Sunday, July 26, 2009

Getting Lost and Hitch Hiking in FT Davis

Annie and I, feeling a bit stir crazy, decided on a day of hiking in the Ft Davis Mountains. Normally a trip to Ft Davis only takes an hour and forty minutes, but we opted on stopping in Balmorhea to take a few pictures and collect an assortment of souvenirs. My daughter's idea of souvenirs are wildflowers for pressing, odd shaped rocks and pieces of wood.

We found one of each in Balmorhea and took plenty of pictures for our scrapbook. Nothing beats an old fashioned scrapbook with cool designs and secret fold outs chocked full of tiny little treasures. A trip to Balmorhea usually involves fishing, but since the fish haven't bitten well and the patience of an eight year wears thin, we decided on hiking only.

On the way into Balmorhea we stopped to get some beef jerky from the Laird Ranch. They have different varieties to choose from, such as mild, spicy and really spicy, just to name a few. We stuck with our usual of mild. Once in the picturesque town of Balmorhea we took several pictures of the iron works, water wheel, cool looking trees and the pretty little gazebo.

Today would mark my 7th hiking trip to Ft Davis, so feeling rather confident, I didn't bother with picking up a map. The hike began well, the temperature a bit on the high side, but overall, a cradle rocking breeze aided in cooling things off nicely. The elevation change within the park is only about 1,000 feet, which isn't much compared to other mountains, but it presented itself enough of a challenge for myself and Annie. Annie of course had questions about wild animals, such as bears and cougars. I assured her that I'd only seen deer, hawks and javelinas in the past and have never run across any of those other beasts. She still wanted to practice her escaping bears and cougars technique by climbing a tree as quickly as she could. (which wasn't very quick...she'd be bear cub food for sure)

The hike was going pretty well, we'd only stopped for about eight shade and water breaks, but I could tell that little Annie was getting a bit tired and grumpy. The trail ended at an scenic overlook which you had to go back down and have a choice of going back the way you came, a bike trail, or another pedestrian trail. Since the rocks had been very loose and a bit difficult to traverse we opted for the bike trail thinking it would be more accommodating and manageable. Now, the bike trail wasn't marked or warned that if taken it would lead you a mile and a half away from the park, down to the high way, nor did it state anything about if you have an extremely exhausted child you shouldn't take this trail. After walking for almost another forty five minutes, the trail ended at the park boundary blocked by a metal gate with the highway on the other side. We climbed the fence and proceeded to walk the high way up the road back to the park entrance. By this time, my grumpy child had turned into a very grumpy child and demanded that we hitch hike. Since I aim to please...we did just that. Thank goodness, a sweet lady named Jan and her little boy, Stevie, in a mini van strolled by. I hadn't realized I'd left the video camera running...below is the life saving ride back to the park. Very, very grateful.

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