MikeHikes's Logbook

Stats

Total Log Entries: 323 (Rank: 3rd)  [List Them]  [Map Them]
Total Distance: 2,572.90 Miles (Rank: 2nd)
Average Distance: 7.97 Miles

Average Rating: 4stars (4.26)
Average Difficulty: 1star (1.15)
Average Solitude: 4point5stars (4.60)

Earliest Log Entry: 1/7/2014
Latest Log Entry: 8/25/2019

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

Photos

1st Snake of 2015

Weather was unseasonably warm and brought out the first snake of the year - a Texas Patchnose Snake (non-poisonous) - hope he finds shelter before the freeze hits in another day or two! [San Angelo State Park]

Log Entries

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. 

 

South Shore Burkett Park to Roadrunner Loop Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 8/12/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 5stars
Distance: 9.70 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area      3.8 miles

Leg 2 -  Playground parking area > Roadrunner Loop > Playground parking area       3.0 miles

Leg 3 -  Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park         2.9 miles

Temp started at 76, ended at 96.  Sunny with steady light wind.

Trails are all dry and have been groomed.  We're in the 15th straight day of 100+ degree temps with no rain so vegetation has not grown much.  The birds were not active at all; individual flyers were out and I saw a dozen baby quail with an adult pair fly out when I approached, otherwise, not many birds were out and the ones that were, are looking scraggly!

I saw about 10 white tail deer, including one fawn with spots, at various locations.  A grey fox was seen on Lanky Lackey - it had been lounging in the sun when it jumped up and watched me from some bushes (photo attached).

Overall, a good hike on a very warm day!

NOTES

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

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

Water and shade available at various campsites parallel to Roadrunner Loop.  There are toilets available at the midway point of the Loop.

 

South Shore Armadillo Ridge to Playground Parking Area Figure 8
San Angelo State Park - 7/27/2019  [View Log Page]
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 10.40 Miles Duration: 4 hours

Leg 1 -  Burkett park > WS to LL Connector > Roller coaster > West Potts Creek > Armadillo > East Potts Creek > Burkett Trail > Burkett Park      3.7 miles

Leg 2 - Burkett Park > WS to LL Connector > Lanky Lackey > Nature Loop > Tasajilla Flats > Playground parking area        3.8 miles

Leg 3 - Playground parking area > Chaparral > Winding Snake > Burkett Park     2.9 miles

Temp started at 68, ended at 83.  Sunny with light wind.

The trails were crowded - at least they were crowded compared to the normal amount of traffic I see which is one or two people at most.  The trails themselves are dry and easy to traverse.  Almost all have been groomed and those few spots that haven't, are pretty insignificant as far as obstacles or hinderances.

Today I saw a number of deer; the bucks were 6 and 8 pointers with lots of velvet covering their antlers.  Birds were fairly numerous - cuckoos and painted buntings along with the normally seen birds.   I also saw a small, thin, black snake that may have been one foot long at the most.  Not a quarter a mile down the same trail, a Horned Toad about the size of my thumb, was catching some rays in the middle of the trail.  I got a snap (photo attached) then got him off the trail to safety.

NOTES

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

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