2019 #hike5 - Cleburne State Park

“The hills kicked my ass” - Me

Quick Stats

Date: Sunday, February 3, 2019

Location: Cleburne State Park - Cleburne, TX

Distance: 7 miles

Trails: Fossil Ridge Trail, Coyote Run Nature Trail

Miles from Home: 59 miles

Weather: Cloudy, humid, 60s

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone



  • No one at the park

  • Frequent hills to keep it interesting

  • Lots of shade

  • Views of the lake

Low Points

  • Lots of trash on the trail today

  • Rocks are basically like ice when wet, which they were today

  • So many people have made their own trails, it is difficult at time to see the real trail

Well, it took five hikes but I finally had to break through spider webs. I went a solid month without having any in my face and today I more than made up for it. The trail I chose today followed the edge of the state park boundary and was pretty well shaded for those summer days. The rocks that make up the trail, mostly the hills, were slick today because it had been damp and misty for a couple of days. The first mile of the trail is noisy due to the mine next door and natural gas compressors nearby. Once you get past the noise, it gets mildly quiet until a dog in a neighboring house barks or you begin to hear the noises of the campers in the campground. If you’re looking to fully escape, this place will get you halfway there. The trails near the lake are a bit nicer, but overall this place isn’t an “escape” from the real world like other parks can be. It’s a great place to camp and hike, don’t get me wrong, this is just my take on it. If you want to escape, head west. #westisbest

Today I did about 7 miles of hills, 3.5 miles around and back, and it really was a nice little up and down. At the end of my 3.5 miles was supposed to be a scenic overlook, but with so many side trails made it hard to tell if I was at the right spot. I found a lakeside clearing and took a break anyway, sipping on my cider and basking in the breeze. I was sweaty. The hills were a workout for me and my hat was soaked through as were my shirt and shorts. The entire 3.5 miles back to the car were basically me wiping dripping sweat from my head. I bagged two small bags of trash, mostly bottles and juice boxes, and deposited them in the dumpster near the entrance. The trash I picked up was blatantly thrown out, nothing looked accidental. Some people really need to check themselves.

I hope you find your trail and pick up some trash along the way. Hike 6 will be a series of hikes this week when I go to Minnesota, so stay tuned for that next week! Until then, happy trails!

Before & After

2019 #hike4 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

“I hear the river and it’s all rivery” - Me

Quick Stats

Date: Saturday, January 26, 2019

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 6.3 miles

Trails: Paluxy River, Horseshoe Equestrian Trail

Miles from Home: 75 miles

Weather: Sunny, 50s

Equipment: Apple Watch, iPhone, Olympus TG-5 camera



  • Great weather, plenty of sun but cool enough to stay comfortable

  • Trails are well maintained

  • Not many people in the park

  • Great river views

  • Plenty of trails throughout the park for all skill levels

Low Points

  • Social media hadn’t updated in 10 days about the river crossing or trial conditions

Dinosaur Valley is one of my local to-go parks that I visited many times last year. I fully plan to visit this place more than once this year, but I’m going to try to keep exploring other places and not fall victim to my own laziness. This park has a lot to offer hikers of many different skill levels. The trails on the main side of the river are relatively flat and accommodating, while the trails on the north side of the river offer a little more variety in terrain and wooded areas. Today, we focused on the main area of the park and walked along the river, admiring the views. We did a little loop that is frequented by horses, and then took the river path back. It was simple, lovely, and offered a nice escape from reality. The river was a little higher than normal and there was a lot of algae and moss, more than we’ve noticed before. Another sunny day hike in the books for 2019 and a stop at our favorite diner afterwards. Happy trails!

Before & After

#hike4 - Cook County, Minnesota

This hike is becoming an annual tradition for me and I'll take it.  Every year, my buddy and I are trying to get up to his aunt's remote cabin in the winter.  Anyone we know is invited, but they must brave the cold and trek across the frozen lake.  This year, it was just the two of us because it was rather last minute, but hopefully we'll get a good annual group going sometime each year in mid-February.

We hit the lake at sunset, getting to the cabin at dark on the first night.

Date: January 26-29, 2018

Location: Cook County, Minnesota

Distance: 3.5 estimated miles

Trails: Straight shot across the lake from the boat landing to the cabin landing, up through the woods to the ridge

You always go into this trip not knowing exactly what to expect, as the area is pretty remote.  We arrived at the spot where you can safely park, unloaded, and followed a snowmobile trail down to the lake.  From there, we had pretty smooth sailing with hard, crunchy snow and no need for the snowshoes.  Once to the cabin landing, we have a huge hill to hike up and there was only about 8-12 inches of snow there, which is relatively low and made for an easy climb with our sleds.

The cabin has no modern amenities, no frills, and no mercy.  There is a good wood stove, an outhouse, and it's bitter cold for the first few hours upon arrival.  After getting the place warmed up, it's cozy and great for drinking your favorite cocktail, playing board games, or reading a book.

On Saturday, we trekked up to a ridge just beyond the cabin.  The hike is through the woods, without any real trail, and the snow level was manageable in most places, and was a nice way to break up the day.

Temperatures upon arrival were near 30 degrees Fahrenheit, but fell to -10 by the time we left.  Last year we hiked across the lake from the cabin landing to another lake, on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but this year we just didn't make it for some reason or another - probably the temps.  On our last morning, we attempted the "throwing hot water in the -5 degree air" thing and that was pretty cool - I did my best to capture a photo of that below.

For more background info and a more detailed account of previous cabin adventures, check out my last trip here.  I hope you all have great hikes this week and happy trails!