Thanksgiving Done Stark at Palo Duro State Park

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I sure hope your Thanksgiving smelled better than mine.

Spending Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon of Texas, Palo Duro, has one significant shortcoming, the perfume of the Panhandle. Thankfully, the wind and cooler temps gave me a little nasal congestion so I got a reprieve.

I was also generally too distracted by the landscape to focus on the inconsequential. Lighthouse Rock is the most notable hoodoo.

IMG_1004Turkey jerky, dried cranberries, and sweet potato crisps taste great on the trail but I’m looking forward to a make-up Thanksgiving meal when I return to civilization. After exploring the 25 miles of trail at Palo Duro and 65 at Caprock, I’ll be plenty ready to eat it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happiest Girl in Hill Country

Bluebonnets

Nah… don’t really care about bluebonnets…

“He went away… he’s been gone for such a long time…”

A few weeks after I finished the Munda Biddi, my Trek was stolen. I never expected to see him again, so you can imagine my surprise when I received an email from a Senior Constable of the Perth Police about retrieving my stolen property. Initially, I thought it was a scam. Eventually, I came to realize I just needed to figure out how to bring him home! It took a few weeks to work out the necessary logistics, but…

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“now he’s back and things’ll be fine.”

  We’ve already explored about 30 miles of rocky Austin trail together. I still wonder about our time apart but its been great getting reacquainted.

Where am I?

Dana Sunset

A sunset by a lake.

It started as any nice weekend might with a stroll by the lake after work to unwind. While overcast, the following day was warm and dry and so I did a little exploring.

Dharmachakra Mudra

Dharmachakrapravartana Buddha… teaching from the heart.

While I am no Buddha, Buddhist, or mudra expert, my interpretation of the the wheel of dharma is “teaching from the heart”. I may be wrong but I found it heartwarming to discover this statue.

 Evidently, I had found Wat Pah Samarkki.

Hmmm, trails by a lake, wats… I know its suspicious but I haven’t returned to Thailand. My next find did lead me to wonder…

Does the gruffalo exist? Was this the creature that inspired H.R. Giger? Do aliens live in my backyard? Where am I?

Current Habitat and Hog

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I don’t own the house just plan to live in it for the next 15 weeks.

Top 5 things to remember now that I’m not in Thailand.

5. Don’t wait for an attendant to pump your gas.

4. Don’t buy XXL.

3. Don’t leave your keys in the ignition for safekeeping.

2. Don’t scoot someone’s else ride aside to make room to park your own.

1. Don’t drive on the left!

Counting Dong in Saigon

As usual, I started my trip with a few essentials, money and street food.

I generally enjoy walking about a city to learn its layout but Ho Chi Minh was an exception. The grime on the awning is indicative of the soot I had to wash off my exposed skin later. Luckily, the area I stayed in, district 7, wasn’t congested with scooters so a stroll to a convenience store or cart was fine. It also had lots of Korean goodies.

The Notre-Dame Basilica was closed for renovations but the post office and Independence Palace were open to visitors.

Independence Palace

View from Independence Palace.

While not terribly convenient, I couldn’t pass up a tour of the Củ Chi tunnels. It gets rather cramped and very dark. Our crawling about was rewarded with cassava root with crushed peanuts and tea, supposedly staples of the Vietcong.

Four Years, No Calls

One of my favorite things to do is visit art museums. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck in my recent travels. Last month, the Western Australia Museum in Perth was closed for renovations… for 4 years.

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So, I should not have been surprised to learn that the Hong Kong Museum of Art was closed for renovations… for 4 years.

That reminded of something else that takes 4 years… getting a niche for your loved one’s cremated remains in Hong Kong.

One way to reach the Dragon’s Back trailhead is to walk up all the stairs at Cape Collinson Catholic Cemetery. That happened to be the way I went so I learned this odd fact.

The hillside cemeteries of Hong Kong are quite a sight. I could have used a guide to answer a few questions, though. Such as… why are there occasional brick ovens? Or… do the pictures on the markers have to be near death or least flattering?

Junk

I don’t have a way to tie this junk boat into the 4 year theme except to say that 4 years ago, Hong Kong set new goals to combat air pollution… you can see how effective that has been.

Yum

The Chainsmokers, Closer, was playing at the dim sum stand where I bought these awesome treats… 4 years…

 

Home of the Egg Waffle

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A very vertical vista.

Having enjoyed Hong Kong-style waffles in many cities, I decided it was time for the original. After securing a few essentials,

I made my way to the Temple Street Night Market and Mammy Pancake for one that would be sure not to disappoint.

Feeling the need to work off the wonderfully yummy and filling delicacies, I followed up with another popular HK favorite… a hike on the Dragon’s Back.

Despite the fog and haze, there were beautiful views of the islands from the trail.

Other less arduous walks included a stroll along the Avenue of Comic Stars

and a descent from The Peak along Lugard Road.