Monday, December 2, 2013

My Kind of Walk, Palmetto Is - Sun., Dec. 1 (Part 1)

Last week on my birthday, we did a reconnaissance drive through part of south central Texas and decided we needed to go back and spend more time. Sunday, we did that.

Palmetto State Park was our first stop where we completed a 10K (6.2 mi.) Volksmarch consisting of many of the park trails plus side trips to a BPOE Memorial and an old cemetery on a hill. We signed in at the State Park HQ where the walk box was located and picked up the directions for the walk.

The start point was at The Refectory in the park. The Refectory was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). It's a large, covered pavilion with picnic tables, kitchen and a fireplace. When it was built, the roof was thatched with palmetto fronds.

The Refectory - start and end point of the walk.
From The Refectory, we hiked off into the park. We walked through the RV campground on our way to the first trail. Each site has a fire pit with grate, a smoker, and a picnic table.

RV camping at Palmetto State Park
And here we go, off into the woods...

Info about Dwarf Palmettos
Water tower built by the CCC.
Palmetto Trail.
Palmettos - Dwarf palms.
Ottine Swamp Trail wasn't on our walk but we investigated anyway.
We found a Swamp Monster!

Erosion from recent flooding exposed roots.
Oh, hello deer!

Bridge across San Marcos River - erosion on bank from recent flooding.

Stately trees.
Delicate flowers.
On the trail around Oxbow Lake.
Historic Ottine Cemetery

Oxbow Lake paddleboats
Artesian well/springs.

Artesian well.
Camp host site.
Smokers at each camp site.
When we crossed the San Marcos River, there was a depth marker for the water level. It looked like the San Marcos River Flood from November 2013 crested around 23'. They had to evacuate the campground, but they got everyone out safely. When we hiked, we could see debris up on the trees. The power of water is amazing!

Stay tuned for Sunday, part 2 - exploring historic Gonzales, Texas on foot.

Travel Bug out.