On a beautiful Sunday morning, I headed out to explore one of Houston’s green spaces – Buffalo Bayou Park. With miles of paved trails, it’s a popular walking, running, and biking spot. I headed out early on this urban adventure to beat the heat and the crowds.
Buffalo Bayou Park is a ten-mile stretch from Shepherd Drive to Port of Houston Turning Basin. Buffalo Bayou starts just west of Katy and flows approximately 53 miles to the east through the Port of Houston and on to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s been a vital part of Houston since the city was founded in 1836.
I parked near the Water Works at Sabine Street. Since it was 7am-ish on a Sunday, I didn’t have any problems finding a spot. I decided to explore both ways from where I parked. So off to the east I went and immediately spotted a goose just chillin’ under a bridge. It made me laugh to see the goose taking a break in the shade as I marveled at the beauty under the bridge – giant columns perfectly in line like soldiers, some sort of metal piping at the top also perfectly uniformed, both in contrast to remnants of wear and tear on the structure caused by floods.
From there I continued on to a pedestrian bridge with an incredible view of the downtown buildings. I got the bridge to myself for just a moment to enjoy the sun shining on the glass buildings.
From the bridge, I decided to head west as I was in search of the “Monumental Moments,” a series of six 4-foot-tall sculptures. Anthony Thompson Shumate created the sculptures out of high-grade plastic used in marine dock bumpers. They are single word thoughts in unexpected spots along the bayou-side Kinder Footpaths. The words are Explore, Pause, Reflect, Listen, Emerge, and Observe. I wanted to find Explore.
As I walked and enjoyed the beauty of Buffalo Bayou west of the Water Works, it wasn’t long and I saw it. Under a tree there it was – EXPLORE. As someone who explores all the time, those simple seven letters spoke to me. The beauty of exploring is experiencing something new. Whether its a mountain peak, an urban green space, or even just your own neighborhood, there’s always something new to see or take a fresh perspective looking at something you’ve seen a thousand times. There’s always more to explore.
Speaking of exploring, something else to check out in Buffalo Bayou Park is the bats emerging from Waugh Bridge at sunset. Go on Friday night during the summer when volunteers are there to chat all things bats. For more on the bats, check out my blog Going Batty.
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