More Wanderlust

So yesterday, I used my State Holiday Comp Time (thanks, LBJ!) and went to Enchanted Rock, outside Fredericksburg.  I hadn’t been there in about 15 years; I need to go more often.  A lot of people come to Austin to do the hipster stuff, but it really is worth it to take a day and go out there – an easy 90 minute trip.  I’d been to the Steely Dan concert two nights before, so I was jamming out to those tunes on the way down.  That was my first ‘pop music’ concert – very interesting experience.  I really enjoyed it except the woman behind me who almost perforated my ear drums with her whistling.   But I digress…

I got there about 9:30 and essentially had the park to myself until about noon.  Unfortunately, it was an ozone-action day, so a bit hazy, but otherwise very nice.  I did the four-mile loop trail first, with a detour down the Turkey Pass Trail, and then did the summit climb – 425 feet ascent in about 0.6 miles.  That was a killer.  It reminded me of when we hiked Croagh Patrick in Ireland, except that Croagh Patrick kept going on, and on, and on, and on.

Anyroad, here are some of the sights.

The Flora  I was surprised to find lots of things blooming.  We’d just had several days of rain in the Hill Country, so perhaps these plants were taking advantage of it.  Lots of cactus with ruby red tunas; it reminded me of the southwest version of the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz.  Apart from the cacti, I don’t know what any of these are.

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Loop Trail  This is a mostly flat area around the granite dome that is Enchanted Rock.  This is what Central Texas and the Hill Country is supposed to look like – a mix of prairie and various scrub oaks.  My third great uncle, James Phillips Hudson, was the State of Texas surveyor in the 1830s and 40s and surveyed most of the land that is now Gillespie, Blanco, and LLano counties, including the Enchanted Rock area.  He was also a member of the 1st Texas Legislature, representing Fayette County.  It was interesting to think I was walking in his footsteps almost 200 years later.

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This is Moses Lake.

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The Summit   After I caught my breath after getting to the top, I got some great panorama shots.

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I managed to get a photo of one of the buzzards at the ‘water holes’ on top.

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Also at the top are chasms where several of the larger boulders have crashed together as well is little ‘islands’ where yuccas and cacti have taken hold.

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