Friday, March 20, 2009
One Foot in Front of the Other
I met my old Air Force buddy, John Graham at the park entrance of yes – Brazos Bend State Park today. After he read my last hike report, he begged me to go on the “next one”. Who am I to deny a friend a good trail hike?
We both had hydration day packs on and since it rained about an inch over the last week, mosquitoes were expected, but thanks to liberal amounts of Deet, they never appeared, or were absent – I don’t know or care as long as they left us alone.
Wonderful 58 degree weather, clear skies and low humidity were welcome signs, but 80 degree temps were predicted, so after donning our gear, we shoved off towards the east side of 40-Acre lake.
This was John’s first trip to BBSP and he was game to do a long hike. So was I, but since the temperature rise was going to seriously affect us, I plotted a ten-miler. We ended up going about 12 miles and both of us were trail weary by the time we came back to where we started. Wait until July in Texas and a ten-miler will be impossible.
Due to the 50 degree weather, the American Alligators were laying low and we only saw a few along the Spillway Trail and Elm Lake before we came across a big Daddy towards the back of the lake. It is to date the largest alligator I see at the park. We did however get a close look at an American Bittern, as brownish bird that is normally reclusive.
Rosette spoonbills, Little blue herons, Moorhens, Blue-wing teal and many more waterfowl are everywhere and it is pure delight to be in this park. The duck-weed lies across the many sloughs, ponds and lakes and makes alligator spotting difficult. They are right in front of you and look camouflaged beyond instant recognition.
The last two times I’ve hiked BBSP, it has been during the week. Today was Friday and since it is Spring Break, there were kids and families on bicycles on all the trails. Well to be honest, we saw a few families on the trails, but that was more than I was used to. Last week, I walked for 5 and half hours and didn’t see another human for 90% of it and that was fine by me.
John was excellent trail company and this meant he listened while I talked and talk I did. I ran on about trail philosophy and philosophy in general. I told him about experiences I had hiking in California, Michigan and Georgia. We talked about protein, fat and carb control to keep stamina high while hiking and we shared a couple granola snacks. We both had a hard time hiking through the feral hog ruts and we both returned to our vehicles weary, but better for the experience.
There is something about good clean and hard work that cleanses the soul. Today we experienced this in abundance.
We vowed to do it again soon and we will.
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