Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rock On - Sat., May 11

It's time to catch up on this week's events, now that there's time to catch my breath...literally. I started part-time work on Thursday at the RV park office. My job entails making reservations, checking people in and out, selling items from the gift shop, and other duties as needed. What fun to talk to people coming in from all over the world. In the two days I worked this week, I met people from Germany, Denmark, Australia, and Quebec, plus travelers from all over the United States.

The Hill Country Hikers group I joined on meetup.com is terrific. We have met so many great people who love to walk, hike, and enjoy being in nature.

Saturday morning Bob and I got up early to meet Hill Country Hikers for a day trip to Colorado Bend State Park. The drive each way was over two hours, but well worth it. We enjoy hikes in the parks so much we bought an annual state park pass. But I digress.

We stopped to get a couple of photos on our way to the park...

The morning sun made these firewheel flowers look translucent.
We crossed this on the way into the park.
About 25 people showed up for the walk. Some made a weekend of it and camped in tents in the group camp area. We met up at the trailhead for Spicewood Canyon Trail and off we went.

Colorado River
Hill Country Hikers
Our trail environs.
Bob keeping an eye out for rocks.
Fields of brown-eyed Susans
Very rocky terrain
We crossed streams on stepping stones..carefully!
Paul, our leader, taking photos.
As you can see this area is lovely. Tinkling water kept us company when we reached the bottom of the canyon. We did not see Spicewood Spring, but we enjoyed the creek that is the result of the spring. Downriver from where we entered the canyon we came upon a popular local swimming hole.

Rock on - necessary to watch trail at all times!
Swimmin' hole on a Saturday afternoon.
At the end of the Spicewood Canyon/Spicewood Springs Trail, we joined the group campers at their site for lunch. The hikers had brought their own lunches, but it was nice to share the large picnic table for family-style conversation...although we were so hungry, it was quiet while we ate.

When Paul was able to drag us away from our after-lunch chats, we drove caravan-style in seven vehicles to the Gorman Falls trailhead for the second part of our day trip. Again, the trail was rock strewn or just plain rock.

What a day! 81 degrees.
Rock trails in many places.
Prickly pear cactus blooms.
Quite a climb down to the falls.
Even worse going back up!
From the Colorado Bend State Park map, copyright 2012 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department:
"Gorman Falls is a unique geologic formation that supports a sensitive ecosystem. The mineral rich spring water deposits layers upon layers of delicate calcite, slowly building up the travertine formations you see here..."
This is the type of formation you would see inside a cave, only it is outside; similar to the travertine terraces at Mammoth in Yellowstone National Park. Seeing the amazing formations was a highlight of today's hikes.

Gorman Falls calcite in travertine formations.
Bob soaking in the negative ions from the waterfall.
This tree loves its location by the falls.
Hiking back up the rock wall required strong thighs, ankles and legs. Our hearts were pumping hard and it helped to step to the side of the trail and breathe deeply for a few minutes to recover, then carry on. We were on our way to see Gorman Spring - the source of Gorman Falls.

Gorman Spring Trail - cool tree
Bob and Susan on Gorman Spring Trail.
Gorman Spring pool
Cottonmouth water moccasin hiding under brush in Gorman Spring pool.
Only its tail is visible.
Looking downriver from Gorman Spring.
From the spring we hiked back to a maintenance road then on to our cars. That was the end of our group hikes. Bob and I said our good-byes.

We made one stop at Dairy Queen in Llano for Blizzards, then headed off to the Willow Wildflower Loop Drive to see if wildflowers were blooming in May. We found some. In fact, it looked like there was a new crop of bluebonnets coming up.

Silver-leaf nightshade
Willow wildflower loop drive.
It was time to head for home - tired, but energized from 8.8 miles hiking.

Movie review: "The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant," starring Sam Neill and Alex O'Laughlin (of Hawaii 5-0 fame). The movie came out in 2005. This is a historic period piece based on actual events that takes place in 1788. A young Englishwoman is accused of petty theft. Her punishment: to be banished to Australia on one of the first 11 ships to start construction of penal colonies to house criminals from England. The  movie is over three hours, but is so interesting it doesn't feel that long. The living conditions on the ships and in Australia are deplorable. You wonder how anyone could live that way. Escape plans are hatched and carried out. I give this movie four out of five stars. We rented it from Netflix.

Travel Bug out.


  1. More bluebonnets??? Now that would be wonderful. I would have thought they would have all gone to seed a couple of weeks ago. Great hikes!

    1. I swear, we saw more bluebonnets. I didn't take any photos because I have so many already. We also saw some going to seed.


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