MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 284 (Rank: 4th) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,206.20 Miles (Rank: 3rd)
Average Distance: 7.77 Miles

Average Rating: (4.29)
Average Difficulty: (1.21)
Average Solitude: (4.52)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 8/16/2018

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

First Lesser Goldfinches Seen this Year!

The male caught my eye when he flew to the tree and upon closer inspection, I saw his mate in the lower right of the photo. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Lower Ghost Camp and Back
San Angelo State Park - 8/16/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.30 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Route   Bell's Trailhead > Shady Trail > service road (S) > North Scenic Loop > service road (S) > South Slick Rock > Lower Ghost Camp trail > River Bend Campground > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Trail (W then N) > Badlands > serice road (N) > North Slick Rock > Upper Hill Trail > Dinosaur Trail > service road (N) > Bell's Trailhead        7.3 miles

Temps in the upper 70's to start and mid 90's at end, mostly sunny with light winds and higher than normal humidity.

A relaxing hike today after receiving some much needed rain last week.  The trails are still visible but, in places, not as "smooth" as before.  This has been caused by the combination of a wet trail and large hooved animals, i.e., the longhorns, that walk on it while it is muddy.  The mud dries and what was once a smooth surface is now very bumpy.  Hikers will be concerned because it is easier to twist an ankle, bikers will experience a rougher ride and equestrians will have to watch where their horses step.

Saw a pair of Lesser Goldfinches (photo attached) as well as many Scissortails and other birds.  Six whitetails of various sizes bounded out as I hiked and at Shady Trail, fresh evidence there is still a beaver bringing down trees.  There were innumerable grasshoppers along the entire hike and while on the service roads especially, the humming of bees was LOUD.  I didn't see any flowers but watched the bees gathering on all kinds of vegetation. 

The park has re-mapped their trail system and paper copies are now available.  A word of caution - the paper maps do not correspond 100% with existing trail markers.  The park is working to update the trail markers and it will take a little more time before there is a perfect correlation between the two.  If in doubt, use the paper map. 

NOTES

Water is available at the campground by Bell's Trailhead.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at the River Bend Campground.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at the Donosaur Tracks Viewing Area (approx 1.5 miles from Bell's Trailhead on Dinosaur Trail).

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and back
San Angelo State Park - 8/4/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.10 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 55 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Chaparral > Talley Valley > Horny Toad (N) > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > Suzanne's Trail > Burkett Park       3.6 miles

Return Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Playground parking area     3.5 miles

Temps started at 80, ended at 95.  Sunny with some high clouds, steady southerly breeze.

The Mockingbirds were out in force today as they were the only birds I saw during my hike with two exceptions; an Oriole and a Roadrunner (photo attached).  The trails were all groomed and easy to follow.  As mentioned in earlier posts, the drought continues and the soil on the trails is either gone or thinning.  In a few spots, you have to be cautious due to loose soil which could cause a fall - not a happy event.

There were a few groups of mountain bikers on the trails and a solitary runner, otherwise the trails were mine.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 7/28/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Out     Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey (W 20 meters) > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Flintstone > 5 Points Junction      5.2 miles

Return  5 Points Junction > Turkey Creek > Armadillo (ENE) > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.7 miles

Temps started at 82, ended at 97.  High, wispy clouds then sunny and hot, Light fairly consistent breeze.

Drought continues in San Angelo and the effects are seen and felt at the park.  There are few flowers in bloom, the vegetation is dormant or dead and the wildlife is not to be seen.  The trails are easy to see but have become harder to hike on because soil has blown away leaving more exposed rock.  A few portions of West Potts Creek near the northern end, are very eroded and require caution when treading on them.  Park personnel need to take a couple of loads of small rock and try filling in some of the deepest crevices to stop the erosion.  Nonetheless, hiking at the park is better than staying in the house!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park Loop
San Angelo State Park - 7/22/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.50 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Out       Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park         3.5 miles

Return   Burkett Park > Winding Snake (20 meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area       4.0 miles

Temps start at 80, end at 88.  Sunny with thin, high, wispy clouds and intermittent breeze.

Quiet hike today along dry trails.  All trails have been groomed and are easy to traverse.  This area is in a multi-day, 100+ temp rut and it shows at the park.  No flowers or cacti in bloom, lots of dry vegetation, minimal movement by birds, and few animals or reptiles are seen.  O.C. Fisher reservoir is at 8.4% capacity and continues to drop.  There are some park users but not many, even on the weekend.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.

South Shore Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 7/12/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake (S 20meters) > Suzanne's Trail (W) > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajillo Flats > Playground parking area     3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area      3.2 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett park          3.2 miles

Temp started at 80, ended at 95.  Sunny with a few scattered clouds, light somewhat consistent breeze.

Uneventful hike on the major South Shore trails.  All trails were groomed, dry and easy to traverse.  There were quite a few Mockingbirds out singing and on certain portions of the hike, the Cactus Wren was the predominant bird.  A couple of lizards and one White tail deer were spotted as well.  Perhaps because I walked these trails in reverse order, I was able to gather almost two bags worth of trash - most of it old cans and bottles.  Don't know how I missed seeing this stuff when I hiked going in the other direction.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett park.

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water and shade available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop with toilets available at the begining and mid points of the trail.