Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 6 - Easel on Down the Road

This title seems to be sticking... I continue to be open to suggestions because this is a fluid project, but I do love the humor of the name. I think if you can laugh your way through life, your quality of living must be pretty high.

Yesterday, Day 6, was extremely uneventful. I hiked for an hour in Beavers Bend Sate Park before packing up to head into Texas. The trail felt surprisingly similar to those of Dunes State Park at home in Michigan, with rolling hills and leafless hardwoods, the early morning light creating shadow stripes across my path. One big difference was the chunks of quartz, large and small, littered everywhere. At first I thought they were patches of snow because of the way they glinted in the sun. Evidently the Ouachita Mountains are "fold mountains", like the Appalachians, and were originally part of that range. They were created 300 million years ago during a collision of the South American plate with the North American continental crust, an event called the Ouachita orogeny. The quartz was "formed as folded rocks cracked and allowed fluids from deep in the Earth to fill the cracks." (Thank you, Wikipedia!)

The road trip from Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma through Paris, Dallas and Waco, Texas was incredibly boring.  Most of it was city-scape and uninspiring. I was surprised to cross a large lake (Lake Ray Hubbard) east of Dallas on a very long bridge. The GPS took me straight through that city, a curiously easy route. Entering Austin during rush hour was no picnic, however, as going 3 miles took over 30 minutes.

Peter lives in a funky little neighborhood near downtown.  The houses are small and artsy, with Mexican tiles embedded, Christmas lights stretching and trees growing up, down and sideways, appearing to hug the homes. Today will be sunny and warm and though I don't expect to paint, I look forward to exploring this new territory.