Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017
Big Lagoon State Park, West Pensacola, Florida - May 9, 2017

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lost Maples: Found - Sunday, May 3, 2015

I am still catching my breath catching up. This blog is from early May.

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?
Scimitar-horned oryx
Lost Maples State Natural Area is a few miles north of Vanderpool, Texas. The Visitor Center/Ranger Station opened at 8 am and we were there. The ranger retrieved the Volkssport Box for us and we all signed in.

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.
Silver-leaf nightshade
"You sure you're going the right way?" They were.
Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana)
Musk thistle
Guadalupe bass?
We have been warned.

Going up? This is steep, rugged terrain.
Getting closer to the top, better views
Brown-crested flycatcher
Bob and I at the top.
Bob close to the edge.
At the top we hiked along the ridge. Primitive camping sites are up here. Who wants to lug all their stuff up that steep hill to camp up here?I guess you know my answer..."Not me."

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.
Antelope horns
Prickly pear cacti in bloom
What goes up must come down. Below is the steep portion of our return trail.

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
Yellow gaillardia
False day-flower
Susan and Bob
Sabinal River

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.
After going home, showering and napping, we met Jim and Peri at The Big Bib BBQ for dinner. We LOVE The Big Bib! Had a great time reconnecting with Jim and Peri, then we went to their place for dessert. At The Big Bib we ordered dessert to go: Pecan Cobbler. What we really wanted was the Peach Cobbler, but they were out when we ordered dinner. As we were finishing up, our waiter asked us if everything was okay. We said it was a yummy meal, the only thing that would make it better is if they had some peach cobbler. She said, just a minute, I'll be back. Sure enough, she came back with a container of peach cobbler and said we didn't have to pay for it! Wow.

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.

2 comments:

  1. It is SO nice when the clouds stick around for steep up hill hikes! That's some beautiful country out there at Lost Maples...thanks for taking me there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely flowers and nice hike!

    ReplyDelete

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