Riverplace Nature Trail 2/24/19

Went out with Greg to the Riverplace Nature Trail the week before they started charging $10/head/pet to hike there. I do understand the need to limit crowds, as it has gotten extremely popular, but $10/dog? That seems a bit overboard.

Anyway, we did the full trail, out and back, including the Little Fern side trail. Water was flowing pretty well. Lots of people. Very pretty. Tired at the end.

Greg and I are going to hike Half Dome in Yosemite in the fall, so it’s time to get in shape. This trail will probably be one of several that I use to train for that endeavor.

Rim Trail, Lakeway, TX 2/17/19

Hike: Rim Trail, Lakeway, TX

Weather: cool, sunny, mid 60s

Hikers: Ian, Court, Biff, Finn

Length: 3.14 miles

This was a nice short hike back out in Lakeway starting from the Mt. Lakeway trail head. Our goal was to take the trail all the way to the lake, but they are doing construction and the trail seems to have been cut off, unfortunately. We circled back and did a quick loop around the pond which is more full than we’ve ever seen, due to some consistent rain this winter.

It was still a nice day and the pups were happy to get out in the early spring weather. We still have a few random days of cold and cloudy, but spring is just around the corner. I’m planning to hike a lot this year in anticipation for a pretty big idea that I will share down the road.

Biff scouting trail
Typical Texas trail scenery
A little bit of water flowing in the stream at the bottom of the canyon
Full pond
Court and Finn
Court and Biff

Balcones Canyonlands NWR – Doeskin Ranch 1/20/19

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Hike: Balcones Canyonlands NWR – Doeskin Ranch

Weather: cool, clear, mid 50s

Hikers: Ian and Greg

Length: 3.7 miles

This is one of my favorite hikes, though I don’t do it that often because there are no dogs allowed due to it being a National Wildlife Refuge.

Greg had never been and I figured it would be a good hike to start off the new year and a good MLK Day hike. We got out to the trail head around 11am and there were actually several other cars in the lot, which was a bit surprising. We didn’t see too many people on trail though, as I think there were some families with kids and they probably didn’t do the full length of the trail.

The day was pretty and quiet and we saw several small birds flitting around along with some vultures riding the updrafts. Greg brought his fancy-pants camera and got some shots of the waterfall near the end of the hike. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

water was flowing well
scrubby with blue sky
Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country
Cool algae
Greg setting up camera
Greg photo
Greg photo

Tyler State Park (belated) 7/14/18

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hike: Tyler State Park – ‘A’ Loop Trail

Weather: warm, sunny, upper 80s?

Hikers: Ian, Biff, Finn

Length: 2.6 miles

I totally forgot to blog this when it happened back in July. I only remembered it because I was going back through all my 2018 photos, but hey, better late than never.

Court had a work function up in Tyler and I did a quick hike out at the state park. It was quite a nice hike through the piney woods of East Texas. We got out before it was too warm and the dogs had fun.

Here are the photos in no particular order.

Inks Lake Overnight 11/24/18-11/25/18

Saturday and Sunday, November 24-25, 2018

Inks Lake State Park

Ian, Court, Biff, Finn

As is becoming tradition, we headed out to one of our favorite state parks for Thanksgiving weekend.  This was originally slated to be a two night affair, but some exciting football scenarios played out and we wanted to make sure we were in a place to watch on Friday night.

Our regular site (#328) wasn’t available, so we took a chance on #304 which turned out to be awesome.  It’s a huge site with private lake access.  We could easily camp 3 separate tents here.

Bones for pups

After a couple of hours in town watching football, we went for a quick evening hike before starting up a fire and making dinner.

We woke up with the sun, packed up, and hit the trail for a longer hike to finish out the trip.


There was a fire out here this summer that consumed about 300 acres within the park and made for some really interesting burn zones on our hike.  There were huge swaths of burned cactus that looked like corpses on a battlefield.  Twas a bit eerie.

Water break for Biff and Finn
Burned cacti
Hike 1 – 2.1 Miles
Hike 2 – 3.2 Miles

Barton Creek Upper 11/3/18


Trying out the new WordPress editor on this one so gonna be just some pics and whatever else I end up messing with. 

Edit: Well the pics didn’t show up on the mobile version so I guess it’s back to the normal editor for now.


Hit up the Hill of Life after some heavy rains this fall in Austin.

Going down the Hill of Life with early morning sun

Fall colors starting to come through

Sculpture Falls

Sculpture Falls

Sculpture Falls




Palmaria Island – Portovenere, Italy 9/28/18


Friday, September 28, 2018

Palmaria Island – across from Portovenere

4 miles



This hike was not really planned.  The idea was to take the ferry across the bay to Palamaria Island and rent kayaks and explore the coast line.  We had heard there was a place on the island to do just that.  Instead we found a weird mix of dilapidated buildings, an odd beachfront “cafe” that looked like it might be haunted, wild goats, and questionably marked trails.  On top of this, Court was wearing shoes much more suited to kayaking than hiking, so needless to say she was not ready to hike what ended up being just over four miles.  She stuck it out though and the island gave us an interesting afternoon hike.

We started off on an old jeep trail that gradually climbed up and around the island, giving us some nice views looking back toward La Spezia and the mainland.


We climbed up into the woods for a bit and then back down to the shore, where we were greeted by the remains of an old military base of sorts.  Most of the buildings had fallen down and it had a very eerie vibe.


Remains of an old shower facility


After this is where the “cafe” was, though it looked deserted as well.  The pics of it on Google maps show it full of people and the food looks good, so maybe we were just here at a weird time of year or something.

We soaked our feet in the ocean for a bit and then headed back up hill where we were greeted by the islands wild goats that roam around and eat whatever they can.

Wild goats – hard to see, but they are there


We reached a few more military ruins at the top, enjoyed the views, and then cut back across the center of the island.


There was actually a large fort in the center that was completely overgrown and I believe dates back to WWI or WWII.

Overgrown fort


By this time our feet were hurting and we were a bit disappointed by the lack of kayaks we had anticipated, so we did our best to get back to the dock and catch the ferry back to Portovenere as soon as possible.  I think if our expectations had been different, this would have been a much more enjoyable hike, but it was an experience nonetheless.

Looking back towards Portovenere – disregard telephone pole