Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hike 4 Texas Style!

Well the term "hike" is being charitable, it was more like an amble. But a PLEASANT amble that is for sure. North Texas, while expanding at a crazy rate is still trying, admirably, to carve out wild space for the use of the animals and the humans that live there. It did my heart good to see a horse ranch amongst the development and even if it is for sketchy tax purposes, a cattle range in an office park.

I am not sure this carve out strategy has been entirely successful but the variety of terrain that was saved at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve gives a hiker some off-roading capabilities along with paved amblin'.

The trails offer slight elevation gains and bridges over some very nice streams. There was also some rumors of coyotes and other animals and certainly a healthy variety of hawks. The best part of the Preserve is a killer observation tower that many amblers can reach for some views of not only the corporate park expanse but also the vast plains that lay beyond.

The real negative of the place is the wide pavement that goes on endlessly.

I am not a hiking snob. I think a wilderness experience can be had in all manner of ways. I am certainly a fan of easier access to certain parts of the wild country of this land but I feel there could be a better balance struck between pavement and path. Perhaps the path could be gravel or good dirt.

Arbor Hills does offer more "hike" hiking paths but I am not sure what those paths entail. Certainly, Texas seems to suffer from a lack of a sufficient water table like SoCal as many of the paths were closed due to the recent rain.

Overall though, it was great to be outdoors and see a little bit of what Texas has to offer. As these pics can attest, you CAN find wilderness and be inspired by beauty no matter where you are. I am looking forward to getting back to Texas and giving it another try but now my thoughts turn to SoCal and the next ascent.

And finally, one of my favorite things about Texas, BIG SKY COUNTRY!


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