First Stop: Ft. Richardson State Historical Park, TX

Most every Thanksgiving since Espi and I married has been spent in TX. The holiday brings all the Espinoza boys back to Mom in their small hometown close to San Antonio.
This holiday break was no exception.

On the way down, we played in a new Texas state park west of Ft. Worth for a couple days: Ft. Richardson State Historical Park.

[walking the fishing pier on our first windy morning]

[First hike was on the multi-use trail bordering Lost Creek Reservoir. Love cedar's handy uses down here.]
[passing through an old bridge frame that was transported to the 10 mile trailway for no function, just to add interest]

[oranges and Gatorade snack break about 1 mile in]

[This second child had to keep up with big sister as best she could. She finished 2 miles on her own little legs. The ranger we chatted with that morning surprised us as we were turning around for our 2 miles back out and asked us if we'd like a lift for the sake of the little ones. We all squeezed into his little Polaris ATV. He took us another 1/2 mile in to his favorite view on top of the dam with the lake on one side and a valley on the other. Then drove us most of the way back--we toughed it 1 more mile back to the truck with Little A in the jog stroller this time.]

[horse drawn wagons!? no problem!]

[After lunch and naps (ahhhhh, naps!), we explored an obscure trail behind the playground that passed through a beautiful stretch of reeds.]

[The trail led us to the back of the old fort grounds. It was too late for touring the buildings, but we had the privilege of having the grounds all to ourselves. Here we peek inside the thick walls of the "magazine" were ammunition, gun powder, weapons were stored. I asked the girls to give me a military stance; this is what I got.]

[hiking to the hospital, the largest building on the grounds]

[had to make-do with peeking in windows until opening hours the next day]

[Waiting to start our third hike down Lost Creek Nature Trail the next morning. It was very pretty and short--2 pluses with kids!]

[We enjoyed a lot of wildlife in this park, but watching this turtle swim and climb was probably the girls' highlight.]

[We enjoyed the bright fall colors around us. H pointed out how pretty these red leaves were. Of course, Little A joined right in with ooos and aahhhs. So sweet.]

[Another highlight for the girls was the playground--of course, the playground, right!?. Here AD watches his sisters swinging.]

[He didn't think this place was too bad either!]

[Although we were on our way to see Espi's brothers in couple days, his oldest brother and family live close to Ft. Worth and gave us a great treat by making time to visit and play with us at the park for the afternoon. Here three cousins walk the fort while giving H a ride on the oldest's shoulders; she adores these guys and was soaking it up!]

[inside the hospital]

[the Espinozas camping-style--messy hair, dirt covered pants, Big Red soda stained girls' lips--and loving life]
[Caught this at sundown our last night on a huge rock by our campsite. I couldn't resist sharing--a mix of sweet expressions.]

Then it came time to head deeper into the heart of TX...