Sunday, November 26, 2006

11 miles in my backyard.

It is good to have one's backyard touch the borderlands. The ability to step out and leave behind polite society keeps me sane (or at least helps me fake sanity).

So, Black Friday found Clark and I spending the day hiking in the borderlands. We'd walk for a while then spot a sweet sand bar just begging for a small campfire. Off would come the backpacks, out would come some snacks and a way to make requested fire. After 30-40 minutes of sniffing woodsmoke and searching for petrified wood we'd pack up and head off again.

Fire therapy.
Fire1

More fire therapy.
ClarkFire

Boiling water with woodgas.
Woodgas2

We spent seven hours out there and walked over 11 miles according to my GPS unit. But the really great thing was we never got farther than two miles away from my house. We've been exploring this area for almost three years now and have yet to tread on a majority of the land or follow the same path. The Spring Creek borderlands stretch for miles in each direction uninhabited thanks to periodic flooding. It is the most amazingly wonderful backyard a person could have within 100 miles of Houston.

Our GPS track.
11-24-06walk

Spring Creek
SpringCreek

All along the banks of Spring Creek were strange tracks like something dragged itself through the sand.
Tracks
We are assuming turtles made the tracks though we have seen alligators along here. The tracks were usually 6"-12" across and would come out of the water, cross the sand and disappear into the woods.

Spring Creek is occasionaly turbulated by outcroppings of clay. These clay deposits are fairly hard but get carved into interesting features. They also allow for fairly dry crossings of the creek when it is running low.
Clay Clark

Back when we did the First Descent of Spring Creek we portaged Seeker's Fate over stuff like this. Walking under it is much easier.
Tree

We ended our walk at the Montgomery County Preserve. Having bushwacked for seven hours, we were tired. Rather than turn around and walk the two miles home we gave Clark's wife a call. A few minutes later we were driving home. A few minutes after that I fell asleep on Clark's couch. I just meant to sit for a bit. Walking the block to my house I caught Mini- and Misseswether as they made a drop stop from their Black Friday shopping excursions. Silly girls! Malls instead of sandbars? That's just plum insane.

Adventure! Excitement! Exploration!

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