Inks Lake TX -- Green trails, blue trails, etc. 4/4/12

Wow, what a difference: I mentioned that yesterday's low temp was 73° - today's low was 52°. Hallelujah, we'll take it!  When we set out for our hike at 10:15 am, the temp hadn't reached 60 yet, so we dressed for cool. Dumb, because the day warmed up. The majority of both Green and Blue trails is considered rough and rocky, over broken ground (but very scenic). We hiked 4+ miles and we got hot fast!

Inks Lake was created as a means of flood control for the 900-mile Colorado River (all in Texas) which flows thru this Hill Country. Pink rocky outcrops called Valley Spring Gneiss jut up thru the surrounding limestone and support a wide array of wildflowers, cactus, and grasses. Oh, we SAW wildflowers - every description, size and color - carpets of Indian blanket, acres of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush, pockets of Coreopsis, Spiderwort, Mexican hat, wild phlox and sticky geraniums, patches of wine cup and white prickly poppy, plus many, many more. But, it was the Texas state flower that commanded attention, for its sheer numbers and perfume so sweet that it could knock your sox off. No kidding.

Jimmy overlooking a section of Inks Lake.

Lots of clambering over rocks on this trail.

Spiderwort, and a bouquet of bluebonnets and daisies and Mexican hats.

Indian blanket and a claret cup Hedgehog (but, it really was red).

A trail lined with Lupines?  Such a lovely beginning to a hike!

Dusk on the lake across from our campsite.

We bought a Texas St Pk pass last year and wanted to get our money out of the darned thing before it expired. So far, so good! We stopped in a couple of state parks last year, and we've enjoyed them all, especially this one this year.

We pushed our bodies today, not intentionally, but the trails were a bit more rugged than we anticipated, and pretty much in full sun. It's been a while since we've tromped rocky trails! Both trails loop around rock hills, streams and woodlands, but 90% of the woodland junipers looked dead, providing no shade. We asked at the Visitor Center what happened to the trees (fire? beetles?) and were told "drought" - that this part of the country hasn't seen a drought this severe since 1950. The folks at the VC said the trees really weren't dead and would "come back." I have my doubts....

So tomorrow, we won't mind sitting and driving. We'll move on toward New Mexico, prob thru San Angelo, and see how far we get. So much to see! But, it's time to get going.

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