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Walk Around the Rock
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

On one of our excursions we headed between Turkey Peak and Enchanted Rock
and worked our way around the base, through Echo Canyon and back to the campsite.  
From the get-go I was feeling muscles I didn't know were there, or I had forgotten about. 

J.jpg (6833 bytes)ust over the saddle past Turkey Peak is one of the best views of  The Rock.  The conglomeration of cracked granite boulders, diminutive live oaks imitating bonsai trees, climbers looking like Lilliputians and swarming buzzards is enough to make your head spin.   Okay, maybe it I was just hyperventilating.  Anyway, the two of us were preoccupied photographing and videotaping everything in sight. 
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       As I mentioned before, Kevin is determined to break into the entertainment business.  Knowing full well that being an artist of any stripe is definitely low-dollar I suggested to Kevin he might want to contemplate a more manly profession like doctor, or politician or maybe gynecologist.   But his mind is set.  As all grownups know, talking a teenager out of anything is like dancing with a mule.  (Naturally I'm right proud of his decision especially after he informed me it wasn't about the money but about the craft...  just so he understands going in.)
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       While circumnavigating The Rock we stopped time and again so Kevin could videotape something and I could rest a mite.   Somewhere alongside the Devil's Slide area a right pretty young woman passed by, all smiles.
       "We must look like a couple of geeks with all this camera equipment," Kevin mused.
       "No son, we're poets.  Ladies like poets."
       "Yea, sure dad."
       A little aside: You're know you're old when all the pretty young women are looking at your son like you didn't have a part in that. Also, when you and not your offspring need to rest.
       Coming upon Echo Canyon we found ourselves deep in shadow.  Back when the place was privately owned and you could camp anywhere this was my winter campsite.  Sheltered as it is, the north wind doesn't chill your eggs before they're out of the frying pan.  Today there is a kiosk right about where I once pitched my tent.

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       So there we were walking through Echo Canyon and this ol' boy and his young son were sitting along the trail.  The kid was repeating "Daddy, daddy, I want to stay.  I want to stay." 
       And feller said, "No son we gotta go back.   Dad has to take some muscle relaxers."  I thought about tossing dad over my shoulder and making him lead me to his stash.  ("He ain't heavy, he's my hostage.")  But I figured my pain would wear off after a week or so of couch potato therapy.
     The days weren't too cold what with all the hiking around, but back at the campsite with the sun setting and the evening chill coming on I made a little note to myself to bring tongs for the ice chest when camping in the wintertime.   Once you're hands are ice cold in those conditions you dang near have to shove them in a pile of coals just to raise them to body temperature -- but don't try that.  It hurts. 
      Sadly, I lost my little note what came with the store-bought firewood but mostly it warned Californians that smoke from the wood could cause birth defects and other dire results.  Since neither of us were pregnant or from California (Kevin was a home-birth on the Whitman Ranch in Burnet County) we probably burned the note for its heat.
       Just in case you're wondering I solved the cold tent problem.  Fortunately I had an old dome tent cover left overTurnA.jpg (4971 bytes)from tents past and we put that on top of the sleeping bags and all the extra blankets.   Thus buried we were toasty from then on.


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