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This my blog enjoy stay awhile. I will be as entertaining as possible with stories and pictures in the blog section and videos under the other stuff section. Mostly I will chronicle my adventures to becoming a hiker as a sidebar to trail running. Hopefully I will have a before and after weight lose story also.

Longhorn Cavern State Park

I have hiked many different types of places this summer.  I hiked canyons, mountains, rivers and lakes.  I did not actually hike in rivers and lakes but you know what I mean.  I finally got around to caverns.  I have driven past this park many times but never thought of going to check it out.  Now was the perfect time with 100 degree temperatures outside and the caves keep a constant 68 degrees.  The park is located in Burnet, Tx and is five minutes away from Inks Lake State Park.

I started my hike by doing the trail that is outside.  The park has a flat short trail that overlooks the hill country.  The goes past a CCC observation tower and cabin.  The trail has one really nice view of the hill country and the dam.  The hike was quick and only about a mile or so long.20190724_081507.jpgLooking over the hill country20190724_091513.jpgThe observation tower20190724_091704.jpgThe cabin

The second part of the hike was in the caverns.  These were a different looking of caverns than I thought they would look like.  Most caverns are filled stalagmites and stalactites but there only on section like this.  They tour was nice and I saw plenty of half dollar sized bats.  The history of the caverns was nice to hear.  I have never tried taking pictures in caverns and most of them did not come out.  It was more difficult than I thought.  I could not get the camera to focus.  The hike lasted an hour and a but was only two miles long.  The pace was a bit slow for my taste but I had a wonderful time.20190724_100209.jpgNo really but a nice sign20190724_100720.jpgStairs leading to the caverns20190724_101629.jpgOne of the better pictures20190724_102248.jpgTrying to get the length of the caverns20190724_103953.jpgThe ceiling20190724_105826.jpgSurreal picture20190724_111122.jpgThe little bat

Training for Something

Since my weekend race is the Habanero 30K, I have been heat training for over a month.  The race starts at noon in central Texas and yes it is August.  I am still keeping my eyes on the prize which is the October 100K.  I like the no real training guide method of training.  I see other runners staying to a strict running regiment and using a coach.  It seems to work for some runners but I do think I would like to be told when and how much to run daily.  As my blogging might tell a little about myself, I do things randomly.  I write randomly, I think randomly and I train randomly.  I have fun on my training runs.  I switched from road running to trail running because it is more enjoyable.  Do my training methods work?  So far so good except for once  but I did barely finish.

For this weekend I have put in a ton of very hot and humid miles.  Most of my training runs have been at the hottest time of the day.  I have been running hills on the trails since there are no sandy trails in my area.  I am guessing running hills is just as hard as running in sand.  I also did a 105 floor stair run.  It took me three days to recover.  My calves were not ready to run up stairs for that long.  I am “tapering” this week with shorter runs but am going much faster.  I do not know what that means but I do not need speed for this weekend.  I have not had any gym workouts as I planned but I will get there eventually. I feel good but under prepared.  I keep hearing this race is a beast and I am about to find out.

Inks Lake State Park Again

I am back at Inks Lake State Park.  I have one more trail here to hike and I would have hiked the entire park.  I hiked Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail and that was it.  This is one of my favorite trails now.  The trail travels along the banks and cliffs overlooking Inks Lake.  The lake level was the lowest I have ever seen and the waterfall was dry.  I still enjoyed this trail and also seeing some people cliff diving into the lake.

The hike was peaceful and not many people on the trail.  Most of the people were in the lake because it was another hot day in central Texas.  I found different ways to get up and down the rock formations.  I was trying to find the correct angles to get some good pictures.  The only drawback was once again no Milky Way picture.  The rest of the time was great.20190723_182210.jpgTrying to get all the colors of the park20190723_182714.jpgI love the way the rocks enter in the lake20190723_183417.jpgThe cliff jumping area20190723_191134.jpgLake level view20190723_182327.jpgBalancing rock20190723_181455.jpgWhere the waterfall use to be.

Another wonderful time at Inks Lake.

Caprock Canyon State Park Canyon Rim Trail

This trail was within walking distance of my campsite and although it is not a very long or a difficult trail the views were amazing.  I walked passed the prairie dog area and there was the trailhead.  I got out early in the morning and was the only one on the trail.  The temperature was relatively cool but the horseflies were driving me nuts.  The trail followed the rim of a small part of the canyon, hence the name.  The canyon colors were on full display and the depth of the canyon was easily seen up close and personal.

