Walking Pedernales Falls 8-25-2016

DSC_3703-PanoI got up early with the intentions of going to Pedernales Falls State Park which is about an hour away from my house. I packed breakfast and coffee to consume on the way which got me out at least twenty minutes sooner. After checking the ponds and feeding the animals, I was on my way.

I listened to NPR on the way and then switched over to the latest Audiobook that I have been listening to. It gets very  addictive listening to these stories although I generally restrict them to use in the car. My current story is Dead Level by Damien Boyd which is very British and the narrators have the accents down to a tee. Almost makes me homesick until they talk about the rain and the wet weather in the book. Brings back too many memories of cold and wet days.

I came over the top of the hill and immediately had to come to almost a screeching stop as there was this little brown and white Terrier struggling up the hill and walking on the center line in the middle of the road. He must have a sore paw as he was definitely limping badly. I pulled up alongside of him and got out of the car. You never know with dogs how they will react and whether he would just run away or come to me. Luckily for both of us, he chose to trot over with his tail wagging looking up at me as though to say, “What took you so long”? He jumped in the car just as another car stopped and asked if everything was OK. I explained about the dog and he drove on his way probably figuring that I had the dog so he didn’t need to do anything.

The dog had on a collar that had two phone number printed several times around it. I have never seen a collar like that before and I was impressed.  I tried to call but could not get any cell service from where I was and chose to drive on to the top of the next hill. On the way, I drove down a couple of driveways to other peoples houses but in both cases, no one was home. I could hear dogs barking from within the houses which pretty much told me that the one in my car was not lost from either of these places.

When I reached the top of the hill, I pulled over and tried the phone numbers again. This time, I was able to make contact with a woman who said that “Yes, this was one of her dogs and that he was fifteen and a bit senile and was prone to wandering off”. She told me she lived on a ranch named “The Fiddlers Rest” and the name was on the gate and “Could I just leave the dog, whose name was Bo, at the gate and he would find his own way down to the Ranch House”. She was very thankful and appreciative that I was so concerned. I rang off, turned around and headed back over the low water crossing the way I had come. I remembered passing the ranch entrance as with a name like that, who wouldn’t.

All this time, Bo had been sitting on the consul between the seats very interested in my actions. He was a very nice little dog with a pleasant personality. He was obviously old at least in his demeanor as he just sat there quietly watching out the window as we drove.

I arrived back at The Fiddlers Rest and helped Bo get out of the car and carried him over to the gate. He slipped between the bars, triumphantly marked his property although a bit unsteady as he balanced on three legs, turned around and gave me a final look and trotted down the road to the Ranch House which I couldn’t see. He certainly knew where he was going. I called the lady back and told her that I had just dropped him off and that he was trotting down the driveway. She thanked me again and rang off. After he was gone, it occurred to me that I should have taken a picture of him. Oh well, too late now.

This whole incident had taken thirty minutes or more but I decided to continue with my plans and go walking. It took me about thirty more minutes to reach the Park and I was the only car in the lot although a couple of cyclists who I had passed earlier, pulled in at the lot while I was there. I spent time chatting to the young lady behind the desk as I asked questions about a trail named, “The East Boundary Trail”. It was one of those trails that dead ends and the only way back was to walk Pedernales Falls Road or backtrack. I dislike backtracking and will only do that if there is no other option so I chose not to walk it. Instead, I chose to walk the Madrone Trail going East from the Parking Lot on Pedernales Falls Road. I came to a spot where a couple of trees had come down blocking the trail although it was possible to walk around that spot and made a mental note to report it when I got back.

I crossed the road and continued on the Madrone Trail until it turned into the Juniper Ridge Trail. I don’t know why this trail was named that as the entire park is nothing but Juniper with a few Oak Trees thrown in here and there. The hiking on this part of the trail was not easy as most of the time, it was either very rocky with big slabs of limestone or just plain difficult with lots of loose limestone. In fact, it was tiring walking this path.

I eventually came out on Windmill Road which I knew from a week or so ago was  just a plain long uphill walk back to the Equestrian Camping Area. I stopped here to eat one of my apples and sat in the shade of a big old live oak whose branches swept down to the ground to make a perfect hideaway. The two water bottles that I had brought with me worked out just fine even accounting for the water I had shared with Bo. Luckily, it was not as hot with the temperatures hovering around 91-92 degrees.

I got back to the car and went through my usual routine for this time of the year by stripping off, toweling down and changing into dry clothes. I called the office to let them know of the fallen trees and the same young lady answered the phone. She recognized my voice and wisecracked about not getting lost this time. Seems I have a reputation at this park. Altogether, I covered 8.5 miles and had to admit that the rocky trail had really taken it out of me. I made the long drive back relishing in the feeling of tired and sore muscles.

There was not a lot to take pictures off. I missed my chance with Bo and there were no wildflowers on this trail. I have had to make do with views of the different trails. There are three pictures showing that someone had taken to time to protect plants close or on the trail by surrounding them with rocks. The pictures below are panorama’s made up of two or more pictures joined together.



As with all of the pictures, if you click on one of them, it will enlarge and then you can use the side arrows to move along. Hit the “Escape” key to get back to normal

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