Getting Out There Is The Best Way To Prepare

Andi and I have been out and about since August trying out our gear, strengthening our bodies as well as our minds. Below is a collage of some  photos, very novice I might add, from our explorations.

We have seen more of our region in these past few months than in the 16 years I lived here! I guess better late than never.

Before each of the photos will be a brief description of our trip to include lessons learned.

Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, TX

This was a short hike to try out some of my gear. I had just purchased my  pack and tent.  My husband, Andi and I started our day hike around 1000. We had to deviate from our original trail because the heat was getting to Andi.  We found a small “lake” (more like a pond) for her to cool off.

We found a heavily shaded area to test my tent setting abilities.  I did better than I thought I would. As we continued on our new path we realized that this path would either take us over a rocky terrain or up the side of Enchanted Rock. We opted for up the side of Enchanted Rock. To my surprise I did really well! Andi is an amazing climber…no surprise there.

Lessons Learned:

Need to start hike earlier in the day to avoid 100+ temps!

Need to slow my pace down (Thanks Steve for suggesting) cause I almost fell coming down the rock.

Need to pack more water.

DEFINITELY need sun screen!!!!

Andi at Enchanted Rock

Andi loves to climb!

Side of Enchanted Rock

Mmmm…I guess we will go up

Steve Waiting

Hey Babe, wait for me

McKinney Falls State Park, Austin, TX

My friend, Cari, Andi and I set out to Austin to check out the hiking in the area.  Around 1000 we ended up at McKinney Falls. What a beautiful park!

I had added a sleeping bag to my gear along with a whole lot more water for both Andi and me. Yes, I learned my lesson (at least one) from my last hike.

The hike was easy for the most part, all thought for the first half, my pack felt like was pulling my upper back and shoulders backwards. The weight was all at the top. I couldn’t figure out why since I didn’t have a full pack and pretty much everything was at the bottom of the pack.

A BIG thank you to Cari for noticing the hidden straps at the top of the shell of my pack! Once we adjusted those my pack fit like a glove…amazing how something so simple can make such a difference!

Andi still hit her wall midway with the heat (Still breaking record highs for September). We stopped and I poured water all over Andi to cool her down. After 15 minutes of chillin in a water puddle, she was up and roaring to go.

Did I mention we somehow got a little lost so we ended up hiking a little further then intended. (Great for me since my pack was now fixed)

Lessons Learned:

NEED Sun Screen!

NEED to start earlier in the day

McKinney Falls Hike

McKinney Falls, Austin TX

Water Break

Enjoying some water and relaxation

McKinney Falls 1


Cibolo Creek Nature Center, Boerne, TX and Guadalupe River State Park, Spring Branch, TX

These next 2 trips were more of an outing so I could include Leonard (My Grandson Boxer Puppy) in on the fun. Enjoy the pics!

Cibolo Creek

Very relaxing!

Andi and Leonard love the water

Andi and Leonard having a blast

Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River

Ink Lake State Park, Burnet, TX

This was Andi’s and my first overnight hiking trip (Well, not since college back in the “80s). My pack was almost complete, minus my winter clothing. Andi also had her pack, although it had been a while since she last used it.

Andi had never slept outside before so I knew this would be an interesting experience and I was right…our night under the stars was.  I also had the chance to try out the wood burning stove (Sole Stove) my husband had bought me.

The night was really hot and we didn’t have much room in the tent because I was worried about someone taking my pack and gear. Andi was alert to all the sounds so needless to say we didn’t get much sleep.

The next day we set out on our hike, me with all my gear and Andi with her pack that carried all her water and food. It was a really beautiful day, but still very hot by the end of the hike. I’m so ready for cooler temps!

Andi held her own and taught me some valuable lessons along the hike.

I am and always have been in a hurry to get some where or do something or complete the next task.  For the first time, I heeded Andi’s advice…she kept stopping to smell some bush or tree or dirt and me, well I wanted to keep going…and then it hit me…she was telling me to SLOW down and enjoy the smells and the beauty!!!

Lessons Learned:

Slow Down and enjoy what is right in front of me!

Learn to relax and be flexible

Lighten Andi’s weight so she can acclimate to wearing the pack again

Hiking Trails at Ink Lake

Andi checking out the smells

Perfect Spot

Couldn’t have asked for a better site

And then theres fire

Steve, you would be proud!

Ink Lake Sun Set

View from our tent

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