Today we went on a nice long hike (probably 6 miles or so!) in the Big Creek Scenic Area (http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/texas/recreation/sam_houston/samhouston_gen_info.shtml ). It was so very pretty! The weather was gorgeous (sorry, Rachel, I said I wasn't going to say anything about above-freezing weather). Mid 60s, sunny, mild. Perfect hiking weather. And no mosquitoes!
(Personally, as a long-time resident of the deep South, I think the weather report should include a daily Bug Index, so you know whether it's even worth it to go outside, or whether swarms of mosquitoes will suck you dry within minutes, like a horde of flying vampiric pirahna.)
The scenic area is huge - over 1000 acres total, with lots of different trails that wind through the woods. There are lots of little bridges too. The trail even starts with one!
Oh, and in case you planned to bring your pack mule with you (to carry all your Gatorade and sunscreen and bug spray) you're out of luck:
(Also? I love that they clarified that a Hiker Trail is for people NOT on ATVs - thanks for the newsflash, Walter Cronkite!)
We saw some really pretty stuff, like this creek (presumably Big Creek) with a mossy tree hanging out over the sides of the bank:
We weren't sure if it was due to heavy rains recently or what, but there were lots of downed old trees. Noel was particularly impressed with this one. It's root system is massive!
As always, I was entranced by the moss. It looked like green velvet carpeting the old trees, the bases of the growing trees, and the rocks, bridges, and pathways. So pretty!
When we returned, we had a healthy dinner of pizza, ice cream, and sugar cookies (we are nothing if not health nuts) and sat down to relax.
Poe apparently decided he needed to help Noel relax (and also help with his lack of kitty-approved hygiene) by giving Noel's head a bath. Thank you, Poe. Always helpful, that one.