In search of the Homeless Xmas Tree!
If you live in FW, odds are you've seen the Homeless Christmas Tree on I-30.  Dani and I have passed it about a million times, so we decided to hike over to it and see it up close.  As with so much else on this site, serendipity and a walk in the woods = unexpected urban exploration.

Rather than parking on the side of the interstate and climbing up to the tree, we took the next exit down the road and walked the back way through the woods (sort of).  This gravel road led in the general direction of the tree, so we took it.

Along the way were many concrete slabs with pipes sticking out of them like PVC and concrete porcupines.  It was like a small town had once stood here.

Here's a view of the whole place from above.  It looks like an apartment complex.  There's even a small pool we didn't notice as we passed through (We stuck to the road; the putative pool is near the middle of the frame).

There's a little cliff here off to the side of the complex...

...that looks like there's a tunnel beneath the water.  I really wish I had scuba gear times like these.

Finally we neared the end of the buildings...

...although we still found neat things like this open manhole.  Not explorable though, sorry.

And this fence that's about to crush me were it not for my super strength.

And this lonliest fire hydrant.

One last slab.  There were several trees like this that were cut down at some point in time.

And there's downtown off in the distance.

At the end of the road (lower right corner of the map above) if a natural gas facility.  Or something.  Don't listen to me; I have no idea what it was.

Finally we broke through the woods and were near the interstate (visible through the trees).

Ahead in the distance (exact center of the frame) is the homeless xmas tree.

And this is a pretty picture.

Back when they first started decorating the tree, it really wasn't much bigger than the famous Charlie Brown xmas tree.  It was pretty scrawny all year round.

Carla was the one-time homeless lady who began the tradition of decorating the tree, her thinking being that those who were homeless would have a tree.  (Admittedly, the logic of this is questionable as the homeless population tends not to commute to work via the interstate.  Carla wasn't even homeless by the time she got the idea to decorate it.)

The bench was placed here in Carla's memory after her death in 2006.  Volunteers continue to decorate the tree.

In fact, there are always a few stray decorations left in it every year.

Some more leftovers.

More than just xmas, the tree is decorated for several holidays and other occasions throughout the year.

Further Reading
The Children's Book -  Official website of a children's book that tells the story of the tree.  The book is available at FW public libraries.  (Thanks to Kristin for pointing this one out to me.)

In the News -  Local news story about the history of the tree.

Alexplored 8/16/08.
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