In 2013, I now have been hiking Cedar Ridge Preserve regularly and Cedar Hill SP sparingly. I like this hiking thing but I just do not know where to start or where to go. I get on a map website and look around my area and find Windmill Hill Preserve. Hiking spot #3, that is close by so I check it out and it has some good elevation changes and some good views. It also has trail signs on the ground on a four inch by four inch stone. The trails are open in some parts and down right creepy in others but overall a good place in the daytime.
OK lets get to the Oklahoma part of this blog. Why might you ask I leave the comforts of a ten minute drive to go to Oklahoma to hike? One of the kids of course, my son was going on a recruiting trip to Oklahoma so I decided to hike some trails near the college. I had the opportunity to go to several trails and some fantastic views of Oklahoma’s natural beauty but of course I could only find two places and one did not even have a paved road. First I believe I went to the Echota Public Use Area(never heard of it), the one with a dirt road leading to the “public use area.” I glad I was in an SUV or this drive would have been impossible. While driving I swore I heard banjos in the background and when I got to the trailhead I found the guy that could have been playing the banjo. This guy was as friendly as you can get but was looking like the definition of backwoods. The trail was short and not marked well at all.
The second place was Greenleaf State Park(never heard of it). The drive to the park was very nice. Winding roads views of the mountains and small towns here and there. Their was also an Army Base out there in the middle of nowhere. This is the first park I have been to where you sign in and out at the trailhead so they know you made it out. The trail was very narrow but had plenty of streams crossing with small bridges to keep my attention, It was a nice place to hike and if you wanted to fish this was definitely the place.
Part 2 State2 will take me Arkansas and a near death experience twice.
We again in 2011 to back to Estes Park but this time I had plans to hike four local peaks. I had to get into better shape. So for a few months before we left on vacation I starting hiking two local hiking spots. First was a return to Ceder Ridge Preserve, the best hilly spot to hike in the DFW area. The hills are steep and pretty long.
The second place was Cedar Hill State Park. I love this park and when all trails are open the trail system is amazing. The park surrounds Joe Pool Lake and it has a pond hidden off on a side trail. At one time you could actually see both AT&T Stadium in Arlington and Texas Stadium in Irving, it would have been a nice picture.
So off we go to our second trip to Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. The first day we did some mile high hiking in the Rocky Mountain NP and found some great spots but not the 9000-12000 elevation peaks I was planning on doing. The first peak which I cannot remember the name was 9300 feet and we got to the base and could not find the trailhead. The second was Twin Sisters East Peak at 11500 but that did not work out well either. Dade and I found the trailhead but hiked in the wrong direction. We got back on the correct trail and at 11000 and above treeline we both got altitude sickness and we went back down. The failure was amazing with views that literally made me breathless.
I also decided to schedule us for some non city adventure so this time was ATVing through the mountains. My worst idea ever because it turned into ATVing on the mountain. It was about as scary as anything I have ever done. It was not what I expected. After an ATV accident, my quest for the last two peaks was over. BTW, I was not the one in the accident.
I was still not as hooked on hiking as I am now but the spark was now a little flame. I was mad at the two hike attempt failures but intrigued at what I saw on the other hikes but I was still out of shape to do any major hikes to the best places in the park.
Stay tuned for my return to Colorado in 2013. You might even find out if this was the trip that made me an avid hiker. Plus I found another close by hiking spot to go along with the Cedar Ridge Preserve and Cedar Hill SP.
I started my hiking adventures in 2009 but did not get serious until 2014. The 6 years in between I have been on and off hiking trips. I 2016 I took my serious thoughts and put them into action. I digress, let us go back to pre 2009.
As a family we took vacations around the kids sporting activities which meant going to San Antonio, Austin or Houston, then we decided to take real vacations. We did South Padre Island prior to kids sports and then Galveston during kids sports. It was hot so we went to the beach places. In 2009 we decided to do something a little different, go to a cooler place. We choose to go to Estes Park, Colorado ( I never heard of it-recurring theme). I did some research and loved the fact that we would be by the Rocky Mountains.
The trip is where my spark for hiking started but it was not quite a fire. I got a taste of hiking to waterfalls and the views of the mountains were something I have never seen in my life.
I also wanted to do something we have never done before that seemed adventurous and that something city folk did not do too much of. I booked us a whitewater rafting trip.
I will move on to 2011 in the next post. Lastly this is also the first time I had seen “real” wildlife on a vacation.
I starting this blog to let those people who might get lost in all these web pages and stumble upon my humble blog. It will be filled with hiking stories of the places I have visited and dotted with a dry sense of humor. Follow me as I trek my way across Texas as well as previous adventures in Colorado, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I will also have pictures and possibly a video if possible.
I currently live in the DFW area. I have taught and coached in the Dallas ISD and now work in the Arlington ISD as an educational Diagnostician. I am often trail running, road running or hiking all around Texas and the surrounding states. Writing is not my specialty so do not expect Pulitzer Prize worthy information just some good fun blogging.
This is the post excerpt.
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.