Lost Maples East Trail
We started the day by stopping at the park office to see if we could find a place to stay for Saturday night. Tonight we are in #15, but will move to #30 for tomorrow night. It is not a desirable spot as it is not very level, but we would like to stay here through Sunday so it will have to do. Perhaps someone will cancel. Last night a number of people did not show up (probably because of the weather) but I am not sure they cancelled.
The office staff told us that we could get better internet 4 miles down the road at the Country Market. As we needed to deal with reservations, and we wanted the newspapers, we took the short trip there and bought some olive oil also.
Today’s walk was the Maple Trail to the East Trail with a return on the East Trail. The path is mostly hard packed clay, but there are places with lots of loose rock. We could have made a loop out of the East Trail but there are steep places which were described by another hiker as steps and boulders. 1.5 miles of that seemed more challenging than we were up for. Two noteworthy stops along our trail were Monkey Rock – eroded limestone that really looks like a monkey – and the Grotto – an eroded overhang with a small pool beneath. The East Trail is a fun hike as it follows and crosses a number of times the Sabinal River which is little more than a trickle here. Along the way there are oaks, maples, Ashe Juniper, and Texas Madrone. The latter has smooth rusty colored bark; we hadn’t seen them since Belize. Ball Moss grows on most of the oaks and cedars. At one point we saw evidence of Javelina having dug on the side of the path.
All in all, it was a pleasant 3-mile walk.