many tumbleweed type bushes. The creatures we saw in the canyon include lizards, rabbits, roadrunners, turkey and other birds. Signs along the way read that it was possible to encounter other types as well, but we didn’t. I was a little afraid that we would be in contact with a rattlesnake, but we got lucky and never saw one.

Things to do in Palo Duro Canyon included:

Biking, Hiking, Camping, RV Park, Bird Watching, Horseback Riding, Caving, (we saw at least 3 caves for the brave to explore. I wasn’t one of the brave!) and much more.

It was a dusty adventure in the Palo Duro Canyon. We stayed for about 5 1/2 hours on the trip hiking roughly 10 miles that day. When we left we were covered in the dusty red dirt from the second largest canyon in the United States.

It was rather surprising that the Palo Duro Canyon was so little known to the various folks we spoke to in¬†Texas area. I don’t understand how such an awesome place was so unrecognized by the locals.

Enjoy the slide show and leave me a comment about things to do in Texas. I love suggestions!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is Bigger in Texas?

Have you ever heard it said, “Everything is bigger in Texas”? ¬†I’m here to tell you it’s true. ¬†Almost everything I saw while I was there was much bigger than any place I’ve traveled. ¬†Here’s a touristy perspective of Texas.

  1. The sky is bigger in Texas. It’s HUGE! ¬†The sky is massively vast and will consume not only your immediate vision, but your peripheral vision too. Have you ever taken a photo with a fish eye or panoramic lens? That’s the best way I can describe how your eyes perceive the sky in Texas. In fact it’s so encompassing, your mind may go into shock. I remember the first time I saw the Atlantic Ocean from the shore line & how vast I thought it was. I was filled with awe. In comparison, the ocean seems so manageable after seeing the sky in Texas. And that is an honest compare after seeing the ocean from almost every beach on the east coast and the gulf. It’s just big.¬†20170520_204824_HDR
  2. Food is bigger in Texas. The chicken fried steak is bigger than the plate it’s served on. A serving of biscuit & gravy is enough to feed a family of 4. Tea glasses are so big, I had to use two hands to drink it. The only small food servings you can find are at National Chain restaurants like Olive Garden or IHOP.20170613_142325
  3. The spiders are bigger in Texas. So are the cockroaches. One evening I was having a smoke on the patio and a cockroach at least 5″ long and 2″ wide came walking up to me like everything was normal. I screamed, stomped it and it just looked at me and walked away!
  4. The crows are bigger in Texas. They’re a Mexican breed I was told. They have an eerie scream like a sound effect from a horror movie. They’re also big enough to pick up a Buick and fly off with it. (That may be a slight exaggeration.)
  5. Trains are bigger in Texas. They’re really long with several engines pulling them. Actually many towns were either made or broken by the Railway. The northern part of Texas being rather flat allowed for easy railway access to transport goods. These same railways were the cause of a few ghost towns too. Trains are a bigger deal in Texas than many other states.
  6. The affluent population is bigger in Texas. Look up a town named Plano, TX. Enough said!
  7. The highways are bigger in Texas. I’ve been in some congested cities, but oh my… If you haven’t been to Dallas on a bridge over a bridge that’s over another bridge that’s over the toll road below…you haven’t lived. Most of the highways, interstates and toll roads are 5 or 7 lanes wide all the way and up to 150′ tall.
  8. The traffic congestion is bigger in Texas! I don’t care where you live or how bad your roads are, if you haven’t driven to Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio in Rush hour you’ve never seen bad congestion.
  9. The tolls are bigger in Texas. It can easily cost over $20 one way on one road to go about 35-40 miles…without getting off on an exit (which is when you’re usually charged for a toll)
  10. The shopping options are bigger in Texas. Name a national or regional store. It’s in Texas along with thousands of home grown mom & pop shops.
  11. The windmills are bigger in Texas. The largest windmill farm in the U.S is in Texas in the town of Electra.20170611_155805
  12. Jalapeno peppers are bigger in Texas. Oh I’m sure there’s a town here or there in other places that love jalapenos but in Texas almost every restaurant will off you a jalapeno with your order. Order a hamburger, you’ll get a jalapeno. Order a salad, you’ll have jalapenos sprinkled on it. Want an ice cream? Guess what they’re going to offer you on the side:¬†¬†¬† ¬†Jalapeno!¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Every grocery store has a large display of jalape√Īos they show off with much pride.
  13. Electric company choices are bigger in Texas. In every neighborhood, folks have a choice of at least 2-10 electric companies. Shoot… at home, half¬†of my state has 1 electric company!
  14. The hiking trails are bigger in Texas. Hiking is a big deal for folks in North Texas. Afterall, they either live on a farm in the middle of nowhere or are crammed into a city with millions of people. Nature takes their mind off all that. Every hiking trail we found was so crowded with thousands of people, it was difficult to enjoy nature…you couldn’t ¬†hear nature for the conversations & people!
  15. Pride for their state is bigger in Texas. Texans love other Texans and they love their state. They are living in a state that has almost every terrain possible in the US and almost every weather pattern. Texas could easily be self-contained and self-supporting. The economy in Texas is great and the job market is ripe. Texans take pride in their heritage and home lands. Don’t underestimate a Texan either. Most are well educated and street smart too (which is¬†a nifty combination). Many folks fly the Texas state flag in their yards. Businesses fly it just under the United States¬†Flag or right along next to it. ¬†I understand now why so many people are dedicated to their state here. It truly is The Great State of Texas.
  16. ¬†Mom and pop retails stores are conveniently located all over the state. I love to shop the home-grown entrepreneurs and the products are usually unique and home grown. There is a pride weaved into every product and¬†“Bigger than Life” dose of love¬†gently added to each piece. You don’t have to drive or fly all the way to Texas to experience some of the unique products though. Shopping on line has made it easy.

 

  1. 20170521_110535

 

Tag Cloud

elviscosmosblog

Bringing the inside out

Ferre Me

thoughts on things

Tuesdays with Laurie

"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." ‚ÄĒLaurie Buchanan

SI SUPIERAS LO QUE PIENSO

Lo que uno desecha otro lo aprovecha

Fluky Pixels

A Smart & Quirky Lifestyle Blog

You Do Hoodoo?

bare ruined choir practice

The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling ‚ÄĘ Writing ‚ÄĘ Dreaming

John SterVens' Tales

Thee Life, Thee Heart, Thee Tears

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Simply Reeds

Tips for living life full with a frugal mindset.

Gen√ß Yazarlar Kul√ľb√ľ

Edebiyat burda, kahve tadńĪnda.

jumissshop

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Momma's Little Reviews & Giveaways

Honest reviews, amazing products, and lots of giveaways!

Depression...No More!

It's Time to Be Happy! Live Free From the Grips of Depression!

What's Up Nebraska?

There is so much to discover in The Good Life state.

Empowering and Uplifting

Journey to a Stronger and more Confident You.

Crazy Stuff Happens

Crazy stuff happens

BOSMATE

www.bosmate.wordpress.com

Life, Family, Good Food

The miscellaneous minutiae of my thoughts on being a mummy, a wife and a poet at heart

As Seen on Jean

Tips, reviews and plenty of real life chatter.

Plantsandbeyond

Plant Based Living and Gardening

%d bloggers like this: