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

McKinney Roughs 10-1-2016


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Nature at her best.

I decided at the last minute to take a walk at my favorite place, McKinney Roughs on Saturday, October 1, 2016. I knew that the weather forecast called for cloudy skies and a little lower temperatures so  even with a late start, I should be OK.

I arrived at the Pope Bend Trailhead and there were already several horse trailers and cars in the lot. As I was getting ready, a group of six horses and riders came out of the trails and finished up their ride, dismounting and leading their horses to the water troughs or to the hose wash downs. They were chatting up a storm and were of mixed ages from adults to kids of about fifteen as best I could guess. Quite obviously, they had a successful ride.dsc_4029

I continued with my own preparations and after a false start with forgetting to change into my boots managed to get on my way. I took Yaupon for about half a mile and then branched off onto Buckeye as my plan was to walk the lower trails. I then moved on to Pecan Bottom and passed the giant Pecan Tree and took its picture and stopped to re-arrange my pack. I looked at the two hundred plus year old tree and wondered what stories it could tell as it sat here for all of those years. It still looks in good shape and could easily last another hundred years. I met a couple of horses and riders and we chatted for a bit and I managed to take their picture.

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This is not the 200 year old tree but another just like it and growing about 100 yards apart.

From Pecan Bottom I  got onto Deep Sandy which took me by the river.There I saw a couple of White Egrets. I ran into a younger couple who very excitedly told me they were on their honeymoon and were staying at the Hilton. They were from Houston. I moved on after wishing them all of the joy in the world and to have a wonderful life together and then got back to the more mundane but highly enjoyable at least to me, task of walking and  joined up with Coyote Road. As I rounded a curve in the trail, this big deer was standing right in front of me. Of course it was much faster than me in getting my camera up to take it’s picture and was long gone before I had even dropped my hand to the camera belt. As a western gunman, I would be dead as the deer had the drop on me.

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The Honeymooners.

As I started away from the river, I could hear what sounded like an Airboat roaring up the river and breaking the wonderful silence. I was too far away to take a picture but I could see as it flashed past, that it contained passengers. It roared up and down for several minutes scaring away more than a half dozen of the White Egrets. I figured it must be from the Hilton as one of their river trip offerings.

I kept walking along Coyote Road which I knew would bring me back to the Trailhead. On the way, I met up with another younger couple and we chatted for a while. They very willingly let me take their picture. Continuing along Coyote Road and heading back to the car, I passed a whole group of men as they were setting out on their hike.

I took a turn off onto the Overlook at Meditation Point and took a couple of pictures of the view looking up the river. I finally made it back to the Trailhead after covering about 5.5 miles. I found several flowers and took pictures and even found a squirrel who was busy collecting nuts on Pecan Bottom. He was a friendly little guy and was not a bit intimidated by my presence as he went about his business.dsc_4072

As usual, a great hike and very enjoyable. I really like hiking at McKinney Roughs. It has lots of shade and real trees with the Oaks, Elms, Firs and Pecans. The trails are always in first class condition and great to walk on.

I made my usual trip to Starbucks in Bastrop to help me on the long drive home.dsc_4088

If you click on any picture it will enlarge to full size and you can use the side arrows to move around. Use the “Escape” button to get back to normal.

I have grouped together the pictures. The first is of all of the flowers I was able find even this late in the season.

 

The next grouping is of the wonderful trails that can be found at McKinney Roughs.

A wonderful place to hike.