a healthier mike

#hike10 - Cooper Lake State Park

Date: March 12, 2017 Time: 9:10 AM

Place: Cooper Lake State Park - South Sulphur Unit

Distance: 4.9 miles

I left a little later than I wanted this morning, but the drive went quickly.  I was flying solo again today, so I was singing and dancing along embarrassingly to all my favorite jams.  I made it there in less time than expected, as no one is out on a Sunday morning.  I saw the sun peek through the clouds on the horizon, and knew it was going to be a good day.

I started off with a stop to Gulls Bluff Day Use Area to see the lake and look at a map.  From there, I found parking and made my way to the Coyote Run trail head.It started off flat, with small trees and quickly wound back into the forest.  Old trees, ravines, new trees, quite a mix.  The air smelled of spring soil - if that makes sense.  It rained all weekend, so it smelled of spring soil and that smell after the rain.  The tiny leaves were opening, flowers in bloom, and birds very active.  I saw two whitetail deer as well as some squirrels.  This trail reminded me of trails in Ozarks or in Michigan - I didn't feel like I was in Texas at all.  The sky was cloudy and the wind cold at the beginning, but the sun came out and it completely changed the way the forest looked.  Light beaming down through leaves and flowers and casting shadows made all the difference.  I went from extremely relaxed and peaceful to even more so but also giddy with joy.  It was one of the best mental experiences of my hikes so far.  Here are a few photos!  Happy hiking!

#hike9 - Cedar Hill State Park

Date: March 4, 2017 Time: 9:20 AM

Place: Cedar Hill State Park

Distance: 8.1 Miles

Solo hiked the DORBA blue loop today, and it was even better than the green loop.  The trail is designed for mountain biking, but allows hikers too.  Bikers go one way, hikers go the opposite.  Some spots along the way are worn into a trough, but it's nothing too major.  I had hiked the green loop which is 3 miles before, but the additional 5 of the blue loop was even more beautiful.  The trail winded, in mountain bike trail fashion, and took me along the lake and through the woods.

Things I learned today:

--Stretching is important --People's voices carry well in the middle of nowhere --Water is important

This  was my longest hike, at 8.1 miles.  I did the hike in 2.25 hours, which is okay.  The hike is labelled as challenging but it isn't as bad as I expected.  This was one of the most rewarding hikes - in terms of pushing my limits and knowing what I can do.  I look forward to pushing the boundaries a bit more and seeing how much further I could go.

Happy hiking!