I had been feeling a bit under the weather for the past couple of weeks which had put quite a damper on my hikes. Basically, I had an inner ear infection that by itself was not a major problem but it did leave me with a feeling of lightheadedness and of being off balance some of the time. I have had it before and usually it takes a few weeks to clear up.
I was feeling much better and decided that I would take a chance and hit the trails anyway but that I would find trails that are not too demanding and fairly level opting to go back to McKinney Roughs as the trails there for the most part, are good walking. By level, I mean the trails themselves are dressed and even though they go up and down, are reasonably easy to walk on.
Besides, with the weather as hot as it is now here in Texas, I wanted to hike on trails that had some tree cover which is another reason to choose McKinney. I had every intention of getting out early but the previous evening, I had clipped a curb and damaged a tire to the extent that it needed replacing and I had to get that done before driving any distance.
This put me a little behind with my hiking plans so I didn’t arrive at McKinney until around 11:30 am and by then, it was already well into the 90 degree mark. I was determined to get out there and after going through my usual process of boots , hat, headband, camera belt, walking poles and camera, I was ready to stop by the office and pay my $2.00. Pretty cheap for a couple of hours of entertainment. The log in register showed that a lot of people had signed in that morning which doesn’t surprise me as it is a popular hiking place.
I set off along Riverside before taking the trail named Valley View which as the name implies, does give very good views of the valley and the panoramic scenes in the distance.
From Valley View, I hooked up with Bluff Trail Loop. I was going to get onto Riverside and then onto Coyote Road but I could already feel that the heat was beginning to drain my energy levels. So instead, I continued around Bluff Trail Loop and then hit Woodland Ridge for the final loop back to my car. Except for a couple of minor stumbles, I did very well. Using the hiking poles really helped me to maintain balance and choosing evenly surfaced trails helped a lot. Altogether, I covered 4 miles by my trusty pedometer.
On the way out, I passed a group of lady hikers, about a dozen or so who were on their way back in. We exchanged cheery hello’s as we passed. They looked hot but happy. I’m not sure they were happy because they had a great hike of maybe because it was just about over. Or maybe both…Along Woodland Ridge as I walked by a couple of the benches placed there for resting places, I noticed that a couple of the board’s were really misshapen compared to the others. These benches are made of a special imitation wood which is really plastic or something similar. Closer inspection revealed that the marks were teeth marks made by some destructive little animal, a squirrel or raccoon perhaps? Who knows. There were still a few wildflowers showing their cheery heads and the white clouds were making pretty patterns in the sky. Woodland Ridge is completely covered with decomposed granite with benches placed at regular intervals and is obviously made for people who just want to take a nice walk and not go into serious hikes or distances.
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