The Hill Country Hikers group I joined on meetup.com is terrific. We have met so many great people who love to walk, hike, and enjoy being in nature.
Saturday morning Bob and I got up early to meet Hill Country Hikers for a day trip to Colorado Bend State Park. The drive each way was over two hours, but well worth it. We enjoy hikes in the parks so much we bought an annual state park pass. But I digress.
We stopped to get a couple of photos on our way to the park...
|The morning sun made these firewheel flowers look translucent.|
|We crossed this on the way into the park.|
|Hill Country Hikers|
|Our trail environs.|
|Bob keeping an eye out for rocks.|
|Fields of brown-eyed Susans|
|Very rocky terrain|
|We crossed streams on stepping stones..carefully!|
|Paul, our leader, taking photos.|
|Rock on - necessary to watch trail at all times!|
|Swimmin' hole on a Saturday afternoon.|
When Paul was able to drag us away from our after-lunch chats, we drove caravan-style in seven vehicles to the Gorman Falls trailhead for the second part of our day trip. Again, the trail was rock strewn or just plain rock.
|What a day! 81 degrees.|
|Rock trails in many places.|
|Prickly pear cactus blooms.|
|Quite a climb down to the falls. |
Even worse going back up!
"Gorman Falls is a unique geologic formation that supports a sensitive ecosystem. The mineral rich spring water deposits layers upon layers of delicate calcite, slowly building up the travertine formations you see here..."This is the type of formation you would see inside a cave, only it is outside; similar to the travertine terraces at Mammoth in Yellowstone National Park. Seeing the amazing formations was a highlight of today's hikes.
|Gorman Falls calcite in travertine formations.|
|Bob soaking in the negative ions from the waterfall.|
|This tree loves its location by the falls.|
|Gorman Spring Trail - cool tree|
|Bob and Susan on Gorman Spring Trail.|
|Gorman Spring pool|
|Cottonmouth water moccasin hiding under brush in Gorman Spring pool.|
Only its tail is visible.
|Looking downriver from Gorman Spring.|
We made one stop at Dairy Queen in Llano for Blizzards, then headed off to the Willow Wildflower Loop Drive to see if wildflowers were blooming in May. We found some. In fact, it looked like there was a new crop of bluebonnets coming up.
|Willow wildflower loop drive.|
Movie review: "The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant," starring Sam Neill and Alex O'Laughlin (of Hawaii 5-0 fame). The movie came out in 2005. This is a historic period piece based on actual events that takes place in 1788. A young Englishwoman is accused of petty theft. Her punishment: to be banished to Australia on one of the first 11 ships to start construction of penal colonies to house criminals from England. The movie is over three hours, but is so interesting it doesn't feel that long. The living conditions on the ships and in Australia are deplorable. You wonder how anyone could live that way. Escape plans are hatched and carried out. I give this movie four out of five stars. We rented it from Netflix.
Travel Bug out.