hike25

#hike26 - Santa Fe National Forest

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Date: August 4, 2018

Location: Santa Fe National Forest - Cowles, NM

Distance:  5 miles

Trails: USFS Trail #288 - Cave Creek Trail

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We took off Friday night to New Mexico to go hiking and camping for the weekend.  We arrived to the National Forest about 7am local time, found that our original campground was closed and moved on looking for somewhere new to go.  We found an out-of-the-way campsite at Panchuela Campground, set up, and took a nap.  About noon we set off on USFS Trail #288 (Cave Creek Trail) without a destination or any expectations.

The mountain views were amazing, the smell of pine so fresh, and the temperature quite tolerable.  In passing, some people told us about caves and I pulled up All Trails (which had downloaded the trails near me when I had service) and found that at about 2.5 miles there were some caves to explore.  The pictures don't do the caves justice, but here they are.

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After feeling accomplished, and basking in the cool cave air and shade, we started the trek back, which didn't seem quite as laborious as the trek in.  My favorite thing about trails is seeing them from the other side.  Everything looked familiar, but different.

This is the second year we've ran away to New Mexico for a quick trip, and I think we'll do it again next year.  A longer trip would be nice, but we'll see.

Takeaway:

  • I will always drive 10 hours to hike somewhere without NOISE.  I am thankful for trails in DFW metro, but hot damn this quiet/nature was a treat.
  • Give yourself plenty of time if you're not used to hiking at high altitude...there's no rush.
  • Wear a hat, bring water, apply sunblock, and apply bug repellent. (This stuff is great)
It was so dry and crispy, it felt like fall at some points along the trail.
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#hike25 - Eagle Mountain Lake

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Date: July 29, 2018

Location: Eagle Mountain Park - Fort Worth, TX

Distance:  7.58 miles

Trails: All major trails MAP

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I had a late start for Hike 25, but that’s okay because I went anyway.  I took our dog out at 7:15 AM and it was a cool 82, but by the time I made it to the trailhead at 8:00 it was nearing 90.  Eagle Mountain Park is one of my local go-to hiking spots, so I knew exactly what to expect.  I normally just start out on the main trails, but today I felt like changing it up and going to the north, short trails first, in case it got too hot I’d have an out.  I did the trails, no big deal, but I was feeling heavy and tired.  I pushed through, to the south, main, trails and the temperatures continued to climb.  My fatigued feeling was really showing, as I slowed down and started to develop a bad attitude.

Today’s saving graces were a good lake breeze and plenty of shady spots along the trail.  At mile five I stopped to find my towel because there was so much sweat in my eyes and I also found a snack and thought it may help my fatigue – I’m not sure if it did or not, but it was tasty.  Skout bars have always been a favorite but the Oregon Blueberry Almond bar hit the spot.  Two guys came running by, and offered words of encouragement and with that, I carried on.  I felt refreshed from the break and reminded myself that it is not a race and it I’m not in any hurry.  I sipped my water and headed towards one of my favorite parts of the trail – the lakeshore.

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As I followed the lakeshore, through shaded tunnels of trees, I started to feel more alive again.  It could’ve been the shade, the breeze, the flat trail or all of it but I wasn’t complaining.  I meandered around, and made my way back to the exposed, main trail that took me back up to the parking lot.  I was not thrilled about all of the sunshine, but I pushed through and made it to my Outback.  I blasted the AC, drank some icy cold water from my RTIC tumbler, and took off to home.  What-A-Day.

Tips for Hot Weather: (from my perspective)

  • Start out hydrated and hydrate as you go.
  • Take extra water!
  • Don’t push yourself too hard, a hot day is NOT the day to test your limits
  • Remember to rest and take a snack to help with lost nutrients
  • Eat before? Eat well the day before… don’t go on a completely empty stomach.

I got home from this hot, hot hike and had a big lunch with lots of water and then proceeded to nap for 3 hours.  I was drained, and still am!  Hot weather hikes are my least favorite, but working to make the best of what I have within my reach.  I hope you found yourself outside this weekend and made the most of it!  Happy trails.

It was so dry and crispy, it felt like fall at some points along the trail.

It was so dry and crispy, it felt like fall at some points along the trail.