The Grand Climb

Trip Start Mar 30, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Okay, enough driving! It’s time for a hike, so off to Enchanted Rock. The largest exposed granite mound in the US, the climb is 6/10 mile long with a 425 foot elevation gain. Not so hard to go up, but extremely challenging to come down - at least for someone leery of heights. But I did it! A guy I met described it as walking off a basketball, and that’s just about right. Once I videoed the view from the top (watch for it at the end of the photos), I looked down and realized I had to climb off the thing. Good grief.

The closest I ever get to an edge is about ten feet, and here I was having to walk TOWARD a bald rock edge about six feet away, with nothing but sky above. And no matter how many times I walked toward that stupid edge, the view remained the same... or at least until about halfway down, when I could finally see the ground. And seeing the ground was much better than seeing sky. I mean, no one was going to carry me off the thing, and my technical hiking shorts were too slippery to butt-crawl, so I just had to buck up and do it. Let’s just say I’m extremely proud of myself.

I then took off on the 4 mile loop trail and worked up a good sweat. Not much shade and lots of sun, and I only passed three people along the way. Wonderful! I spent the rest of the day at the little hotel pool, then packed up the truck for Big Bend.

Leaving Fredericksburg, I drove the now familiar path to Kerrville and got to enjoy the curvy trip to Medina one last time. But, surprise, the road past Medina was even better! Steep, curvy, 10mph hairpin switchbacks, yippee! It was a long, fun drive all the way through Vanderpool, Leakey (pronounced lake-ey), Camp Wood, Barksdale, and Rocksprings. I joined I-10 at Sonora and stayed in Ozona for the night.

It was finally time to fill the fuel and water tanks. I’m heading for empty country, so the extra 8 gallons of each are a necessity.

Finally, it’s time for Big Bend, and I can't even begin to describe how excited I am!

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NOTE: The 11th photo is actually a video from the summit of Enchanted Rock.
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