MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 331 (Rank: 4th)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,615.50 Miles (Rank: 2nd)
Average Distance: 7.90 Miles

Average Rating: 4stars (4.26)
Average Difficulty: 1star (1.17)
Average Solitude: 4point5stars (4.55)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 9/3/2019

Average ratings are based on the published values and not the values entered in your own log entries.

Photos

Watchful Kingbird

One of the numerous Kingbirds I saw today. [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

South Shore Trail Loop
San Angelo State Park - 9/3/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 6.80 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Talley Valley                 3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Talley Valley > Horny Toad > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL COnnector > Burkett Park    3.4 miles

Temps started at 71, ended at 86.  Sunny with no wind, some humidity.

A pleasant hike this morning along easy to see and traverse trails. The only portion of today's route that needs some attention is located on the Talley Valley trail; the vegetation needs to be groomed but the trail is easy to see and hike on.

Not much animal activity this morning although I saw a couple of Loggerhead Shrikes at different places on the trails (first in some time), a rather large hawk sitting in a tree a distance away (unknown what type) and at the end of our hike, a Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a tree at Burkett Park . 

Also spotted was a good sized Horned Toad, numerous dragonflies and some small birds.  While on Red Dam Loop, there is a patch where large numbers of thistle and sunflower plants are in bloom.  The buzzing of bees was very loud but I didn't see too many flying around.  Caution is advised when going through this area.

Not a lot more to say except the hike was good!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

 

South Shore Playground Parking Area to Burkett Park and Roadrunner Loop
San Angelo State Park - 8/28/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: halfstar Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Red Dam Loop > Chaparral > Winding SNake > Burkett Park      3.4 miles

Leg 2 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Horny Toad > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area     3.2 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       3.1 miles

Temp started at 71, ended at 90.  Humid, overcast with none-to-light wind.

An unusually cooler day which means time to hike!  All trails except portions of Roadrunner Loop were dry, groomed and easy to traverse.  Portions of Roadrunner Loop are in need of grooming but can still be traverse easily enough. 

Today I saw the smallest snake I'd ever seen!  On Winding Snake Trail, I saw what looked like a piece of a black shoelace laying on the trail about three feet in front of me.  When I moved forward, the "string" moved!  It was a Ringneck Snake - jet black with a yellow ring-like collar (photo attached).  The snake was only 4-5 inches in length and extremely thin - literally as thick as a shoe lace.  He quickly slithered away into the brush.  No animals except for a few white tail deer were spotted and bird activity was surprisingly minimal.  Later, while on Roadrunner Loop, I spotted a much larger coachwhip snake. 

Hiking Edition LPT (Life Pro Tip) - if you have the foresight to bring TP in case "Nature calls", stow it in a Zip-loc bag (or two).  This keeps the paper dry, easily accessible and also gives you an easy and sanitary way to dispose of the used paper.  Do your business, then put the used paper in the Zip-loc, pack it out and safely dispose of the bag.  Although the waste, as well as the paper, is biodegradeable and will eventually disappear, it's rather rude to leave a pile of used paper somewhat near the trail where it can be seen by others.  Be courteous to your fellow park users and pack out what you bring in. Thank you!

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground parking area.

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water and shade available at various campsites along Roadrunner Loop.  There is a toilet located near the mid-point of the Loop.

 

 

 

 

 

South Shore Armadillo Ridge to Playground Parking Area Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 8/25/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 10.20 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 20 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > Burkett Trail > East Potts Creek > Armadillo (WSW) > West Potts Creek > Roller Coaster > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park    3.8 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > Winding Snake > Chaparral > Playground Parking Area     2.7 miles

Leg 3 - Playground Parking Area > Tasajilla Flats > Nature Loop > Lanky Lackey > WS to LL Connector > Burkett Park     3.7 miles

Temp started at 71, ended at 96.  Sunny with light intermittent breeze.  Humid at first then drying.

A few days ago, San Angelo had "scattered thunderstorms"; well, the trails and area North of Burkett Park were wet and the trails and area South of Burkett Park were dry! The trails were easy to see and traverse.  Due to the recent rain mentioned earlier, the trails on the first leg were damp to wet and the trails on the second and third legs, were all dry. 

