Yesterday we celebrated my baby sister Lacey's 23rd birthday. Happy Birthday, Lacey! Seems just yesterday I was holding you for the first time!
Today we decided to go to the mills close by to take pictures. I've always loved poking around Hodgson Mill and Dawt Mill, both located on nearby rivers. We usually visit them in the summer and go to the general store at Dawt Mill for ice cream or root beer flavored candy sticks. Nothing was open since it's winter, but it was still pretty to go take pictures. I'll post the pictures maybe as early as tomorrow night when I arrive home.
I called my cousin Kristy this morning to see if she and her family wanted to join us today and she did. Her husband Curtis was on call for work so he couldn't go, but Kristy and their son Dillon tagged along. Kristy and I spent lots of time together as kids. We were always taking turns spending the night with one another and her sister Lisa and my sister Regina did the same. Regina and Lisa are the same age, and Kristy and I are 2 years apart.
We picked up Mom's cousin JoAn on the way and after we'd only gone a few miles JoAn spotted an eagle in a tree along the highway. I turned around, found a place to park the car off the road and we all got out for a closer look. The eagle flew off to a faraway tree so none of us got a good picture of it, but I think it's the first time I've seen an eagle that wasn't in captivity. We kept our eyes open for more eagles the rest of the day, but didn't see any more.
Before reaching Dawt Mill, I stopped along the river at Blair Bridge (on the North Fork of the White River). We swam here quite a bit growing up and I remember it being one of the coldest swimming holes around, and it had the most slippery rocks just beneath the surface! Now it appears at the edge of the boat ramp there is a lot of gravel washed in, but looking closely out in the water there are still some very large flat rocks. The biggest change is the bridge itself. The bridge was always just above the water and now it's built much higher and is not nearly as narrow as it used to be. I guess the Corps of Engineers got tired of rebuilding the bridge every time the river flooded!
Much to Marty's dismay, I stopped the car on the one lane bridge to snap this picture. I really didn't have to worry about blocking traffic on the river in December! We only saw one other car on this road that day and it turned off before crossing the bridge I was blocking.
This was taken up river, from the boat ramp at Blair Bridge.
Regina and Me on the boat ramp.
Kristy's son Dillon. This kid is a TRIP! He recognizes the make and model of most cars and loves to tell you about cars. I love getting to know Dillon and he even knew my Suburban is a GMC not a Chevy. I was impressed! Dillon decided upon arrival at Blair Bridge, that was the perfect spot for a picnic!
Kristy and Dillon
After our brief stop there, we went on to Dawt Mill to look around. It hasn't changed a lot since my last visit there. It's still a beautiful place and seems to be a step back in time.
As we drove from Dawt Mill to Hodgson Mill, Regina and I remembered all the times our cousin Johnny would take us driving along the same highway we drove today. Neither of us had our driver's licenses when Johnny would let us drive his car up and down that highway. I can't imagine turning Heather loose on a road such as that one! It's full of hills and twists and turns!
Hodgson Mill's biggest change is the very large tree that always stood over the spring has fallen over and now lays next to the spring.
What a fun day we had wandering around the mills and just hanging out together! We froze, because although it was sunny and appeared to be a warm day...it was still COLD and as the day wore on, my three pairs of socks still weren't enough to keep my feet warm!
Tomorrow we'll take a detour on the journey back to Texas and stop in Heber Springs, Arkansas to see and photograph the Trumpeter Swans that winter there on Magnes Lake. Mom will follow us and spend the morning there with us before we continue on.