FROM THE BASE OF ENCHANTED ROCK.
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.
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.
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.)
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
"We must look like a couple of geeks
with all this camera equipment," Kevin mused.
"No son, we're poets. Ladies like
"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.
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
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 overfrom 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.
PAGE 1: ARRIVAL / PAGE 2: LOOP TRAIL / PAGE 3: AROUND
PAGE 4: LITTLE ROCK
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