A few day drives, Sep/Oct 2020

Long-distance travel is tough/inadvisable during this time, but we can still take short day trips and enjoy some beautiful views, and good weather!

In September, I drove to Turner Falls, in the midst of some hills called the Arbuckle Mountains about halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma City. It’s a small geographic area, but scenic and unique… kind of like the Texas Hill Country, but maybe a little more lush.

The falls themselves are (allegedly) the tallest in Oklahoma at 77 ft/23 m. One unusual feature about the park is that it’s a city park, not a state or national one, so it feels much more “homegrown” and less “official.” There were a LOT of people there, most of them unfortunately not wearing masks, so I masked up and kept my distance as best I could. It was good to get out into nature on one of the first post-summer nice days we’d had, though.

You can certainly see for a long way! The hills get up over 1400 ft/430 m and are the highest ground for about 40 mi/64 km.

In October, I took another drive out in the countryside northwest of Denton, Texas, in the Decatur/Montague/Bowie/Saint Jo/Gainesville area. I’d been out there before but it had been years, and I’d forgotten how pretty it is.

This house is called the Waggoner Mansion, on the east side of Decatur, and was built in 1883. It’s in very good condition, much better than most houses of that age in Texas.

The picturesque Wise County courthouse on the square in Decatur. I LOVE Texas county courthouses.

The Montague County courthouse in Montague. Though it’s the county seat, it’s a tiny little town and definitely off the main roads.

There are some surprisingly dramatic bluffs overlooking the Red River near the Oklahoma state line, and even some vineyards in the area, though I didn’t stop to visit.

I did NOT mean to get the roof of my car in this picture.

And finally, on a lark I pulled into the stunningly beautiful St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lindsay, built in 1903. What a gem.

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