Two Nights in Cabin 14 Bastrop State Park: We checked in historic cabin number 14 of Bastrop State Park on April 1, Friday. As per the framed information inside and outside the cabin: “Cabin 14, planned as the”Keeper Cottage” was the only one that had bathrooms originally designed and incorporated in the building. It was in 1934, the first six cabins were built at Pioneer Village. But stone construction was deemed too expensive and time consuming. Next 8 including cabin number 14 were constructed with wood siding.” And “the person behind creating these extremely popular State Parks was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in an effort to put many young men in the early 1930s during the Great Depression who were without enough money to buy their next meal……. These young recruits in their twenties enrolled to work for a six-month period to create the parks to conserve the nation’s natural resources, create public recreational areas, and to help boost the economy…….These recruits were paid $30 per month, with $25 of the monthly wage being sent back home for the family.”
April 2 was a day for me to remember for the rest of the life. The morning trekking with every one of the group but Yamuna was just exhilarating and enhanced my confidence on my own physical ability to trek for an hour or more. The evening was just superb with the wonderfully arranged birthday celebration of Aadya and thereafter the great experience of relishing litti-chokha in this state park in dinner. Who could have dreamt of that? I really appreciate zeal and juggad skill of Manish who made it happen without hiccup. After we retired for the day leaving behind the younger lot after American cum Bihari dinner, I decided to go out of the cabin to experience the dark night with no light of any sort outside on the road. I felt the presence of billion of the shining stars so much brighter and clearer in 180 degree panoramic view that we can no more see in Indian townships like Noida because of pollution. जंगल में मंगल का इससे बढ़िया उदाहरण क्या हो सकता है?
Sunday April 3: Satya, the IITian friend of Rajesh was right at 7 AM at cabin 14 to accompany me to complete the trek we missed yesterday. We completed that trail and reached the top but missed the sunrise by few minutes. It was a wonderful scene of the vast valley reminding all the time the devastation by the forest fire of 2011. We trekked back to the cabin as the group was to check out by 11.30AM. For the rest of the group, who have not gone to the top, all of the group drove up to the Bastrop top again to enjoy the scenic grandeur and have a photo session.
Bastrop Wild Fire Burnt Trees: Somehow, I feel involved when I look back again and again the photos of the remnants of wild fire burnt loblolly pine trees in hundreds, spread all around over thousands of acres of the Bastrop State Park. I like them as it appears to me more and more beautiful as each frame tells a story of universal truth.
“Bastrop State Park, the site of the famous “Lost Pines,” an isolated timbered region of loblolly pines, opened in 1937, is approximately 6,600 acres.The architect of Bastrop State Park, Arthur Fehr, followed US National Park Service design principles that suggested harmony with the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and pine forests and use of native materials for construction. Even the stone cabins at Bastrop appear to grow out of the ground like a natural outcrop. On Sunday, September 4, 2011, a firestorm known as the Bastrop County Complex Fire engulfed Bastrop, Texas and by September 30 had destroyed 1,645 homes, burned 34,068 acres, and killed two people.The fire was the most catastrophic wildfire in Texas history.”