Pedernales River. Note how low the water is.

As I have mentioned several times, I plan on spending more and more time in the Eagle at the Henley RV Park while awaiting the Estate Sale and then the final closing on my house. I have reached the point where I no longer need to be back checking on the Koi or the condition of the ponds following the fish rescues and subsequent repairs that I have made and can be away for much longer periods at a time.

While I was back this time, I also met with the Estate Sale company owner and we discussed what to do and where to go from here. We set a sale date of around mid May giving me plenty of time to collect the few remaining things that I plan on keeping. .The last time I was back last week, I collected a bunch more stuff to take with me to the Eagle and as I have mentioned before, there is not a lot of storage room anyway plus the additional weight is not a good thing. Most of what I have this time around are more of my small hand tools and wrenches that I am very reluctant to give up “just in case”. I did bring back another bird feeder pole and the feeders themselves to add to the one that I already have. Love watching the birds.

At last, pictures of trails 2021 style.

Yesterday, I took Sandy and Mikey to Riemer’s Ranch Park where I have done a lot of my walking in the past. I wanted to see how they handled something different than just walking on the road plus how walking two dogs on a single leash would work out on the trail. I had devised a way of hooking the leash handle to my belt leaving my hands free to take the occasional picture and needed to see if it worked. Normally, in the past, I have always used two walking poles for extra traction and stability while out on the trail and they have saved me more than once from a fall. This time though, I decided to leave them in the truck and try it without them. I brought my camera along as I always do but didn’t bring the backpack containing the spare camera and lenses.

Riemer’s Ranch is about a 30 minute drive from the Eagle. One thing I have noticed about this F250 truck is that the suspension is much “harder” and I can feel every bump in the road especially on the country back roads that are not very smooth anyway. Don’t notice it so much when I am towing but that is exactly what the truck was built for so I shouldn’t complain. I paid my $4.00 which incidentally has doubled in price since the last time I was there and chatted for a bit with the sweet young thing wearing a Travis County Park Ranger uniform. She was bright and cheerful and was a very welcoming start to our hike.

I opted for the second parking lot as I knew it had a steep road down to the river which would lead me onto the middle river trail. There are actually three trails that follow the Pedernales River for about 3 miles. One is on top of the gorge and is comprised of either concrete or crushed granite, the second is at the bottom and follows the same distance as the top and is a real trail but with much rougher terrain. The last is the lower trail which at times requires walking on the river bed, which incidentally, is very difficult as it it is mainly loose sand and rocks. We chose to take the middle trail and set off along it as the pictures show. It’s not difficult walking but does require keeping a careful eye out on where to place your feet. Sandy was in her element and her nose was working non stop at all of the different scents she discovered. For such a little dog, it is amazing just how much she can pee as she tries to mark everything. Michael, the little boy dog doesn’t have any of those traits and rarely marks anything and he and I both have also learned not to be in a direct line behind her after she has marked as she also does a little dance movement which involves scratching up huge amount of dirt and gravel.

Another view of the Pedernales showing how low the water is. This is actually the Lower Trail and is normally covered in water as a part of the river.

We made our way along the Lower Trail until we hit a spot that led down to the River Trail. Sandy, who was leading the way, decided that is where we should go so Mikey and I trudged along behind her trying hard not to trip or slip on the rough terrain. I guess I was the one doing the trying as Mikey didn’t have any problems. We headed out over the soft sand to where the river was flowing which incidentally, is the lowest I have ever seen it. Upon reaching the water, Sandy decided she needed to cool down and immediately flopped down in the water. When she had enough and it was time to move, she was covered in dirty brown sand and I had visions of a very dirty truck.

Sandy laying in the water

We eventually headed back to the main trail retracing our footsteps as we slowly made our way back to the truck. The climb back up the concrete hill was actually made much easier as Sandy was a real help in pulling me and Mikey back up. Probably the one and only time that I was glad she was pulling on her leash. Back at the truck, I took a while to brush off the worst of the sand from her which by now had dried and we all piled in and made our way home stopping at Starbucks in Dripping Springs for a latte. Perfect end to a great couple of hours.

We found a few wild flowers showing off their pretty faces.

This particular parking lot also leads to the main swimming area and is very popular for families and groups. There were families with kids, groups of young people and best of all young women in bikinis. We did not cover much in the way of distance around maybe a mile and a half but it was really an experiment to see just what we could do in the way of trail hiking. I think, in order for it to be more comfortable for all of us, we need more level trails like the ones within the park and not the lower ones that follow the river and are of a much rougher terrain. As there are plenty of them, we will return. All in all, a very enjoyable first hike.

Written 04/11/2021