MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 292 (Rank: 3rd) [List Them] [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,306.80 Miles (Rank: 3rd)
Average Distance: 7.90 Miles

Average Rating: (4.29)
Average Difficulty: (1.18)
Average Solitude: (4.59)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 12/12/2018

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

Photos

Lonesome Dove

A solitary dove perched on a dead mesquite branch - a good symbol for today's hike. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park with Detours!
San Angelo State Park - 12/12/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 8.90 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Out      Playground parking area > Tasajila Flats > Park Entrance and return > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park       5.5 miles

Return  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop (.25 mile and return) > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area      3.4 miles

Temp started at 51 and ended at 59.  Overcast and gloomy with a steady 10 mph westerly wind.

Trails were very damp or wet and in the case of Red Dam Loop, too wet to traverse.  Vegetation has died off so the trails were easy to see.  Lots of White Crowned Sparrows and other small ground hugging birds were out.  I also saw four American Kestrels and some type of hawk looking for a meal.  I watched one Kestrel almost catch a small bird as I was returning on the Chaparral Trail.  The bird made a quick turn and the Kestrel missed his grab and went hungry a little longer.

My first detour involved hiking along the park entrance and picking up trash.  Paper, plastic bags, fast food wrappers and a half dozen empty beer cans had been tossed along the road leading to the park - very unsightly!  Since I didn't bring my camera, I decided to collect the trash.  Hopefully, it will stay clean for awhile but I have my doubts.

The second detour was at Red Dam Loop.   I started along the trail heading East and was able to hike about a quarter mile before I came to a fairly wide and ankle deep, stream.  I decided I'd spend more time cleaning my boots by going through the stream rather than retrace my steps back to Chaparral.  I also assumed there would be at least two more areas of deep water on Red Dam Loop (based on knolwedge of the trail and past experiences).  So, I'd advise anyone reading this to avoid Red Dam Loop for the foreseeable future.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk, toilets and a bicycle repair station available at Playground Parking Area.

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

IMPORTANT - The trail maps have been updated HOWEVER the trail maps at the info kiosk have not.  Trust the paper trail maps.

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to Cougar Lookout and back
San Angelo State Park - 12/1/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 9.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Out      Bell's Trailhead > service road (S) > Dinosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Upper Big Hill > Badlands > River Bend > service road (NE) < Cougar Lookout       6.0 miles

Return  Cougar Lookout > Javalina > River Bend (100 meters straight to service road) > service road (ENE) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South Slick Rock > service road (NW) > Scenic Loop > service road (NW) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead     3.6 miles

Temps started in the low-50's, ended in the mid-60's. Sunny with strong and steady, westerly winds of 20+ mph.

Fairly easy hike along easy to see and traverse dry trails with little to no, vegetation covering them.  With the strong winds, most of the birds either stayed low to the ground or, conversely, high in the sky riding the currents.  Numerous small birds stayed in the scrub so photos were nearly impossible.  On the other hand, I saw a couple of raptors and vultures high in the sky, riding the wind currents as they looked for food. 

Most of the leaves have fallen so the landscape is colorless, except for the cacti, junipers and a few live oaks. 

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk available at the Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Shade, info kiosk and bicycle repair station available at Cougar Lookout.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at River Bend Ghost Camp.

 

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Armadillo Ridge Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 11/24/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 11.20 Miles Duration: 5 hours

Leg 1 -   Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.0 miles

Leg 2 -   Burkett Park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo Trail (W) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > Lanky Lackey (20 m) > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.9 miles

Leg 3 -   Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     3.3 miles

Temp started at 43, ended at 70.  Overcast at first but cleared to sunny with high clouds.  Light then steady breeze.

Due to park closure for hunting and Thanksgiving events, I hadn't been to the park for some time.  Today there were quite a few people out hiking, biking and jogging on the trails, perhaps trying to exercise away that second, or third, piece of pie they had a few days ago.

Trails were for the most part, dry and easy to traverse.  One notable exception was the northern end of West Potts Creek trail.  Since Potts Creek has water in it and the trail crosses the creek bed, the trail itself has a section that is very muddy.  Adding to the mud, today's weather was warm so the mosquitoes were out - I have a dozen bites already swelling up. 

The other exception was on Roller Coaster trail.  There are significant portions of the southern section of the trail with standing water and mud - VERY surprising since we've had no rain yet the water trickles down from the hill above.  No idea where the source is but this is West Texas and all water is welcome.

I saw a Kestrel and a couple of Eastern Bluebirds which is unusual; especially seeing the Bluebird.  The last Bluebird I saw was at the North Shore portion of the park; to the best of my recollection, this is the first time I've seen this bird in the South Shore section (photo attached).  There were some butterflies still fluttering around and quite a few low flying/ground hugging birds that would pop up, fly about five or six feet, then disappear in the scrub.  A temperature drop is expected tonight that will last for three days then a gradual warm up before turning cold once again.  I hope all the park residents have a place to stay lined up for this changing weather.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

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

IMPORTANT - The park trails map has been updated but the maps in the info kiosk have not.  Trust the park map EXCEPT in regard to Armadillo Trail; the new park map does NOT include it.  You will see trail markers (poles) with "Armadillo" painted on them at the junctions of Armadillo and East Potts Creek and at Armadillo and West Potts Creek. 

Park Mid-section Burkett Park to 5 Points Junction Loop
San Angelo State Park - 11/11/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 6.50 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Out     Burkett Park > WSto LL Connector > Roller Coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo (W) > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction     4.2 miles

Return 5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > service road (NE) > at 1st junction, turn right (SSW) to Trailhead to Trailhead Trail (service road) > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park     2.3 miles

Temps started in low 40's, ended in mid 50's.  Mostly sunny with wispy clouds and a steady SW breeze.

The trails were surprisingly damp and in some spots, very muddy.  Trails have either been groomed or the vegetation has died off because there were no issues with seeing a clear trail ahead.  As usual, there were a few spots that could use some gravel or other fill in spots but overall, the trails were good.

Lots of small butterflies and grasshoppers were seen as well as a number of small birds.  No animals were spotted.  Our first freeze of the season is predicted to occur in less than 48 hours - I hope all the park residents are prepared!

NOTES

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

Water, shade and info kiosk at 5 Points Junction.

IMPORTANT - the trail maps available at the park office have been updated and the maps in the info kiosks have not.  Trust the new map.

South Shore Playground parking area to Burkett Park
San Angelo State Park - 11/2/2018  [View Log Page]
Rating: Difficulty: Solitude:
Distance: 7.40 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out     Playground parking area > Tasajilla Flats > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     4.2 miles

Return Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground parkign area                       3.2 miles

Temp started in low 50's, ended in low 70's.  Sunny with clouds, light breeze.

Leisurely hike along wet and muddy trails.  It rained two days ago and the saturated ground is still very wet.  LOTS of butterflies out today.  Bee brush is blooming as are some wild flowers.  Quite a few birds out as well although nothing unusual.  A very pleasant hike!

NOTES

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

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

IMPORTANT - Park trail maps have been updated and do NOT match the map in the info kiosks - trust the park map.