After walking at McKinney yesterday with my good friend BJ, I really had the urge to get back out on the trails again. I was not feeling any effects from yesterdays hike so physically, there were no reasons not to go. I went thru my usual routines when I leave the house, putting the two cats in their own room so that Richie, the male Dachshund doesn’t tear them up which he has done a few years ago. He may be alright with them now but better safe than sorry both for the cat’s sake and my pocketbook. I filled my water bottles and grabbed a couple of apples, picked up my camera and was ready to go.
Then I noticed that the Chihuahua, Pete, our newest addition was giving me “the look” as though to say, “Haven’t you forgotten something”? They know that they don’t get to come with me on these hikes as I have enough trouble with my 80 year old legs without having to worry about two Dachshunds and a Chihuahua with their little legs, out on the trail. It would be very difficult to carry them all when they got tired especially with me being already tired by then. Then it clicked. Pete was looking for a handout which they usually get when I leave the house. I gave all three of them a chewy to keep them occupied, patted them all on the head and closed the door.
The drive from my house to McKinney Roughs usually takes me 40 minutes but there were major holdups with road construction just outside of Austin Bergstrom International Airport as they were doing a road changeover. The forty mile trip ended up taking 75 minutes. Even with stopped or snail pace bumper to bumper traffic, there are always some jerks that want to disrupt things. In this case, it was a black Dodge that wanted to drive on the left hand shoulder to beat the line. Needless to say, everyone and I mean everyone closed up nose to tail shutting him out completely until he came to an obstruction which forced him to jump the traffic into the opposite lane. I am normally a very considerate driver and allow people in when they are doing it legally but this particular idiot surely did not fall into that category. I never understand the thinking of these sort of drivers. They obviously do not care about others or even what others think about their actions and yet you see it all of the time. There is nothing worse than an idiot behind the wheel of a car. It can be a lethal combination.
We got through the road changeover and continued on with the traffic thinning quite considerably and I arrived at the McKinney Roughs Main Entrance. There were a lot of cars in the Parking Lot as they had another one of their weekend seminars ongoing but there was still plenty of places to park. I paid my $2:00 entrance fee, signed in and went back to the car to put on my hiking boots and went through my usual preparations. Five minutes later and I was on my way taking the Bobcat Ridge Trail to get me to Yaupon. My plan was to Hike Yaupon to the end where it meets the Pace Bend Trailhead and then turn around to retrace my steps along the same trail. There is still a major washout where Roadrunner meets Coyote Road and there is no way through so I could not complete the loop even if I wanted to. The road delay had cost me some time and subsequently, the cloud cover was burning off and it was warming up. I could feel that the heat was beginning to affect me even though I was drinking a large amount of water to stay hydrated so I had to make a choice of whether to persevere or to do the smart thing and turn back. I opted to do the latter swallowing my pride for not achieving my original goals. On the walk back, a young couple passed me and asked if they were on the right trail to the Resort. I set them right and they continued on their way as did I.
As with all of these slides, if you click on any one of them, it will enlarge and you can move them by using the side arrows. Use the “Escape Key” to get back to normal.
I arrived back at my car without any further incidents just as the seminar was turning out. The Parking lot was busy for fifteen or so minutes so I had to sit around until it cleared so that I could change into dry clothes. It was after 5:00 pm and the Office was closed so I couldn’t use the bathrooms which is what I normally do. No big deal.
I covered 6.2 miles by my pedometer with the temperatures hovering around the 95 degree mark. Cooler than the day before when it reached 102 but still very hot for hiking. I am really glad that I erred on the side of safety and turned back even though it hurt my pride to do so. Better safe than sorry.