Reimers Ranch 10-26-2019


It was just one of those sort of days.

Reimers Ranch is located a few miles from my house and sometimes I will drive out there just to either take a short walk or even to just drive the roads within the park. It is quiet and peaceful and is never so crowded to be uncomfortable especially on the trails. A lot of people come for the Pedernales River where they can enjoy such things as swimming, fishing, boating and even birdwatching. The Park is also very popular with the crazy daredevils that enjoy rock climbing as a hobby. Rather them than me.

Hopefully not waiting for me to break my neck or die of thirst…

I decided that a short walk was in order and from past experience chose to park in the River Bend parking lot and walk as far as the River View lot and then get back up onto the gravel trail that overlooks the river for the return walk. Sounds pretty simple and for most of the way was very easy walking. A couple passed me and as I approached the River Bend lot, there were several people enjoying a picnic at one of the many tables that are spaced around the river. At this point, I had the difficult, for me, climb up and out of the gorge. These rocky “steps” at this and the next exit are a bit tricky requiring a lot of concentration and attention so as not to miss a footing. Thank goodness they are short in distance with not too many steps.

After safely making the climb up and out, I walked the gravel path which is on top of the river gorge for the entire length of the park. It does not always have views of the river as sometimes it is set too far away but there are enough to make it interesting. This path is very easy walking except in the hot summer as there is no shade for its entire length of about 4 miles.

I made it back to the River View lot and there were still a couple of cars and several people using the facilities. Some were just finishing and others just starting but all with the same purpose, to be out and and about in the fresh air getting some exercise.

The Pedernales River is very low as we have not had any serious rain in nearly 3 months

Altogether, I covered a little over 2.5 miles and as the intent was to just get out and enjoy the day, I succeeded in that.

Written 10/28/2019

McKinney Roughs 9-25-2019


Pecan Bottom

I went walking with my friend BJ at McKinney Roughs which is located very close to Bastrop in Cedar Creek. BJ lives in Bastrop so only had a short drive. I gave her directions to the Pope Bend Parking Area as she had never been to that one. It is located West of the main entrance and is used a lot by the horse trailers.

The hardest part of the walk is at the very beginning for about a half mile or so where the trail is on top of a hill and in fact Yaupon branches off to take the high road. We, on the other hand were going down to the flats on Buckey but as is generally the case, the trail does not go straight down. It winds about with an equal number of climbs before hitting the low ground. This was the only part of the trail that was made up of rocks and loose stones making it hard to walk on. There seemed to be an equal number of climbs in both directions both in and out and like I said, they all appeared to be up.

We were planning on taking Buckeye and then Pecan Bottom trails which brings us past the biggest tree in the park. This is a giant Pecan tree and is more than 12 feet in circumference and over 200 years old. It is beginning to show wear and tear over its long life and has lost a couple of its big branches. It is still pretty impressive though.

The Big Pecan with BJ standing in front of it.
The top of the big Pecan Tree.

We continued along Pecan Bottom and it eventually brought us to Deep Sandy which as the name implies is just that, sand. This also brought us to the river which looked a little low on water. Not surprising as we have not had any real rain in a couple of months with just the odd thundershower here and there.

There were still a few flowering plants showing off their beauty.

From there, we took Coyote Road which brought us back onto the original trail past the Large Pecan Tree and back along Buckeye to the parking lot. We passed three people on their way out and exchanged greetings. As they hadn’t stopped, I had to be content with a rear view picture.

Other hikers

We sat on a bench in the parking lot continuing with our conversation which had pretty much been non stop for the entire walk. We covered a whole realm of items and solved a few of the Worlds problems while we were at it. Interestingly enough, not once did we discuss the Pond Society, which in the past, has been the topic of many conversations.

BJ took her leave and drove off and I sat there for a while thinking about our conversations and the walk we had just completed. I gloried in the beauty of Mother Nature and the pleasure she brings to people like BJ and myself. Even though it was hot with the temperature hovering around 95 degrees, there was so much shade that it was not too uncomfortable. Altogether, we covered almost 5 miles of a very enjoyable few hours spent out in the woods.

Written 9/26/2019

Texas Crazy Weather


Pedernales River at Reimers Ranch

Two weeks ago, we were still at 100 degrees, last week it dropped to 80 and overnight it dropped to 35 degrees with a high forecast for today of 45.

We did get about 2 inches of rain but that is far short of what we need. Creeks and ponds are totally dried up and it will take a lot of water to bring everything back up to normal levels. Even the Pedernales River at Reimers Ranch is just a trickle.

At least I haven’t come across any sun bleached bones of human or animal skeletons on the trails… yet.

Only in Texas…

Written 10/29/2019

A Walk at Buescher State Park 9-13-2019


A real trail…

The weather has cooled down just a little to where, by starting early, it is possible to take a short hike as long as one gets done by early afternoon. I had wanted to go back to Buescher State Park now that I knew that the trails had been reopened after the fire and so I opted to do just that.

I had called my hiking partner, BJ and she was willing to walk with me as she has never been to this particular park even though it is only 15 or so miles from her home. We arranged that I would pick her up at the Walmarts not far from her house and on Highway 71, the main road to Smithville where the park is located. For once, I was actually on time and as we drove off, she admitted to not remembering the time we were supposed to meet and had arrived 30 minutes early.

