A Walk in the Woods – Bayou City Outdoors

My daughter found a free activity this weekend!  Hiking in Memorial Park led by a group called Bayou City Outdoors.  We met up at the parking lot at 8AM and proceeded with a 2 hour hike on the trails.  Memorial Park is huge (5.9km^2)!  I’ve played tennis there many times, however, there is running, baseball, soccer, rugby, biking and golf! (to name a few)

It rained pretty hard yesterday, but the trails are groomed with thick mulch which keeps them dry.

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There were about 30-40 people that attended.  These get togethers are designed for people to meet new people, it’s great for people new to the area or for someone looking for something to do with no one available to go with!  As a result, people are friendly and approachable.  And you are meeting people that like the outdoors and are pretty sociable.   I was absolutely thrilled to find out that a sister group is going to Big Bend this October.  I’ve already emailed the coordinator to find out how I can sign up!  This is one of the first things I learned from talking with Vivian.

Some of the trails were closed so we ended up back tracking, but some of the highlights were seeing different plant life, water lillies, my daughter saw a small snake that quickly moved out of our way!  There was a cat lounging on a trail and plenty of others walking their dogs.  We did see a pond with turtles on a log.  A sign read, “do not feed the turtles”…interesting.

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At times the trails were narrow, other times you could walk side by side.  We continued chatting with new people talking about what we do for a living to natural supplements. Even with the hot humid weather, there is quite a bit of greenery keeping the sun away. It was actually dark enough in some areas to remove your sun glasses.  Everyone carried water and we walked from 8AM – 10AM which was about 4 miles.  Afterwards, everyone was invited to brunch at a local restaurant.  My daughter had other plans!  Cabo baja tacos & burritos where they make fresh corn tortillas and the food is delicious!  A great Sunday morning!  It’s worth it to get up early!

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A Walk in the Woods – Bayou City Outdoors

Enchanted Rock

What and where is Enchanted Rock?  It is a natural preserve state park in central Texas just about 20 minutes outside of Fredericksburg.  The rock itself is made of granite (pinkish) and supposedly the Tonkawa Indian’s believed it to be enchanted by a Spanish Conquistador that was captured by the Indians and escaped by casting a spell…at least that is one story.  It’s 425 feet high and it’s a half mile hike up the rock.   So I came here to find my own enchantment and was not disappointed.

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We came here to enjoy the views of the hill country and to see some wildflowers…especially blue bonnets.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous the day before and turned windy and cold (in the 40s).  It should be obvious when planning a trip to be sure to check the weather.  However, since it’s March and has been nice, I didn’t think to even look! Thankfully a quick stop to Walmart for some sweat pants was exactly the type of gear needed to climb to the summit!   People warned us that there would be LOTs of people there and a big line to get into the park if you didn’t leave super early.  Maybe it was the weather, but thankfully we did not have that issue.  There were campers in tents in the parking area.  What a cool idea to camp out here.  Supposedly the rock makes creaking sounds at night and at the top you can see ghost fires.

So setting a personal goal to make this journey to the top is in itself easier said than done! There were kids with their families climbing, young couples, and a few older people.  This was not an easy feat for some.

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Taking the pic above at this point you are leaning at about a 45 degree angle to keep standing up “straight”.  Plenty of people stop and take in the views…

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There is a place at the top where you can go into a cave.  I wasn’t going to push my luck here…just happy that we were at the top!  Although I would love to come back and take the loop tour and climb the rock on the backside.  I’ve heard it’s a little more challenging and would be fun to do!

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Here is quintessential beautiful Texas …

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And we found some blue bonnets…never too old to have your pic taken in them.

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On the drive there were patches of blue bonnets along the road, it makes the drive so pretty.  Nothing says Texas like a patch of blue bonnets, the wild flower that only comes out for a few weeks in the spring.  It was $7 per person for 13 and up.  Senior citizens and the disabled get 50% off and they allowed dogs …didn’t see any climbing 😉  Relatively speaking it’s pretty inexpensive to enjoy some of the most spectacular gifts from God! It’s so pleasing to the sense of sight and to reconnect with the most important people in your life. And for the small fee the park is kept nice for many to enjoy!

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Enchanted Rock