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plectrudis's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 28 (Rank: 9th) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 103.58 Miles (Rank: 8th)
Average Distance: 3.70 Miles

Average Rating: (3.39)
Average Difficulty: (1.97)
Average Solitude: (2.67)

Earliest Log Entry: 9/21/2015
Latest Log Entry: 10/21/2017

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

Entrance to the caves

Entrance to the caves - awesome rock formations [Longhorn Cavern State Park]

Log Entries

Butterflies galore, shady trails
Purgatory Creek Natural Area - 10/21/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: N/A

Like a lot of trails in Texas, this one's enjoyability depends heavily on the weather.  Today it was a solid 4, but when it's hot and humid out, it's more of a 3.

Highlights--a poop-ton of butterflies!  It's October, and there are butterflies all over the place.

Nice lunch spot in the bed of the now-dry creek, under a rocky, ferny bluff.

Good shade coverage for much of the hike.

Saw a neat green snake climbing an oak tree.

Another big oak totally festooned with Spanish moss.

Nice scenic overlook.

Plenty enough trail to get a nice, long hike.

Negatives:

When you're hot and tired, the hike up from the creek to the hilltop can be a chore.

A lot of ankle-twisty rocks.

Gnats and mosquitos can be bad in the creek valley.

Pleasant, easy trail with nice native plantings
Mel Bilich Karst Preserve - 10/9/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 0.25 Mile Duration: N/A

This is a really short trail, but the caves are a nifty feature, and the trails are dotted with nice pockets of native landscaping.  I combined it ith Dick Nichols and the Latta Greenbelt to make a decent ~3.5 mi hike.

A varied combo of urban walks/hikes
Dick Nichols Park - 10/9/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.25 Miles Duration: N/A

I walked the loop on the right side of Beckett and then crossed and did the leg of the Latta Greenbelt.  Not sure if I did all of it--it appeared to dead end at a library or community center, and I couldn't pick it back up.

The loop, which is mostly paved, is pretty busy, but I only ran into a few people in the greenbelt.  The shade on the loop was particularly pleasant. 

I was a little disappointed there wasn't a better trail connecting to the adjacent Karst Preserve--there were some wading-through-the-grass-and-chiggers kinds of trails, but nothing that looked official.  When you put all three parks together (Dick Nichols, Latta Greenbelt, and Karst Preserve) you can get a good 3.5 miles or more, which is just the right length for an after-work hike.  The combo was kind of fun--part neighborhood trail, part city park, part hiking trail, plus a bit threading across a retail block to get to the karst--quite a varied experience.  You'll never forget you're in the middle of a city, though.

Moonlight Tour
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Savanna Meadow Trail - 10/5/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 2.90 Miles Duration: N/A

We took one of the Wildflower Center's Moonlight Tours of the gardens--this included the woodland trail and the arboretum (which I think is the same as the restoration/research trail also documented on this site).

The arboretum showed up best by full moon, with the prairie looking bright and silvery in the moonlight, and the trees as moody sporadic silhouettes.

Overall, there were rather fewer night-specific features than I had hoped, though it was a pleasant change to experience the center when it's mostly empty and not so hot.

The entire tour was a little less than 3 miles.

Beautiful views, some steepish bits
St. Edwards Park - Hill Trail - 10/2/2017  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 3.75 Miles Duration: N/A

Parked at the main lot and hiked east to the dam (crossed on the rocks below the dam).  Stumbled around a bit trying to find the real trail on the far side--would have been easier if I had crossed by the eastern mini-parking lot.

Some of the hilltop views from this trail are really beautiful, and the copious cedars mean that the hike has a lovely, spicy smell.

I didn't have time to go into the golden-cheeked warbler preserve, unfortunately, but it was nevertheless quite a nice hike.  There are some inclines that are a bit aggressive, which is either a good thing or an annoying thing, depending on your preferences, but in between there were plenty of mostly level bits.

Botanizing was a mixed bag--SO MANY junipers and silktassels, over and over--but I did spot a pretty little native orchid and a gnarly old escarpment black cherry, so that was nifty.