2/8/18

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

We got lucky with the weather yesterday when it cleared around noon as was forecast. It was still quite cold with temperatures barely above 40 degrees, and so we bundled up and headed out for Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.


This turned out to be so much fun. We were really glad that we didn't allow the cold weather to discourage us. As it turned out, the hike itself kept us warm. There are some eight miles of hiking trails through the park, and we chose one with some challenge, and yet, not too strenuous for people with bum knees.


And let's face it, when you're born during the 14th Century, it's pretty hard to escape life without having a bum knee or two. Here is the map of the hiking trails through the park.


This is the hike we took, and it's located near the bottom of the larger map.


Just starting out, this was how the Enchanted Rock looked to us. We were going to see it much more up close and personal before we were finished.


The trail was fairly easy. Occasionally, we passed by a prickly pear cactus uncomfortably close to the trail. You wouldn't want to brush up against one. Certainly, you wouldn't want to stumble and fall into one.


Occasionally, we had to ford some wet areas. Our shadow selves took a good look here before forging ahead.


This is just one formation we saw along the way, known as Buzzard's Roost.


Eventually, our travels took us closer to the Enchanted Rock and all the way around its base. Here, we stopped to rest and eat our Clif bars.


It was interesting geology-wise. Information provided by the park informed us that this is a part of a geologic region known as the Llano Uplift. The granite dome of Enchanted Rock is part of a larger granite mass formed during the Precambrian Era nearly a billion years ago. It is among the oldest geological rock exposures in the state of Texas. A far grater portion of this formation still lies beneath the present ground surface. Looking at it, there appeared to be large slabs of rock just lying over the surface of the dome. Here's one we walked across.


The trail was well marked, although it was sometimes difficult to know what we were expected to do. We wondered if these markings were little arrows or whether they were little headless hikers whose heads had been bitten off by some unknown predator. We took no chances, let me tell you.


Along the way we spied a black squirrel. We've seen red squirrels, white squirrels, gray squirrels, and now black squirrels on this trip.


We took the Echo Canyon Spur off the Loop Trail, and this turned out to be our favorite part of the hike. Here, we saw some huge boulders.


And we had to do some scrambling to continue on. It was just a little difficult, but not unmanageable, even for us weak-kneed people.


We were interested in this formation, which reminded us of the Secret Spire we'd seen when we rode our ATV's in Utah.


There were some wonderful views from here. Here's a pano of the entire area. You can see Mike there on the left for some scale.


Here's another view of the Enchanted Rock formation.


We were nearly halfway up to the summit at this part of our hike, and we considered going to the top. We noticed these scratch marks. Although the park literature doesn't mention glaciers, these look like the markings of a glacier to us.


Here we could have taken the trail to the summit, but we chickened out. We weren't as bothered by the trip up as we were by the trip down. The rock face was at quite an angle, and it would have been hard on our knees.


There were some folks already up there, and we relied on them to give you some scale of the place.


Instead, we continued on the Loop Trail until we were nearly back to our truck. This last round of stairs was the heart-breaking part of the trip. Really? After all that scrambling we were two tired pups.


Apparently, this was the one and only way we might have died on this day.


We crossed over and then got into the truck and drove back to the RV where we had some lunch and nursed our aching joints. After a time, I got out in search of the kitties inhabiting the RV park. Along the way, one must pass a gauntlet of chickens.


And roosters. From what I saw on my walk, this guy needs to be called out by the #metoo movement.


Here's just one of the ladies he was harassing.


Eventually, I saw the kitties. They were gathered around, having just been fed.


Look at the markings on this one. It looks like Pepe LePew.



This one had the most beautiful mint green eyes.


And that was our day. This morning we're getting off early and making out way to Lake Brownwood State Park. We'll spend just one night there, meeting up with some friends from high school. My friend, Lenelda and I went to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show together a few years back. She and her husband live in Ft. Worth. Lenelda and I graduated high school together. Her husband was in Mike's graduating class. We all went to the same high school. Small world, no?

So, I still owe you another quilt shop, and I'll get to that. For now, I need to be packing up to go down the road.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Alice said...

Looks like a fun day! It is nice to know that there are knee friendly places to go that still challenge you! Love the great rock formations.
And always fun to visit the local kitties. When we were living oversees, I had to take their pictures. We actually brought one home with us. Have a great time with your friends!!!

Brown Family said...

I am so glad you were able to go to Enchanted Rock. It is a beautiful place in a rugged way.
That RV park had a lot of animals!

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

the chickens/roosters are great photos--and Of course I love the cat ones--the first photo though seems like the only friendly cat--the other 3 didn't look like they wanted anyone around!!
Hike looked interesting--it would of been my back that would of been screaming--(well and maybe my knees toooo!!!)
enjoy, di

Anne Kirby said...

Stone Mountain Ga is very much like this. Except for the large dudes on the side. But there is a steep side and a more level side, and there you can cheat and take a tram to the top. But, that's another way to die. Chickens are pretty, I wish I lived where I could have them. Cats, I have. Rest your bum knees and take us on another adventure tomorrow!

Quilting Babcia said...

That looks like a fun hike, and those kitties are just precious, especially lePew!

piecefulwendy said...

Looks like a fun hike. I'm just starting to deal with bum knees, and it's a real pain. Have the kitties settled in with all the kitties outside, or are they still on high alert?

LaDawn Dalley said...

I have very happy memories of Enchanted Rock. My husband and I had recently moved to Texas, and we were starting our new, post-college life. My husband had started working for Texas Instruments in July, and in March they told him he had to use up his vacation days or lose them. I was 5 months pregnant with our first child and finally over the morning sickness. We took a short vacation to the Hill Country. The spring wildflowers were abundant, we stayed in quaint bed and breakfast inns, the weather was perfect, and we were young enough not to have to worry about bum knees! 😀 Talk about the perfect vacation! Thanks for taking me down memory lane!

Beverly Collins said...

I have been loving your trip. I'm not a traveler so I'm vicariously traveling with you guys and the kitties. That gray one in the bottom photo is just like my GG (Gray Girl or Garden Girl depending on what season it is). I have to fight her for my sewing chair. Anytime I go to the bathroom, she slips in and curls up to take a nap! Keep the pictures coming. Loving all those quilt shops as well.

gpc said...

Fascinating geology. At first glance, that odd 'secret spire-like" formation looked like a giant squirrel, facing away from the photo. What lovely cats -- do you feel just a little like you are cheating when you flirt like that?

quiltzyx said...

I think that really is an "enchanted" place. The spire formation reminded me of an otter!
More of the clowder today as well - very nice purrtraits! Maybe the last photo for your Sketchbook could be one of Smitty & Sadie. Just sayin'.

QuiltGranma said...

looks like a good place to visit when it's chilly, before snakes, which I assume will be out sunning soon, come out and get lively! I thought the spire next to your hubby looked like a humungous squirrel as well! Now THAT's really Texas!

Kate said...

It was fun to see the park from your and Mike's perspective. It's been years since we've been there, but it hasn't changed much.