Life Verse:

"...I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." -- JESUS in John 10:10

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hiking Swayback Bridge Trail - 02/18/2012

Hike: Swayback Bridge Trail, Sat., 2/18/2012, 09:00-11:30
Distance: 5 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy  Conditions: Partly cloudy to cloudy.  Sprinkling rain by end of hike.  Trials wet from recent rains.  Quite a few mountain bikers on the trails today.  Hiked with Glenn.
Great hike though cut a little short by impending rain.  Enjoyed the hike with my brother.  We don't get to do this often enough.  Temperatures were nice (mid 50s) with no wind.

Frogs were vociferous today!  Woodland violets were blooming and birds were singing -- the promise of Spring!

Future Hike: East Texas’ Big Thicket National Preserve - Scouting magazine

Perhaps a hiking/backpacking trip to East Texas is in order in the near future:

Travel to East Texas’ Big Thicket National Preserve - Scouting magazine

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Beautiful Hike - Barton's Beach - 02/04/2012

Hike: Barton's Beach Nature Preserve, Perry Co.; Sat., 02/04/2012, 10:00-12:30CST
Distance: 5 miles  Rating: 4.5/5
Difficulty: Easy
Conditions: Very mild temps (low 70s). Light wind. Mostly cloudy. Chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
Did not take my dSLR camera today because I feared rain.  Turns out I could have used it since rain held off until the end of the hike.  "Hindsight is 20/20"...

Observed a huge amount of birds; mostly ducks, herons, and robins.  The robins were especially numerous along the trail just before Secret Lake.  Chipmunk, squirrel, and white tail deer were also among the wildlife observed.  The area is thick with a vast number of cypress, tupelo, yellow poplar, and black gum trees.  Noticed that the red maples were blooming!  Thankfully this area was spared wind damage from the previous months storms.  (Unlike the area around Maplesville, which had hundreds of trees blown down.)

Hiked several of the trails: Barton's Beach Trail, Secret Lake Trail, Eagle Trail, Yellow Poplar Trail, Devil's Walking Stick Trail, Hatchery Trail, Slough Trail, and Round Lake Trail.  I particularly enjoyed the "new" Secret Lake Trail.  The Judson Earth Team did a great job in laying out the trail and constructing the bridge.  Kudos to them.

Secret Lake has remained a secret because of the difficulty in getting there.  The new trail opens up an almost magical area.  The cypress-filled lake and huge fan-palms feels like Florida to me.  It is a tranquil and serene place.  Thank YOU, LORD, for this place and YOUR love.

Was glad I wore my Gortex hikers -- they kept my feet dry through several soggy areas.  I recommend that you always wear Gortex hiking boots while exploring this ox-bow/riparian area.

The Cahaba was up and a bit faster than normal due to the recent rains.  The white sand beach was still visually stunning.