I was checking the ponds as I do every morning just in case something occurred through the night and noticed that the large urn in the middle of the 5000 gallon pond was not working. I pulled the pump from the water as that is always the first thing to check and it was still running. Then I noticed that the 1 inch black corrugated pipe that connects the pump to the urn was literally broken and hanging together by a thread. I gave it a jerk, trying to break it apart and as I watched, the urn toppled over into the pond. It requires that I get into the pond to do any work on the urn which of course would now entail struggling to set it back onto the blocks that hold it up. I thought about it for a bit and said to myself, “What the hell” and went back indoors vowing to fix it another day.
So, instead of making the repairs, I got ready to take a hike as my arrangements for Thanksgiving had fallen through. I had already decided that I was going back to Milton Reimers Ranch this time with the full intention of walking the entire main trail. I packed an apple and a bacon and cheese scone I had bought from Whole Foods the day before for my Thanksgiving dinner out on the trail, filled my water bottles, checked out my camera and jumped in the car heading towards Bee Caves. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to this Ranch and this time, there was a different young guy on the gate. I parked in the first parking lot and went through my usual routine of boots, hat, backpack, camera belt and then camera and grabbing my walking sticks set off along the Multi Use Trail, heading northwest.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day for hiking. The sun had warmth and the winds were not chilled but cooling, a great combination. I set a good pace (for me) as the walking on these trails is very easy as you can see from the pictures and it wasn’t long before I reached the intersection of the Main Trail and Turkey Loop. As I had walked Turkey Loop just 3 days earlier, I decided to stay on the main trail. I noticed that the rubber visor that is on the camera lens was missing so I had to backtrack for about 200 yards or so to where it had come off the camera. I took several pictures and they show just how different this Park is compared to say, McKinney Roughs. This is much flatter and has more wide open spaces and way fewer trees. It was, after all, a working ranch in days gone by.
I continued walking making good time and came to the sign posts for Kelly Prehn Overlook and Pogue Canyon Trail and decided to skip them this time around choosing to stay on the main trail instead. I passed Johnny’s Homestead which is actually non existent, as it burned down many years ago. All that remains are the power lines and the Keep Out signs. From there, I bypassed the trail that leads to the new hiking trail named Hogge Trails which I have previously walked and continued on the main Multi Use trail.
I came to a spot where I had taken pictures of the large stream that flows through the property and decided to check the stream out but just as I had feared, it was hardly flowing. I returned to the main trail which eventually brought me back to where I had started. At this point, I met a couple of mountain bikers with them being the only other people that I saw on the trail. With the exception of a few birds, I did not see any other wildlife nor were there any flowers still blooming. The main trail has little sign posts that are posted every tenth of a mile and it shows that the complete circuit is 5 miles and 2 tenths.
I walked past my car and strolled over to River Overlook which is situated along the Gravel Path, a path that runs on top of the bluffs for the full length of the main park from the first parking lot to the furthermost one. That will be my next walk as I have never done it in its full length yet. My pedometer showed that I had walked exactly 7 miles which included the extra backtracking and walking to view the Overlook. Altogether a very enjoyable walk for which I made good time (for me).
It was now past 5:00 pm and just as I thought, the Starbucks in Bee Cave was closed for the holiday. I drove home listening to Audiobooks only this time with no latte to drink.