Monday, May 29, 2017

Cross Timber Hiking Trail

It rained yesterday and foretasted to be Sunny on Memorial day, so Yong and I decided to go to Cross Timber Hiking Trail by Lake Texoma for a long distance hiking on Memorial day, in preparation for climbing Mt Whitney. The trail is mostly shaded by trees but it is a hilly trail - per North Texas standard. We hiked 16 miles with total of 2500 ft elevation gain. The hiking poles are extremely helpful for hiking on this hilly trail - I could not imagine what could happen today without it.

trail head

portion of the trail is densely bushed 
I learnt quit a few things from  hiking of such a long distance in one stretch of time for the first time.

We were incredulous when Yong told me  the day before that the average speed to hike this trail is 2.5 miles/hour. Come on! We can walk 3 miles/hour in casual walking, I thought. But we completed the 16 mile hilly trail in 8 hours including breaks with our best efforts, almost exactly what he told me. The lesson learnt is that we should not extrapolate a conclusion when conditions are different.

Each of us brought 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Gatorade for this 8 hour hike. We barely had enough - we both finished our bottles shortly before we got back to the car. We should have brought more water.

Since the trail has dense bushes, we wore long pants, applied plenty of bug spray in addition to Sunscreen. Despite walking into Spider webs twice on the hiking trail, we got no bug bites on the whole trail.

A cove of Lake Texoma 
Cross Timber trail has beautiful scenes along the shoreline of Lake Texoma but it could become boring since it kind of repeats itself many times - same tress, same bugs, similar coves, and similar bird chirping .....after a few turns we felt we just passed a similar place a few minutes ago.

To me there were many variations - I heard the chirping of cardinals, mocking birds and heard the pecking sound from woodpeckers a couple times among other chirping I am not familiar with, I whistled with them!  The changing clouds and rock formation along the shoreline changed the seemingly same shoreline views; paying a little bit attention to the surroundings - I saw a well camouflaged dragon fly on a dead tree branch, tried to got a closer view of a camouflaged lizard on my camera, I saw different colors of flowers and I saw butterflies.

More fundamentally hiking in the wild for me is to exercise for a better body, to breath fresh air, and to forget about daily life and to have a total mental relaxation of mind. It is like a sign along the trail states - A Stairway to heaven  .... for both body and soul.

Our trail

Texas Sky

A well camouflaged dragon fly
A lizard

A stairway to heaven

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