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November 28, 2010
Mission Tejas State Park is home to the Rice Family Log Home. It is over 150 years old. I can only imagine the stories that exist around this piece of history!
To walk through such a place and read the History of it is amazing. To think about the fact they had to leave Texas because of Native American raids makes you realize the raids must have been at this house and it just seems like you took a step back into History.
Stewart said seeing this house with the “dog-trot” (we call it a dog-run) makes him long for a dog-run log house of his own. I am not so crazy about that idea, I want my house joined altogether simply for safety reasons.
The old Mission Replica was my favorite. We walked in and sat on their “Lincoln log” style church pew and I read the History of the place off the brochure. To imagine back to the days that these missionaries were risking their lives to bring the name of Jesus to the Native Americans, left me with a sense of longing, back to the days when Christianity was something that meant saving souls and bringing Jesus to the world. Now when you go to a church all you see is how they brought the world into the house of GOD, polluting the Holy with the profane. It breaks my heart to see how far the “church” has gotten from GOD. I started singing Amazing Grace and I felt the presence of GOD in that little church. I long for pure worship of GOD, not the man-made stuff you find these days. I long for real unity and a oneness with others who believe that GOD is the absolute one and only thing that matters. I do not know if I will ever understand why people want to have the world for a short time rather than GOD for eternity. Getting off my soap box now.
We load up in the car and drive around to where the hiking trail begins. Of course, there is a park right there and all my kids had to take a turn at the cool little backhoe toy there. Yes, even my biggest “kid” had to give it a try. Stewart says we need one of these at our creek, then maybe he could get the kids to help him dig dirt.
Stewart and Anna play on the slide. Quickly he realizes he has not lost THAT much weight yet. “Hunny, I …ammm….stucckkk,” he calls as he scoots himself down the slide. Anna naturally goes down with ease. Her hiking books slide just fine on the metal.
With fall leave crunching under our feet, we head out on the hiking trail. One and a quarter miles is an easy little hike. The kids got a kick out of the sign that read “foot traffic only.” “Like what else kind of traffic are you going to have on a hiking trail?” I explain that they mean no bikes or horses on this one.
The first little bit of the trail was nice and simple then we started heading up a hill. About half way up it the kids start whining. I tell them to imagine how Jesus felt having to carry his cross up a hill. “While being beat,” Stewart adds. “I want us to think about that while we finish this, without complaint!” I instruct.
We made it to the top of that hill and decided that maybe this hike wasn’t as easy as we first thought. I suggest we slow down and take our time, and check out the area. We come across the CCC baths. A primitive dugout area that was lined with rock. I assumed this is where they bathed. Adam acts out taking a bath in the “tub” labeled “bathe”. There was another “tub” labeled “rinse” and a hole labeled “spring”. On a cold day like this was I was thinking they needed a pit labeled “fire”, to warm that water.
We come to the “Steep Step Trail” and that was exactly what it was. Now that we were on top of the hill, we had to get back down. Apparently this was the way down. The steps were not nice on my knees but with the help of my wonderful son, I made it down. Austin is always so good about staying close to me and lending me an arm to steady myself. I always worry I will fall, I am clumsy that way. Little Adam is picking up brothers good habits and helped me a couple times too.
I only thought the steep steps was taking us back to the level ground but I was wrong. It took us through the valley which of course meant that we had to climb up a hill again. Once we got to the top of the hill I actually felt a sense of accomplishment. We sat on the bench overlooking the valley and soaked up the peacefulness and basked in the serenity of the place. Austin kicked back on his pack and was taking it all in also.
We talked about how we would love to live here. We discuss the idea of taking a two-week vacation and travel the eastern states one year, the central states the next, and the western ones last, going and seeing all the wonders of nature and history, avoiding big cities as much as possible. It is something I want to do before Austin is grown so he can be a part of it too. We decided this has been our favorite hike so far because even though it was harder, it was also a greater accomplishment. I have a better understanding why spiritually we have to go through the valleys to get to the mountain top. Once we are on the mountaintop, we appreciate the valley also, knowing that you can not have one without the other.
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