GRAYSON CO., TEXAS -- It's evident that nature and family are important to the Sprague family.
Sunday, this family from New York, Allen and Dallas was able to come together and enjoy both the outdoors and each other on Hagerman's new free tram tour.
"The tram is fantastic; what a great idea. You know and the ability to spot something, stop, have everyone see it, talk about it," John Sprague said.
We took off with them to experience the tram ourselves. Our first sighting: pelicans flying in a V. Then, ducks, hawks and snow geese.
"I always love seeing the snow geese and the big flocks of birds. I think that's the highlight of coming up here to see that there's so many of them. You can get so close to them. They will take off and it's like a big mushroom cloud of birds that goes over your head. It's really neat," Sprague said.
This was our closest encounter with the geese -- many of them crossing the road in front of us.
This excitement for nature is what Dick Malnory loves about the tram tours.
"Everybody has really enjoyed the fact that they can go out and the view is just really tremendous off the tram here," Malnory said.
Dick started volunteering at Hagerman back in 2004. Since then, he's become one of Hagerman's best advocates.
When Hagerman received a private donation to buy the tram, Dick brushed up on his Hagerman facts and became a tour guide.
"They learn a little bit about the refuge, some of the operations of the refuge, and then most of them are out here just to get, 'What are the birds that I'm seeing?'" Malnory said.
But for Dick, it's not just about nature; it's about getting kids and families outside.
"And you come out here and it's so serene. It's peaceful just watching nature at its best," Malnory said.
"Uh, just getting everybody together and being up here..." Sprague said.
"They were very satisfied. They were very happy, I think," Malnory said.