These are the activities of the Friends of CBSP from September 2015 back to September 2014.

To see the activities of the Friends of Colorado Bend State Park from July 2014 back to January 2014 and a few added posts from 2013, go to http://friendsofcoloradobend.wordpress.com/

To see the activities of the Friends of CBSP from Memorial Day 2007 to December 2013, go to https://friendsofcoloradobendarchives.wordpress.com/

To see the activities of the Friends of CBSP from October 2015 on, go to https://friendsofcoloradobend4.wordpress.com/

To get information on the annual Trails Day in the spring, check out: https://friendsofcoloradobend3.wordpress.com/colorado-bend-state-parks-trails-day-and-bluegrass-jamshow-march-28-2015/

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July 11, 2015 – Lampasas Spring Ho!

Colorado Bend State Park participated in the Lampasas Spring Ho event again this year by helping with the Kayak Races and the Fishing Derby.  They also entered a float in the parade.

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There was a great turnout for the kayak races!

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The Kids Fishing Derby Winners

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The park won FIRST PLACE for their float in the parade!

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Ranger Kelby demonstrates proper rappelling technique on the float.

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May 31, 2015 Report – Come Now! The Park Is Beautiful!

After a long period of drought, suddenly the skies decided it was time to catch up on rain.  It’s rained so much that visitors to the park got stuck in (or out) of the park because the low water crossing was totally flooded.  The Colorado River, which people could WALK across for years before this rain, is out of its banks.  Here’s what the park office sees when they look out the window.

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Here’s  what they normally see.

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Cacti flowers are blooming and little bees are having a heyday!  (click on the picture to see a bigger bee!)

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Gorman Falls has more water flowing than it has had for years!

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The creek crossings on Gorman Spring Trail are totally flooded.

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Here’s what that same spot usually looks like.

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On the Tinaja Trail, the tinaja is totally full.

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Parting Shot:  This coyote was spotted on the Tinaja Trail.

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This is a great time to go for a hike or bike ride at Colorado Bend State Park and enjoy its beauty!

Tying Up Loose Ends – May 9, 2015 Day Trip

Last month a lot of progress was made on the new Tie Slide Trail addition.  It ALMOST got finished!  So on May 9th, 8 of our regular trail builders converged, in the rain of course, to finish the addition.

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Rusty Charlotte,Rusty,Cheryl

Svenja Cheryl

Dawn James

Rickey Alvis

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Before-and-After from farther away and close up.

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The trail building season will begin again in the fall.  If you are interested in joining in on the fun, email TrailBuilding@aol.com and request to be put on the email notice list.  You will receive trail building date announcements and a chance to sign up for the weekend trail building trips.

Trail Project Weekend – April 24-26, 2015

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For all the rain that was forecast for Friday, none showed up, so the 3 leaders of the project decided to flag a trail for the future. Normally pictures aren’t taken on flagging trips, but this time buzzard eggs were found inside a small ‘cave’ and that was picture-worthy!  A closeup shot of the eggs (Mama wasn’t around) and a shot of the rock wall that they were in were taken.  The eggs were at the bottom of the crack in the rock shown below.  (Click on any pictures you would like so see enlarged.)

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Another cool sight was these falling cacti.  There’s waterfalls and cactifalls!

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Another picture-worthy sight on Friday was two of the park rangers painting boards to go along the bottom of the Overlook Deck.  The boards were installedthe next day.

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Of course, trail building was what the weekend was all about and this group of volunteers came to do just that!  The project was an extension to the Tie Slide Trail.

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The chainsaw lead.

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Next came the brush shaggers who removed all the brush that the chainsaw cut.

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Some girls are tough!  This one dug this stump up and threw it in the brush pile!

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A lot of cacti were removed and occasionally a hand saw was needed to trim something sticking out in the new trail.

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The groomers came last and put the finishing touches on the trail.

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Sometimes there is a cactus attack or a rest break is needed!  A huge stump in the middle of the trail made a great seat!

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Teamwork!

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And on to the Before-and-Afters!

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Late Saturday afternoon, some of the FoCBSP Board Members and a couple of rangers added the boards to the Overlook Deck that had been painted the day before.  They also found and moved the perfect rock for a step onto the deck.

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Sunday morning the volunteers who had stayed overnight went hiking or biking.  The camera went with the girls mountain bike ride.

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The trail building season is over.  A lot was accomplished this season (September through April).  To get involved in volunteering for Colorado Bend State Park, email TrailBuilding@aol.com and ask for information.  New people are always welcome!

Friends of CBSP Trails Day and Bluegrass Jam/Show – March 28, 2015

Having participated in National Trails Day the past 3 years, the Friends of CBSP decided that the first Saturday of June may be a great time for that event in Montana, but it was just too hot in Texas for most people to want to participate!  A decision was made to have a Colorado Bend State Park Trails Day and Bluegrass Jam/Show in a cooler month and March 28th was the date decided upon.  It took a lot of planning before a full day of fun activities for the whole family was born.

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It was decided to do morning activities on the Gorman side of the park and afternoon activities on the office/campsite side, with cave tours all day long!

