Wednesday 2/24 Enchanted Rock State Natural Area – Lost Maples State Natural Area
Enchanted Rock is a 62 square mile, 640 acre pink granite dome in the Texas hill country. The park around it includes two lovely campgrounds, a solid playscape, and free ranging cows. I’ve known the park since my days as a wee groofer, and several of the more legendary D&D campaigns of my yute (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6qGwmXZtsE) were played out on the rock. I’m thus deeply biased, but by my estimation, it’s one of the better places in the world, and I was rather excited to share it with my vanpanions.
Breakfast was a diplomatic affair. Enchanted Rock is home to a number of squirrels who formerly inhabited Red Wall Abbey. Their bravery is the stuff of legend. Fear no scourge nor clapping as the saying goes. After a lengthy summit, a treaty was reached. Beans for posed picture, taking said beans out of our hands. But we all knew it could never last. Tensions rose. Too long a period with no exchange. A preemptive strike then. Three approach the enemy head on, chanting their battle cries, drawing suppressing fire. Then one up and over the rear wall. He grabs the cheese and runs with all haste! But alas. Caught by the fowler smelling hooman.
We hiked up the rock after breakfast, ignoring caution signs about slippery granite in rain. There aren’t really paths up or down the dome, so we chose a pretty fun scrambly way up. On the backside we found a wild flower field and a terrific view of the hill country. I think its always funny to visit things I knew as a small person, and realize how much they’ve apparently shrunk. I visited my elementary school recently and found that the playscape, a full size coloseum to shrimpy Lukas, was now smaller than the cat tower my stepmom bought a few years ago. E Rock is apparently an exception though. The view from the top is epic.
That view was also sufficiently expansive to give us lengthy forewarning of the incoming storm. We hastened down, packed up, and headed for our favorite Fit Planet refuge. The storm hit us as we were leaving the park. I haven’t been driving long, so this isn’t saying much, but it was easily the most gnarly thing I’ve driven in. We sat out some of the worst of it in an HEB, during which time we discovered country style canned beans, and then headed back out. Shortly before we arrived we finished season 1 of Dissect, long form musical analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly. I really cannot recommend this podcast enough. The guy who produces the podcast writes extremely well, and is ultimately just such a cutey, and the podcast really explores the reasons this album is one of the best of the decade.
After becoming fit we drove the rest of the way to Lost Maples State Park. We got there before dark, which always feels good, and the first ranger we met had a beautiful woofer with her, so it seemed a good place. Our attempts at a fire were for naught, but Slugger looked really cute around so many trees and we slept niceous.