Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Woodn't you know it!

When I signed off yesterday after describing Mark's route on Sunday, I envisaged him camping in the cold in the backwoods of east Texas. In the event, as the web diary entry today explains, Mark received some kind hospitality from a Texan couple who invited him to stay with them at their home here in Mosshill.

Yesterday's route, therefore, started at Mosshill and took Mark 180km east and into the state of Louisiana...

And here's one specially for the people who prefer the big picture.... The 'really big picture' tells its own story too. Just awesome!
On a serious note, you can see how blessed we are these days when teaching scale. 'Zoomable' maps have only featured in geography classrooms in the last five years or so and they have revolutionised the teaching of scale.
A few miles out of Mosshill yesterday, Mark would have passed signs to Sour Lake - just a few miles off his route to the south. Oil was discovered there in 1901 and today Sour Lake is known a) as the birthplace of Texaco and b) as the location of the oldest continuously producing oilfield in the world. New drilling is still underway there and there is ample evidence in the view from the air. ... though I'm not sure how I'd feel about oil storage tanks in my back garden!

Between Sour Lake and the route Mark was following is a vast expanse of trees known as the 'Big Thicket National Preserve ' .... it's a sort of 'can't see the wood for the trees' area......

The photo below is from Flickr and shows a view of a swampy area in the Big Thicket close to Silsbee which was directly on Mark's route yesterday.... Small wonder that pulp and paper mills are a feature of settlements such as here at Silsbee.. ....and a few miles further east at Evadale where the Temple Eastex pulp and paper mill takes advantage of ample local supplies of timber. I have to admit that lumbering and lumber industries were not something I had previously associated with Texas but then ,as I keep saying, this is a learning journey for me!

Because it follows a number of different water courses in the region, the Big Thicket comes into view again at Evadale, here occupying the flat and poorly drained valley of the River Neches. ...
Mark turned NE at Evadale, heading for the border with Louisiana and some of the finest river features I've seen on the whole of his journey. If I've been doing my job properly along the way, then you should be able to explain what you are seeing here.
What does the water colour tell you about this river? Why is there deposition on the inside of the meanders? What has happened at Steamboat Bend and why does the border of Texas and Louisiana not follow the river? I don't expect Mark gave any of that a thought as he crossed the bridge into Louisiana! The river is the Sabine (seen above somewhere along the Texas/Louisiana border) and is a treasure trove of wonderful river features and intriguing names. I have just spotted Alligator Bayou......

Mark ended the day yesterday just a couple of miles into the state of Louisiana .
However, as a final salute to south east Texas, here's something I found which speaks for us all (click image to link)

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