Guided hikes to Gorman Falls/Gorman Spring were at 9:00 am and 11:00 am led by volunteers Genia and Rickey, each pictured on the far right of the two groups below.  (Click on the pictures to make larger.)  One group came carrying 3 young children on their backs!  Gorman Falls was very nice after all the recent rains.

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Gorman Spring Trail was also nice, including the two water crossings!

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The Trail Building Orientation started at the same time as the early Gorman Falls/Spring Tour.   Rusty, the teacher for the orientation, gave some instruction before heading into the woods for a hands-on trail building experience.  Rusty used his chainsaw to cut the trail and was followed by those who shagged the brush out of the way.  Those who manicured the trail (raking and hoeing) came at the end.  The trail that they worked on is the one that will lead to the new Observation Deck.

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Here are the Before and After pictures:

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The 10:00 am tour was the Tinaja Trail Tour to show off our newest trail finished just last year at around this time.   Wayne, James, and Svenja all had a big part of building this trail and were happy to volunteer as the trail guides!

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There was a good-sized group that showed up to check out the trail and a great time was had by all!

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This trail has great views and interesting plants!

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Hiking down to the tinaja and seeing it in person is always a highlight!

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The last tour on the Gorman side of the park was the hike to the proposed overlook… except that the Overlook Deck had been approved the month before and the Friends group lost no time getting to work in it!  By the end of the weekend, the Overlook Deck was a reality!  The picture below is the tour group, including Bob the guide, and the picture below that is of Gorman Falls taken from the Overlook Deck.

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On the other side of the park at the new amphitheater, a bluegrass jam had started at 11:00 am led by some of the members of Dueling Hearts.  Dueling Hearts played a concert from 2:00-4:00 pm complete with special speakers Judge Tom Bowden who was judge at the time that Colorado Bend State Park opened, Representative Dr. J.D. Sheffield, and park superintendent Kelby Bridwell.

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At 2:30 father/daughter team, Allison and Scott, led the Beginner Mountain Bike Ride.  It wasn’t a big group, but it sure was fun!

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At 3:30 pm, Archery started on one side of the amphitheater and Climbing and Rappelling started on the other side, complete with musical background from the concert!  Park personnel were involved in both of these activities.  Special thanks to Texans for State Parks for the grant that allowed CBSP to purchase the archery equipment.

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A couple of our cave guides helped out with the climbing and rappelling activites.  (That’s why his pants are so dirty!)

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This was a GREAT day to be outdoors!  The weather couldn’t have been nicer, the trails (above and below ground) were in great shape, the special activities were a blast, and the accoustic bluegrass music (jam and concert) was totally enjoyable!

The story of how the Observation Deck was built in 4 days follows!

 

The Building of the Overlook Deck – March 26-29, 2015

The Friends of Colorado Bend State Park had been talking about building an Overlook in the Tie Slide area of the park for some time… years in fact!  The proposal was finally submitted and approved and it took a little over a month between the approval and the finished product!  Rusty, our resident engineer on the FoCBSP Board, already had the plans drawn up and used the February Trail Building weekend to get measurements.  Between the February and March trip weekends to the park, he bought, dried, and stained the wood and prepared all the supplies needed for building the deck.  (Click on pictures to make them larger.)

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On Thursday, March 26th, Rangers Kelby and Jason drove to Rusty’s house with a trailer to load the wood and supplies and they, along with Rusty, hauled it to the staging area.  Much of the wood and supplies (generator, tools, etc.) had already been hauled down on foot by park rangers and staff by the time the first group of Friends arrived on Friday afternoon.  What was left on the trailer was hauled down by the Friends.

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The frame was built by Rusty and the park rangers/staff on Friday.

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Saturday was a big event day at the park – The Friends of Colorado Bend State Park’s Trails Day and Bluegrass Jam/Show.  There were a variety of tours and activities for the public to enjoy.  Rusty’s day started with a Trail Building Orientation where those who participated learned how sustainable trails are built.  After the Trail Building Orientation, Rusty and crew went back to the Overlook Deck to continue working.  They worked from about 11:00 am until dark.

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On Sunday, many of the volunteers involved in helping with the Trails Day event went with Rusty to finish the Overlook Deck.  The generator was fired up and work commenced.

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Boards were cut and the rails were put on.

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It was “work with a view” all day long!

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Support beams were put in place.

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Painting commenced and there was even a professional painter in the group!

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Benches were placed on the back side of the deck.

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The finished product!

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All the equipment that had been hauled down had to be hauled back up…

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…including the heavy generator!

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All supplies were packed onto the trailer and the deck was finished in 4 days!

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The best Before-and-After pictures that could be found were these.  Note the rock slot (with grass) in the lower left corner on the first picture and the lower right corner (no grass) in the second picture for a reference point.  Same rock slot, different perspectives.  One of the anchors for the deck is the big rock the guy in the first picture is standing on.

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A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who helped build this deck for many to enjoy, and especially to Rusty for all of his hard work and massive amount of time creating it!

Reports on the activities of the Friends of Colorado Bend State Park.