Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lost Maples, Cool Water Acres

Today I made my annual pilgrimage to Lost Maples state park. I hiked the Maple trail, the East trail and part of the West trail, a hike of a little over 5 miles.
Maybe the new is wearing off after visiting for each of the past several years, or maybe it was the drought, but the scenery didn't seem quite a spectacular this year. Even so, the weather was great, sunny and upper 60s, and it was a nice hike.

Of course I took a few pictures. After looking at them I realized I should have had my date stamp on to prove that these were new. They are almost identical to ones I've taken before. Honestly, I really did go again. Here are a few pictures from the Maple trail.
Then, the obligatory one overlooking Can creek from the top of East trail.
Yes, it is a bit strenuous getting up there. About 2 miles of the trail looks like this. I've done it before with a full pack, so fortunately with no pack today it seemed a bit less difficult than I remembered.
It was a nice trip overall, but I'm hard pressed to say it was any nicer that strolling around Cool Water Acres. Here is a picture I took a few days ago of my cabin here. You can see why it is so tempting to just sit on the porch.
This is probably my last report from here, but I hope to be back on line with a report from Ireland in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aggies 5, Texas 1

Once again I was fortunate enough to be in the area for the Big 12 soccer tournament, so I went into San Antonio for the semifinal round. It was enjoyable, as always, but this time even more so, as I got to watch the Aggies destroy the Longhorns.
Meanwhile, I've been following Gail and others on a mission trip to Thailand, which I could, and perhaps should, have been on in this time slot. You can follow their adventures at .

Since this is my 3rd visit to Bandera, I'm having a hard time getting motivated to revisit places I've been before. I'm happy to just stroll around the property and enjoy the exercise, views and air.

The weather here has been beautiful. The weatherman remarked this past weekend, that the few clouds we were experiencing put an end to 8 straight days without a single cloud in the sky. Meanwhile, the temperatures were consistently in the 70s for highs, with lows in the 30s and 40s.

With the low temperatures, the trees are finally starting to change. I took this picture of the Medina river near the Bandera city park.

The color now is mostly cypress, with the best maple and red oak colors still a few weeks away. I'm not sure how the recent drought followed by a wet fall will effect things, as I've heard conflicting stories from various people. I have seen fewer deer this year, likely as a result of the drought. But, for the first time in this area, I've seen 3 different flocks of wild turkeys. As you can imagine, they are hard to photograph, but I did manage this picture of a flock disappearing into the brush, taken while heading over to Leakey for a singing at the local church.

My time here is nearing an end, which is probably a good thing. I need a new adventure to get me out of my chair. As luck would have it, I'm planning a first ever trip to Ireland with Nicole, Ryan and Jon over Thanksgiving. So, stay tuned...I'm looking forward to reporting on things I've wanted to see.