We drove around a bit to look at some of the buildings built back in 1933 when the park was created under the CCC program when thousands of men and women were put to work during the Great Depression. For more info, use this link. We then took Park Road 1C which actually connects to Bastrop State Park and parked in the Overlook Parking where the trail we wanted to take, starts.

The plan was to follow this trail aptly named Pine Gulch as it headed North on the left side of Park Road 1C and then cross over the road and head back down the trail on the opposite side but things didn’t work out quite exactly as we had planned. We reached the point where the trail crosses the road and had a lot of discussion regarding which way we should go from there. By then, I was completely turned around with my directions and BJ, being the cell phone nerd that she is, quickly pulled up the map of the trails on her phone and got us pointed in the right direction. Even though she insisted that she was right and that the phone could not lie, it was not until the truck and the Parking Lot came into sight did I start to believe her. We had decided not to walk the trail back but to stay on the road instead as it was a lot easier walking and the trail that we had just been on, had been a little difficult underfoot. This one is a real trail not much wider than a single person with vegetation on both sides. Unfortunately, because of the fires, there was not a lot of shade as most of the taller trees were gone.

We sat on a log for a while just chattering and cooling off before jumping back into the truck for me to return BJ to her car. Altogether, we covered about 4.3 miles and I thoroughly enjoyed it although I was a bit sore for the next couple of days. After all, I had not been walking for quite a while because of the heat which hopefully is now over for the year. I plan on going back to complete the rest of the trails.

Written 9/16/2019

Blessed Rain 10/24/2019


The previously blown over Cypress Tree

Well we finally got some very welcome rain last night. Actually a lot of rain, at least two inches at my house accompanied by high winds. Lucky for me, the Spruce tree that is in one of the ponds did not blow over as it has done in previous high winds. We have not had any significant rain in over three months prior to this and on my drives around the countryside, stock ponds, small creeks and such are bone dry. It is going to take significant rain to bring everything back to normal.

It has been so dry that I have recently cut down almost all of the greenery in my garden, something I normally do following any frost that we may get in the winter. This year, it will not matter how hard it freezes as the only thing that will be affected are the plants in and around the ponds, at least from my perspective.

I even had to turn on the heat inside the house as the temperature indoors had dropped to 65 degrees, a little too low for comfort. Obviously, we are through with the air conditioning for this year. This is typical Texas weather where we go from 100 degrees to 90 degrees and then to 65 degrees all in the space of a couple of weeks. At least it is now great trail hiking weather although I don’t like hiking immediately following heavy rains as the trails are usually pretty muddy and tend to build up on the boots. I have enough problems in just carrying my body weight around without the addition of several pounds of wet dirt.

Maybe I’ll take that walk tomorrow or the next day and give the ground time to dry out a bit…

Written 10/25/2019

Cleaning my Truck


My Truck

I tidied up my truck today
cleaning behind where the back seats are
usually folded up to make storage space
as no passengers ride in this place
very rarely do I fold down the seats
as passengers I rarely carry
just me alone with the occasional dog
unless a neighbor is in a hurry
to get somewhere and hasn’t a ride
which is when I usually decide
to fold down a seat so that they may
get to where they are going today
behind the seats was a proper mess
of storage boxes and camera gear
there for when I hit the trails
which I do many times a year
although lately it has been too damn hot
for me to safely get out and walk
and so I am forced to stay indoors
and write poetry as my way to talk
to the rest of the world that I usually see
out on the trails people walking like me
I found some interesting stuff
in that space behind the seats
I even found an old kerchief
used to wrap around my brow
to stop the sweat from running into my eyes
from the way it smelt I don’t know how
I had not noticed it before
probably because it was on the floor
hidden under a couple of bags
small enough to be hidden from view
dried out and ready to be used anew
although along with a few other things
into the washer to make it clean
I found a lens that I had missed
rolling around on the floor
I had wondered what had happened to it
a wonder it didn’t roll out the door
I packed everything away
and tidied and swept the space between
now it is clean for a little while
although that is really not my style
I lean towards an organized mess
to make life challenging and a test
what fun is there in having things clean
and tidy and no dirt to be seen.

Written 8/30/2019



Weather is Hot


The beauty of Nature.

Life is on hold while the weather is hot
as to be outside I do not, wish to be and instead
stay indoors where it’s cool and my head
can work on things I like to do
like reading and writing and listening to
Audiobooks with stories so fine
written by Authors whose words are divine
as the plots unfold one by one
leaving me guessing right up to the end
who was the bad guy and who the friend
and then when I am really bored
I jump in my truck and take a drive
with no particular place in mind
just out in the beautiful countryside
the forecast shows we have one more week
of one hundred degree weather to bear
and then hopefully we will have our share
of cooler weather and then life unfolds
as back out on the trails will be my goal
walking in places so lovely to see
taking pictures of things so beautiful to me
and then coming home to write some more
about what I saw on the trails before
along with the pictures I took today
to share on my blog in a positive way
so that others may view the beautiful scenes
while I am happy fulfilling my dreams.

Written 8/25/2019