The trail is a loop so I started on the prairie side of the trail and finished with the canyon rim side on the way back.  The prairie side had great views of the other side of the park with the colorful vistas.  The rim side of the trail overlooks the canyon.20190718_075657.jpgThe prairie side of the trail with red rock in the background20190718_075702.jpgThe white rock background off of the prairie side20190718_080920.jpgI like the mix of colors20190718_083300.jpgTrying to get the depth of the canyon20190718_083546.jpgLooking down at the canyons layers20190718_092404.jpgFinally got a picture of the entrance on the way out.

Bonus pictures20190718_081232.jpg20190718_084714.jpg

Running and more Running

Training in the heat is going better than I thought it would go.  I got 175 miles in July.  The total miles surpassed my best month by over 20 miles.  I am slowly building up my mileage per run also getting several 7-10 mile runs.  I still do not like long runs.  I am not fast so long runs take up a bunch of time.  I do, time on my feet runs, which last from two and half to three hours.

My races this month include Habanero 30K and Six-0 Ranch Half Marathon.  They will be my long runs and to see where my fitness is at by the end of the month.  My previous hip injury has been nagging a bit but nothing major.  My knees are feeling good.  I am surprised because I am running six to eight days in a row.

I am going to start to incorporate gym workouts twice a week to build core strength.  My weight is down to 253 and I want to be around 235 by the time I run my 100K.  I should be able to lose 18 pounds in 12 weeks but it is going to be tough. Back to the heat and hills.

Caprock Canyon State Park Eagle Point Trail

I was back for the third time at Caprock Canyon State Park.  I wanted to hike two different trails that I did not get to the first time I was here.  First, Eagle Point Trail is a two mile out and back trail that goes to the natural tunnel and bridge.

I got on the trail later than expected due to the 100+ degree temperature.  The temperature never went down too much but it was a dry desert heat.  Hiking here was much different than hiking in the hill country which was very humid.  Although the temperature was hotter in the panhandle of Texas, I did not sweat as much as I did in the south of Texas.  The trails were not occupied by people but the bison rerouted me twice. I started down Eagle Point Trail and about a half mile in a bison was camped out around one of the corners.  I decided that the bison could have the trail and back tracked to the trailhead. 20190717_190525.jpgMy friend peeking around the corner.

I started my second attempt on the trail from the other trailhead.  The views were impressive as usual.  This place is so large that you could hike for days and see something different each day.  20190717_192700.jpgStart of the other trailhead.20190717_192845.jpgHere I go again.20190717_193352.jpgThe natural bridge and tunnel area with my shadow.20190717_200557.jpgSun setting in the canyon20190717_201509.jpgFavorite picture of the day20190717_203358.jpgI am in a ditch trying to avoid another bison.  I was a half mile from the trailhead again.20190717_190050.jpgFirst time seeing a horned toad this big.

I miss this park already.

Guadalupe River State Park

I have been intrigued by this park for a long time.  I have heard great things about this park.  The Guadalupe River flowing through a picturesque park with high vistas, I thought this would be a great park to visit.  I think I put this park on such a high pedestal.  I really liked to park but it was crowded and the trail system was fairly simple.  I would have liked for the trail system to run along the river longer and less people.  The amount of people cannot be controlled by the park.  The park is attached to the Honey Creek SNA which is available by guided tour only.  I will need to do that hike and see what the other side has to offer.

The park is located in Spring Branch, TX which is north of San Antonio.  This is in the hill country of Texas and a great area to hike all of the state parks.  It is a great park if you like fishing or floating and playing in a river.  The hiking is good but it is more of a water park.

The trails went through many different  types of landscapes.  They past lakeside, vistas and prairie lands.  The trail was very rocky but that is not unusual for this area of Texas.  There was not much elevation gain on the trails even though they start on the river and end overlooking the river from a bluff.20190708_161635.jpgThis part of the river was moving pretty good.20190708_161857.jpgThe river looked like this but full of people.20190708_163920.jpgMy favorite part of the hike looking down on the river.20190708_163955.jpgNear the edge of the cliff.20190708_171401.jpgHiking through a large open prairie.