Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Goat Island

I was in Forney for about a week, including the 4th of July weekend, and as we are prone to do, my Dad and I rode all over the place while I was there.

His new favorite trail is Goat Island, a pretty great system on the Trinity River. I'd discovered it while I was staying with them in 2020, got my Dad out there when he was healed up, and he's been out there just about as often as possible ever since.

The park has kind-of a strange vibe as you drive in. The roads are perpetually dirty. The whole area lies in the Trinity's floodplain, and there are a bunch of river-soil-related industrial things back off of the road, but they all have tall hedges out in front, so you can't really see them very well. Trucks are coming and going at all times, and they just track dirt all over the road. There are random houses scattered between the industrial lots as well, but they're all pretty nice places. Not at all what you'd expect in an industrial area. Then, there's the park that's nothing but soccer fields. This park is all business. Few amenities. No english. There are ads on all of the fences, but the ads all translate to "Place your ad here!" or something like that. Then, there's the gun range that you can't see, but you can hear as soon as you get out of the car.

Considering how remote and weird a lot of the places we ride are, none of that seems all that wierd to me or my Dad, but he drove my Mom back there once and the drive in creeped her out. It's just so different from anything else in the DFW metroplex. The way he described the trails made them seem remote and forbidding too, so he actually took video of our entire ride the previous time to ease her mind about it. I guess it is more remote than the rest of the trails in the area, but that's just because the rest of the trails were built at in-town parks. As remote as it feels though, you're never more than a few miles from a major road.

Being located in a floodplain gives Goat Island the advantage of being pretty sandy, which means that the soil reacts way better to getting wet than the trails to the east of it. It's silty and sandy, and not just that sticky black clay that cakes up a half inch with one rotation. It had rained a bit the day before, and most of the rest of the local trails were closed, but Goat Island was open.

I actually recognized the only other truck in the lot. It was a guy that we'd met last time we were there. He and his buddy are the ones that do most of the trail work out there.

Speaking of which, there were new signs everywhere:

New Signs at Goat Island

Ha ha!


I think of the trail as a lollipop with a side loop, but in actuality, it's a bunch of smaller, stacked loops. The new signs make that more clear.

Next to that sign, was this gnarly, hateful mesquite tree.

Mesquite Tree

"Touch me! Go ahead! Try it! I dare you!"

So, I mentioned that it had been raining... It had rained a bit the day before, but for the previous couple of weeks, it had REALLY been coming down. The Trinity wasn't the highest I'd ever seen, but it was definitely the highest that I'd seen in a while.

Dad at the River 
	High Trinity 
	High Water at the Lock and Dam

The Dam part of the "Lock and Dam" was completely under water.

There's one part of the trail where it splits into a route to ride when it's been wet, and a route to ride when it's been dry. Both of those were blocked off, and you had to take a third option out to a road for a minute before dropping back in later. You know it's been raining when your "ride this when it's been wet" route is flooded.

Other than that, there were only 2 short wet spots on the entire trail. The trail was a bit tacky though, so some dirt did build up on our tires. My Dad rides Aspens and I ride Ikons. It looked like his equilibrium build-up was about half of mine, and it made me jealous. His were definitely Dallas tires.

The ride was pretty uneventful. Not terribly fast, but fun, if unfortunately kind of short. We had plans to go to Kaboomtown that evening for some fireworks with Daniel and his crew, who were also in town. It turned out to be a great show too. Highly recommended if you're in the area on the 4th.

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