A break in the rain for a few days caused great excitement in our household. It meant it was time to do the Lost Maples Volksmarch in the Texas Hill Country. The best time of year to do this walk is in the fall when the maples are changing color, but anytime it hasn't rained for a week or if the temperature hasn't soared to 100 also works.
Susan was waiting for us at her house when we picked her up at 6:30 a.m. The drive to Lost Maples State Natural Area is 1-1/2 hours from our RV park. We passed through Bandera, Medina and Vanderpool on our way there.
At one of the ranches along the way, we spotted these scimitar-horned oryx. Aren't they beautiful?
As we were filling out our paperwork and stamping our books, who should appear but Paul, the hike leader of the Hill Country Hikers. (We did many walks with the Hill Country Hikers until I started working full time.) We gave hugs all around. The Hill Country Hikers were meeting here to hike today too.
We then drove to the trails start area parking lot, used the restroom, put on hats, grabbed our hiking poles and took off on the trail. The Hill Country Hikers were still meeting up.
Our Volksmarch followed the East Trail along Cane Creek until the ponds, where we turned right and went steeply uphill. Hiking boots and hiking poles came in very handy on the scree-filled slope. Up, and up, and up we went. Down along the creek bottom, many wildflowers were in bloom.
|"You sure you're going the right way?" They were.|
|Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana)|
|We have been warned.|
|Going up? This is steep, rugged terrain.|
|Getting closer to the top, better views|
|Bob and I at the top.|
|Bob close to the edge.|
The scenic viewpoint made us feel strong. In the photo below, you can see where we were. We started climbing the hill at the pond. The trail to the right of the pond goes up the steep portion, then veers right and goes up a lot more.
|Looking down at where we were.|
|Prickly pear cacti in bloom|
|What a great view!|
|Scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis)|
|The canyon walls and maple trees|
|There is a very shallow, clear stream here.|
|Susan A. and Susan M.|
|A big, old maple|
|Susan and Bob|
The weather cooperated by being cloudy all morning and not too hot. When we made it to the top of the ridge, we were rewarded with a nice breeze. Very enjoyable hike.
We had brought our lunches, but Susan forgot hers. We shared our carrots and chips with her, then stopped at a little store so she could forage for more. On our drive home we made a couple of stops in Medina, "The Apple Capital of Texas," to take a few photos.
|Texas Hill Country between Vanderpool and Medina|
|Texas Hill Country|
|Medina eating and drinking establishment|
|Apple sculpture in the "Apple Capital of Texas."|
|Loved this mural at The Core Coffee House in Medina, TX|
|Also at The Core Coffee House|
|Another beautiful Texas river.|
When we got to Jim and Peri's we talked a while longer while our food digested, then had pecan and peach cobbler heated up and Peri added vanilla ice cream. Oh, yeah! That was some good dessert right there.
I'm special ordering more days like today.