Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Woo Hoo, it's official!

Gonna go back packing in the Lost Maples for a little over nighter next weekend. I'm so excited because I've never done anything other than a day hike. Now the big question of the day...what to pack? I will need plenty of water, a small tent, a sleeping bag, and food that doesn't need cooking. I think I'll fill my pack tonight with stuff and walk around with it all this week to get an idea of what I'm in for. Anybody want to join us?

Bee Suck Hollow pictures!

Finally pics from Bee Suck! Don't forget you can click on the images to see them larger. It's worth it. Trail head. There were some nice shady places on this hike.
About to head into deep cover for a while...
Deep cover..Mykel about to disappear through tunnel ahead of me.
So lush. That's the Leon river.
Parts of the trail were treacherous and I wouldn't recommend bringing small children. This is me pointing the camera down to my right. It's a drop off that is at least 30 feet to the bottom. The trail here is sloped not level! The soil and rock are very loose. It was bad enough dry, but I can't imagine anyone trying to get across this section while muddy.
Another view of drop off section. I still can't believe how dangerous this part was. It would be so easy to lose your footing here and fall with nothing to stop you!
Ok, last perspective on the dangerous part. This is Mykel behind me. Notice how her left knee is bent? Yep it's a slope alright, and that's a steep incline to her right. It only gets worse as she starts coming up to where I'm standing.. All that under foot is very loose soil and rock. Nope, I would not let a kid walk this trail. The green on the right hides the gully below.
A tangle of trees. Some parts looked like this, where it was all jungly and viney looking.
I call it a horse apple. I don't know what others call it.
Horse apple that looks like it exploded.
We climbed up out of this and were most definitely off trail! The blue bottle marked our spot for our climb back down after walking on top of the ridge for a while.
Up on top of the ridge (off trail) we had to navigate through many patches like this.
Still off trail on top of ridge
A long way down
More on top
Black turkey vultures riding thermals over valley below. Close up of black headed turkey vulture. I love it when animals pose for the camera.
Huge ant. I'm uncertain of the species, but it was about 3/4 of an inch long!
Blue skies and green trees. I liked the color from this view point.

Little savannahIt was hard work cutting down these trees, but we did it! Just kidding. :)
The wall. This is part of the Belton Dam. Some mural huh?
A different perspective
Close up
Even closer
Far away. This was the last part of our hike before heading back to the car

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yesterday's little walk about

We walked a short two miles on a suburban trail that was pretty nice. It was a typical back yard trail with huge houses up in the hills on either side of the small valley we were in.

We saw a herd of deer moving through the trees above us, quietly at first, but then they got spooked as we got closer and they started to dash. I love watching deer run through the forest, especially when they are not quiet about it.

The geo-cache we found sucked and I got bitten or stung by something on the leg. What fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An artist worth mentioning...

Tim Reynolds. Check him out!

Hiking at Bee Suck Hollow

I forgot to write up my hike log for last Sunday. I'm slipping.

So we went to Bee Suck Hollow which is out at Lake Belton. This was a GREAT hike! I got so many cool pictures but they are all on Mykel's camera. Once I get them from her, I'll put them up.

We didn't use a map on this one, but explored all over. A fun little adventure it was. The wildlife we saw or heard was a nice bonus. A large buck ran out in front of us across the trail and that was exciting. We saw a nice black headed vulture perched on a dead tree. We heard a bone chilling screech from some kind of large bird. We saw a tremendous catfish down in the Leon river. We saw tiny little frogs in a stream that were positively adorable(I love frogs). And I saw two sleek and shiny reddish brown lizards that were small and squirmy. Strange little things, but cute!

So, the trails were beautiful. Much of it was spent going through green tunnels in deep shade which was lovely. We seem to be enjoying a lot of those lately. However, a good section of our hike we ended up off trail. We climbed up the steep slope through very dense forest and hill country scrub to the base of a cliff, which we followed along pushing our way through trees and climbing up and over rocky outcroppings. That was pretty hard core. We ended up on top of the ridge or plateau and found a peaceful place to rest in the shade.

This was a hot day according to the weather man(100 degrees)but the heat didn't bother us while out in the sun. I think we are getting used to it. The very last part of the hike we had a good hill to climb in full sun, and it felt great! I don't know the elevation, but it was a heart pumper.

One more note worthy thing. I found out yesterday that my best friend's dad built those trails with his hippy friends back in the day. She has been all over those trails as a kid. Cool. I want her to come out there with me sometime. :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I love blogs

Several of my friends have blogs now and they are sites I frequent. It's so entertaining to read about their lives and such, and sometimes inspiring too. I have many humerous witty friends and am happy for the entertainment their writing brings.

"Pink Momma", if you are reading this I want you to know your blog is one of the funniest I frequent. Jeff, if you are reading this...you need to get with the program dude and update your blog! Trina, your blog is really great too and I enjoy seeing and reading about the kiddos. "Atheist in a Mini Van", I love your new blog and can't wait to read more!

