The weather was so nice that I just had to get out and take a walk. I settled on Reimers Ranch as it is not too far from my house and around a thirty minute drive. As the Bluetooth unit in the truck had just quit (see my previous blog) I had to rig up a different system which I did by using my portable Bluetooth speaker so that I could listen to Audiobooks as I drive.
I parked in the Mountain Bike Parking Lot and after donning all of my gear, set out across the trail that divides the main Multi Use Trail that encircles the park. This trail comes out at a place known as Johny’s Homestead where a cabin used to stand. This burnt down several years ago and all that remains is the stone chimney. It probably has a history and a story or two if there was any way of finding them.
I struck out on the Multi Use Trail heading in a Northerly direction. The Multi Use Trail is very wide, enough for the Park’s vehicles as they cover the property and very easy walking. The sun was shining very brightly and it was hard to realize that it was a winter’s day. My part of Texas in the middle of the State does not really get a winter in terms of really bad weather. Just the occasional freeze and uncomfortable drops in temperatures although it was a balmy seventy degrees as I walked enough to work up a sweat. I arrived at a spot where the main trail split, one way was a short cut that, if followed cut off a mile or so of the big loop. I chose to take the other trail which is a continuance of the main trail but is known as the Turkey Loop. It swings around for a mile and then rejoins the main trail by the last parking area. I have yet to see any turkeys but I did come across a whole bunch of their footprints so they do exist. The area had some rain and the ground was moist in places enough that the wildlife had left an assortment of tracks. I am so noisy as I walk due to using two walking poles that I am very lucky if I see anything live other than humans or horses.
I did manage to get a picture of a Cardinal sitting in the tree but was very frustrated by my inability to capture any of the other birds that tormented me by flying ahead and when they settled, it was always within a bush or tree and under cover.
I met a young lady who had a couple of very large chocolate labs with her and we stopped and chatted for a bit and she allowed me to take their pictures.
I followed the main trail until I came to the signpost marking the second to last parking area known as River View Parking No 1 where I crossed the paved road so that I could walk the gravel path that overlooks the river. This pathway has been undergoing some extensive repairs and now in many places, it is a concrete path as well as the original gravel. The old pathway was subject to washing out if we ever had any heavy rains. This pathway runs the full extent of the Park from the first parking lot to the last and makes for a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
In several places, the trail overlooks the river but in many others, trees and vegetation block the view. The scenery was a typical winter brown and that was pretty much true throughout the park.
When I arrived at the first parking lot, I ran back into the lady with the dogs and we chatted some more before going our separate ways. Mine was to cross the street and climb the hill to where my truck was parked in the Mountain Bike Parking Lot. I was still the only vehicle parked there but it was a Friday after all. As per my usual custom on any walk, I had sweat enough to warrant a change of clothes for the drive home. Unlike hiking at McKinney Roughs, there was no main office selling ice cream so I had to settle for driving home via Dripping Springs just so that I could grab a latte.
Altogether, I hiked 5.5 miles and enjoyed it immensely. It felt good to get back out on the trails again.