We needed a little getaway, but the calendar gods were not smiling upon us. So, instead of a mini vacation for a night or two, we took a micro vacay just for the day.
I picked Colorado Bend State park. It wasn’t too far out for us to miss our obligations, like visiting Mom. I did note that there is nothing fun to do in the Brazos Valley, so we could make double use of our trip to Bryan. No wonder we always left there to go to Austin or Houston anywhere else. CBSP is a primitive park, so the vast majority of the park is left all natural and untouched.
Our primary task was to hike the ~1.5mi to Gorman Falls. It’s fed by a spring & the waters pour over limestone to create a beautiful piece of nature. My iPhone photos do not do it justice!
They mean it. The hike is strenuous, especially on a hot day. (I think it was 97? during our hike from ~11:30am to 2pm.) Water is essential. Gatorade, as it turns out, was a bad idea. The sugar seemed to attract more bugs. We had resisted using any bug spray for fear it would make us hotter. The terrain is rough, there is some climbing and it’s ~3 miles round trip with up- and down -hill hiking both ways. I stress this because we saw two guys without any snacks, and an entire family with their dog and just one tiny bottle of water for them all.
The early view from near the trailhead.
the hike down
about Gorman Falls
the downhill climb
Our view during our picnic lunch.
The springs are protected, so you can’t get in them. And the river is gross; you don’t want to get in it.
What’s worse: uphill or down?
After some much needed time in air conditioning, we drove through the rest of Colorado Bend state park. Camping is quite primitive (no electricity), but the tent sites are right along the river. After we left, we stopped at Bob’s Bad Burgers & General Store for a drink.
The next part of our adventure took us to Lake Buchanan. We saw it a few years ago when this current drought really kicked off. It’s not any better. Every marina and “waterfront” neighborhood is just sad; the public boat ramp is totally useless.
Remember when boat ramps went deep into the water? This one ends several hundred feet (we guessed a mile) before the water’s edge.
Fishermen have made “roads” on the former lake bed so they can get to the water’s edge.
A bluebonnet. In JULY. Growing against an old tree stump in the former lake bed. Bluebonnet. July. Wrap your brain around that one!
Upon leaving Lake Buchanan, we saw a bonafide zebra ranch. Their gate security was insane–I guess it’s a good place to pull pranks–so we didn’t stop for any pictures. As if the bluebonnet wasn’t a crazy enough sighting. then, just about the time we were over the crazy stuff, we saw another pair of zebra’s at another ranch. Are people entering zebras into rodeos, now, or what?
Down the highway a bit, and separated by only a dam, Inks Lake is full and thriving. Campsites were all in use. People were skiing and swimming. Many “bundled” rafts and giant floaties created make-shift party barges in the middle of the water. We walked the little trail to Devil’s Waterhole to watch the teens and college kids jump off the cliffs. We picnicked on our supper while we enjoyed the entertainment. Yes, that’s right: two picnics in one day!
On the way back home, we stopped a Scooters & Shooters (or: as one patron declared, they need to drop the initial S’s and call it Cooters & Hooters) for a drink. We were lucky enough to meet the owner and his girlfriend. They were finishing up an audit (where they are having to prove they pay their 14% liquor taxes; the local uptight fundies ratted them out for something they didn’t do.) and talking of their upcoming trip to Sturgis. Of course.
We topped off our #MicroVacay with a dip in the pool at home. Pretty good for a $34 “vacation”.