I saw activity on the first leg of my hike - a young skunk foraging, birds hopping from tree to tree and bush to bush and a family of seven javalinas wandering the trail.  Once I started the second leg of the hike, the birds disappeared as did the wild life with the exception of a couple of white tail deer, otherwise, it was as if all the wildlife went back to bed.  Normally, I only battle mosquitoes and gnats, today however, the biting flies were aggressive and I killed quite a few since they would not leave me alone.  Grasshoppers are still around but the cicadas were silent.

There were a few mountain bikers and hikers on the trails otherwise it was a quiet, peaceful hike.

NOTES

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water, shade, info kiosk and toilets available at Playground Parking Area.

Park Mid-Section Burkett Park to Cougar Overlook Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 8/21/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 10.60 Miles Duration: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Rollercoaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > Turkey Creek > 5 Points Junction         4.3 miles

Leg 2 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (N) > Cougar Overlook > service road (WNW) > River Bend (S) > 5 Points Junction       2.7 miles

Leg 3 -  5 Points Junction > Flintstone (S) > Playground > Bell's Point > Playground > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park    3.6 miles

Temps started at 74 and ended at 96.  Sunny with light then a steady breeze .

Since we've had no rain for almost two months and have had almost a month of 100+ temps, the trails are dry, easy to see and traverse BUT the same weather conditions have caused the soil to become so dry and loose, it is easier to lose your footing on the rocky portions of the trails.  Surprisingly, the majority of the park, for the most part, is still green!  There were a few portions of the Playground and Armadillo trails that could use some grooming but overall, the trails were very good!

Perhaps due to the heat or the time of the year, the bird activity is minimal.  What birds that were out were mostly making short flights from bush to bush or down to the ground - there were very few in the tree tops singing or trying to draw attention to themselves. 

I saw a fox (photo attached) which is becoming a normal event. In the past, seeing a fox was rare - for the last few hikes, I've seen at least one each time.  Don't know if the population is increasing or they are hungry and looking for food when I happen to be out. 

I saw and learned something about the longhorns today.  The park is divided in sections by barbed wire fences and cattleguards so they can run the cattle in different locations.  Well, while on Flintstone heading to Cougar Overlook, I saw three young longhorns by a cattle guard and fence.  Two of the calves spooked and ran away from me down the fence line.  The third, a slightly larger calf, ran toward the cattleguard and jumped over the cattleguard while simultaneously ducking under the poles supporting the cattleguard and fence thereby joining the rest of the herd on the other side of the barbed wire fence!

I was told some of the larger longhorns jump over the cattleguard with no problem - I learn something new every day!

NOTES -

Water, shade, info kiosk and dry toilets available at Burkett Park.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at 5 Points Junction.

Info kiosk, shade and a bicycle repair station available at Cougar Overlook.

Water and shade available at Bell's Point.

 

North Shore Bell's Trailhead to River Bend Ghost camp and back
San Angelo State Park - 8/17/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 7.20 Miles Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Out -      Bell's Trailhead > DInosaur Trail > Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area > Dinosaur Trail > Lower Big Hill > North Scenic Loop > service road (W) 50 meters > Badlands > River Bend > service road         4.7 miles

Return -  Service road (ENE) > Lower Ghost Camp Trail > River Bend Ghost Camp > Lower Ghost Camp > South SLick Rock > Trailhead to Trailhead (N) (service road) > Shady Trail > Bell's Trailhead                2.5 miles

Temps started at 79 and ended at 96, sunny, light and steady wind.

All trails were dry, easy to traverse and had been groomed fairly recently.  The only animals seen today were the longhorns; there were some birds out but they were not abundant.  The one creature we saw the most of, were spiders - specifically, Garden Spiders!  It seemed every minute or two, we saw another spider either in it's web or on a plant close to the trail.  Grasshoppers were also evident; these were "normal" grasshoppers, the larger ones we saw only a time or two.

We had the trails to ourselves with the exception of seeing a few mountain bikers and a pair of equestrians. 

NOTES

Water and info kiosk available at Bell's Trailhead; water is located at various campsites near the trailhead.

Water, shade and info kiosk available at Dinosaur Tracks Viewing Area.

Water, shade, info kiosks and dry toilets available at the River Bend Ghost Camp area.  IMPORTANT - although water is available, when I tried it, the water had a noticeable "swampy" smell and taste.