Cheers everyone,

Friday, August 18, 2006

According to Hot or Not...

I'm an 8.6 on a scale of 1-10. Are these people BLIND?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I've said it before...

Our own Barton Creek Greenbelt is such a fine treat of a hike. The cover is lush and the breezes are refreshing. The hills we claimed were scenic and put us in some amazing surroundings where we found some fun caches. Gotta love that!

This was a through hike and came close to the six mile mark. The trail wound it's way through tunnels of green and the surroundings sometimes felt like a fairy tale forest to me. At times the clouds would cover the sun and the effect of deep shade was notable. I liked it...alot.

I plan on doing this again soon on my own. I think I will also tackle the "Hill of Life". I wish I had brought my camera this time around. It's sad that I missed so many cool photo opportunities. Oh well, next time I go I'll take pics.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

You haven't seen me in a while...

Today's Hike and a Sweet Cache

We went to Pedernales Falls today and hiked one of the trails out there. I don't know the name of the trail, but it may be called Trammel's Crossing. The beginning of the trail had us walking down into a valley for a good ways. This was the ascent we would have to look forward to at the end of a six mile hike. I was told it was a five mile hike, but my pedometer read over six. Once down to the river bottom, we crossed Trammel's Crossing which can be hazardous, especially if the water is rushing. Today there was no rushing water, just a bunch of wobbly rocks to navigate over. It was fun!

On the other side of the crossing was a good ascent that lasted for a while before leveling out and becomming flat. We walked for several miles on top. There were maybe two more good climbs before the final descent and then final climb out of the river bottom on the way back to the trail head. This is where I fell to one knee after slipping on shale like rock going down a steep incline. That little mishap cost me a gouged knee that bled pretty good for a while. I didn't feel any pain, only blood trickling down my leg into my sock as I walked on. Another memento I bring home. *GRIN*

Our resting place in an old settlers' grave yard proved to be most enjoyable. It was in forest cover and the breeze coming off the tops of the hills over our supine bodies felt amazing. We all lay in silence for the longest time while taking in the sounds of a symphony of insects. It was a most enjoyable experience.
The cache at this place was also a great one. I took pictures of it and left a lock of my hair there locked up in a diary. The diary was so cool! I was flipping through it and came across a small dreadlock that belonged to none other than Mykel. She left it there in 2004. It was funny finding it, and Mykel knew it was there but never said a word. To think I almost didn't look inside the diary for fear it would be blank. I'm so glad I was compelled to look.

I felt renewed on this trek. Even while out in the sun it was great. I generally hate hiking in the sun on a hot day, but the humidity was lower and there was a slight breeze which made it feel just right. Our next adventure takes us to the Barton Creek Greenbelt on a 7 mile straight through trek. I can't wait!
Trammel's crossing. We had to go over the rocks to the right of the picture. We even had a little helping hand from some of the waders who were already in the water. How nice of them!
Looking up river or down? Not sure.
Out in the sun.
A settler's grave
Resting spot. Mykel hunts for snacks.
Special Effects!
Back of Monarch travel bug. This thing was so cool and it was heavy too.
Front of travel monarch
Some of the cache contents. I took the little blue car button.
The diary.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My latest obsession

So I think I've about lost my mind...sorta. I decided a few days ago that I am going to convert my garage into a music/recreational room complete with drums, guitars, games, and maybe even a ping pong table...if I can sqeeze it in. Of course this means I'll have to sound proof so my neighbors don't hassle me, and I'm sure my husband will be happy for the sound proofing too. In addition to keeping everyone happy by not disturbing their peaceful existence, I have acoustics to think about. All that sound has to go somewhere right? But for now, I think insulating has to be my priority. I can work on acoustics later.

Incidentally, I figured it would be a while before I could get a decent drum set because they are so costly. I spent time looking around on the internet and yeah...just don't have the funds for that right now. Just when I was starting to feel defeat, I had a bright idea. I have a friend named Jamie who has a kick ass drum set (with double base drums)! She has been keeping them set up in a storage unit and when she feels like playing she just goes and opens up her unit and plays. I remembered her mentioning that she can't afford her rent, so I'll make a little proposal...

Yes! Jamie is going to keep her drums here! Now I really need to buckle down and figure this sound proofing thing out and quick. I did some internet research and so far it's looking complicated and costly. But surely there are plenty of ways to sound proof a room...I'm thinking heavy blankets, foam pads, carpet, etc...

I called the police department to ask about the laws and if it's even legal to play drums in my garage in a residential area. It turns out the officer who answered my call has been a musician for about 30 years and he gave me advice on the subject. He said to turn myself in now...because I'm obviously insane. Yeah whatever...I knew this already. It's nothing new. The nice policeman said basically no matter what time of day it is, if my neighbors call and complain, I have to stop the noise..er I mean music. Bummer.

So, I'm off to do some research. Wish me luck in my newest endeavor, I'll need it!