I think this is why I like hiking so much. In the span of a few hours on the Cotton Belt Trail, I went from feeling good in the cool cloudy weather, to miserable and soaking wet in a downpour, to a state of awe at seeing a magnificent rainbow at the end of the trail.
If you go walking at the Domain on a Friday evening, you can experience several things. You can stop and admire the red roses. You can catch a rock band playing on the Great Lawn stage. Drop in at Flaming Pizza and build your own pizza creation. Make friends with a grackle who really just wants to taste a bit of your pizza. And as you walk back, you can catch the sun as it begins to set behind the power lines. Not too bad for a Friday evening.
This hike had a lot of features. You first traced along the rim of a canyon, with fields to your right side and a sheer drop off to your left side. Then after a few butterflies and a bluejay sighting, the trail rolled off into the canyon and across a dried up stream bed. Up a hill, and then an option for a steeper hill trail, but I was running out of sunlight. Then get lost a little bit, take a wrong turn, watch the doves fly out of the grasses as I approached them, discover a groovy treehouse someone has created, turn back to the canyon trail, hope this version takes me out of the canyon and not further into it, by a dried up pond, listen to the frogs kick off their nightly songs, up a hill, and back towards the welcome sight of the power lines that lead me to my air conditioned car. All accomplished just before the sun sets on the other side of the canyon. Fun times!
I returned to Lakeway again this evening to continue exploring the parks and trails here. The Canyonlands Park is a great place for roaming around. You follow the humming power lines into the canyon area, and then you hike around and get lost. It is a nice series of trails, so don’t tell too many people about our secret. 🙂
I got out of work a little bit later than I had hoped. I looked for a nearby walking opportunity before the sun was scheduled to set, and decided to try the Round Rock West Greenbelt Trail – power lines, greenbelt, and 0.88 miles of asphalt walking path. I found birds, lightning bugs, a rabbit, the Lake Creek, and a nice sized deer that followed by me on the path for a short while. Overall, a cool, short walk at sunset.
If you hike to the top of the ridge at St. Edwards Park, you will get a good workout and also find yourself beneath the buzz of the power lines. There is a road where the park borders the Preserve area that is closed to the public beginning on March 1st. I need to remember to come back earlier in the year next year.