Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.

Fast and Furious and Fall

Fast and Furious and Fall


The camping trip I mentioned in my last post had to be one of the world's shortest, admittedly — the friends I went with also work for RightNow Media, and we were all tired after working the RightNow Conference that week.

However, I was bound and determined to celebrate my 24th with some actual fall foliage, and we agreed to ride what energy we had left to Cooper Lake State Park and head home when we inevitably crashed.

While I do love Texas, it's severely lacking in seasons. Even though I grew up here, I've always hated the heat and had an affinity for the cold. Unfortunately, it looks as though my dreams of not sweating in November may never be a reality.

However! Moving to Dallas put me at least four more hours north and in a fairly different landscape. I have been told we get slightly more seasonal weather here, and to my delight, as I began checking out state parks in the area, it was rumored I was a mere 90 minutes away from some real fall color.

It was dark by the time we reached the park, so I couldn't be sure; but when I crawled out of our tent the next morning, my hopes became reality. Golds, oranges, deep greens and reds sprawled overhead in a canopy of branches. It was beautiful, and utterly comforting somehow to know that this existed so close to home.

We ate the remains of leftover conference food (benefits!), got a wandering hike in, and drove out to the lake before our week caught up to us. We called it a day and packed up the Jeep — minus the roof, because even the color of the leaves couldn't hide that it was not, in fact, chilly whatsoever.

My final gift of the weekend was stopping in Greenville, Texas on the way home. Y'all know about my thing with random small towns; so I was thrilled to find out that my friends were also interested in stopping to explore. We wandered the main square and unsuccessfully tried to pinpoint the vibe of the town. Local establishments seemed either very trendy or very shady — possibly haunted — in honestly confusing contrast. (For my Lynchburg people — it kind of reminded me of what downtown Lynchburg was in the recent past? That was the closest analogy I could find in my head.)

Anyway, I was delighted just to wander around taking photos, and we arrived home very sleepy and satisfied not an hour later. Just a good weekend. Hope the photos give you a taste!

10 Ways to Settle In

10 Ways to Settle In

Weekend Roundup: Nov. 18

Weekend Roundup: Nov. 18