WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21
It finally happened! I have actually begun my first extended trip since my retirement in June 2004. I drove "Miss Daisy" east from Austin about 45 miles to the beautiful Bastrop State Park to camp among the "Lost Pines" for two nights in the Copperas Creek Camping Area.
This isolated forest, located nearly 100 miles from the East Texas Pineywoods, is the westernmost stand of loblolly pines in the United States. In 1997 the park was awarded National Historic Landmark status, one of only five in the nation which were created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the great depression. The park lies within the ecological region known as Post Oak Savannah. It is a mixture of pines, oaks, shrubs, grassland and flowering plants and it provides habitat for the endangered Houston toad.
THURSDAY, JUNE 22
This morning I hiked a portion of the trails, getting in nearly three miles on the Historic Nature Trail and the "Orange" and "Red" trails. The terrain is rather hilly but not overly difficult. About halfway on my trek, I rested in a pavilion where I enjoyed a nice breeze while eating a snack. The Red trail ended close to my camping spot. By then the heat was oppressive and I thought I heard my air conditioned Daisy calling my name. A cool shower revived me and all was well.