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 training the goose troops

 training "the troops"

To: frog report
From:Zelda Queen of the Night<zelda@valley.net>
Subject: Oklahoma


Tuesday June 16,1998


Last night we stayed at Foss State Park in western Oklahoma. It is a nice place, on Lake Foss, otherwise known as the Foss Reservoir. It's nice and breezy, no bugs . When we got here last evening, we set up camp and the first thing I did was do a major load of laundry, in our combination sink, washer, bathtub, red plastic bucket. It's so windy here that everything dried almost instantly. In contrast to the other parks we've stayed at the ranger came by and collected the money from us directly at the campsite (only $12, lots cheaper than most) The ranger was a very attractive, soft-spoken man, he came by quite a few times. The second time Chris and I were preparing to go fishing with a rig we had made from some found materials, a stick, some line I had painstakingly untangled and a treble hook we had found. I was sure he was going to give us a song and dance about fishing licenses. No he just gave us some advice about where to go. Then we found a bunch of nice big feathers, Chris stuck some in my hair, Indian fashion. Soon we knew where the feathers had come from, a flock of Canadian geese were just around the corner in a little cove. I finally made Chris come back to the campsite for supper and afterwards he insisted on stalking the geese. He stuffed a white towel into the neck of his shirt and stuck feathers this way and that in his hair and all around his collar. The ranger stopped by again as we were setting out. "He's disguised as a goose "I said "can you tell?" The ranger had a little smile playing around his mouth. The geese did not appear to be fooled but Chris chased them around for a while and then fed them the remains of our bag of tortilla chips. Then he started to cry, he wanted to sleep with the geese, then he wanted to BE a goose. I think he was overtired. He grabbed a pillow and his towel and curled up on the ground and refused to come in the tent. I brought a quilt over and we stargazed for a while, finally he allowed me to carry him in to the tent.

Today we intend to go up through the Black Kettle National Grasslands then around back down to Palo Duro Canyon, south of Amarillo.

Bidding a sad farewell

Bidding a sad Farewell to "the Troops"

Wednesday June 17,1998

Palo Duro Canyon

I could hardly drag Chris away from Foss State Park. By 9:30 he was calling the geese "troops" and telling me he had trained them to obey his every command. "But these geese KNOW me" he said. "What will they do without me Mom?" etc. etc. I finally got him to bid farewell to the geese about 11 and we hit the road. We drove up to the Black Kettle grasslands which were somewhat of a disappointment, they looked like all the other grasslands around there. We certainly did not lose time as the speed limit on all the secondary roads in Texas is 70 anyway so we lost nothing by traveling roads with names like" Farm Road 1027" instead of Interstate 40.

We got to Palo Duro Canyon late for us- 5:30 Eastern time- we are still on it. I see no reason to change. The land around here is flatter than anything I've ever seen. Flat flat flat with a hot wind. Then suddenly a chasm appears - Palo Duro.

It is truly magnificent. We are camped in the very bottom of the canyon and can't see much from where we are but we took a drive last night, (for the air-conditioning mostly) and it is just as beautiful as I remember the Grand Canyon being, but smaller.

If I can drag Chris out of bed I'd like to do a couple of the hiking trails before it becomes 110 degrees again, it's nice and cool now but I know it won't be that way for long. We did tour the dugout replica of the type that Colonel Something or other used when he first settled Palo Duro Canyon, Chris thought a dugout was a great idea for housing around here, it's true that it was at least 10 degrees cooler in there because of being partially underground

cooling off in Palo Duro


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