I-20 provided a straight and very relaxing ride through the Coastal Plains of Texas. After 2 hours of driving, a delightful discussion with a lady trucker, and a dinosaur sighting, I had finally reached my destination. 1,200 miles but I had finally made it. As I drove this final stint, it occurred to me how much in common the highways of Texas had with where I came from. It may sound funny but there was this positive “I am home” vibe. Sure, there are still more places to explore but it feels like this transition is going to be a positive one.
Plano, TX has many city parks and national preserves. Since I got over zealous with my driving, 7 hours of idle time was in my future so I thought I would visit a few of them. I opened up the map app and pointed to a pinned park and off I went.
The path to the first park took me through a country club and some neighborhood that had Polo in its name. Based on the neighborhood I expected this park to be well manicured, clean and beautiful. I am sure the park was (and is going to be) beautiful but now it can only be described as construction city. Porta potties and orange tape were everywhere. There would be no exploring there today. Map app open, point and head out.
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a series of paved and un-paved trails for hiking, biking, and sightseeing that features “three distinct areas”: Upland Forest, Blackland Prairie, and Riparian Forest. It’s 3+ miles of paths are designed to allow you to experience these areas while providing a safe and healthy environment. Being winter, most of the environment was dormant. It still provided a great place to walk and I met a few wonderful pooches so it was worth it. I can not wait to see it in the Spring.
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve
Home of the Nature & Retreat Center, the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve is a clean, manicured, heavily paved nature experience. It felt more like a park than a preserve with its wide paved paths and picnic areas. The Center hosts many events for the public such as educational, business, and team building (including a rope course). They have even hosted wedding receptions.