David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
04/18  Release the Cows!
04/19  Need A List
04/20  Million Dollar Water
04/23  Peoria IL
04/24  Navigating the Grid
04/25  I'm in a flat land
04/26  Ghetto in the Fields
04/27  The Katy Trail
04/30  Hermann MO
05/01  Hermann to Jefferson City
05/02  The Mushroom Hunters
05/03  Enter the Ozarks
05/04  Ha Ha Tonka
05/09  Bennett Springs State Park
05/10  Barbed Wire and Mansions
05/11  Hello Arkansas
05/16  Up the Mountain
05/17  Muddy Roads
05/21  The Ouachita Trail...
05/22  whip-a-ree
05/23  Mena
05/24  Oklahoma
05/25  Farm to Market to Paris
05/29  Caddo National Grasslands
05/30  Salt Palace and Alligators
05/31  Highways
06/01  Waco
06/06  Waco Mammoth Site
06/07  10 Liters
06/08  Mayonnaise or Mustard
06/10  Llano
06/11  Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel
06/12  High Fences
06/13  Kickapoo Cavern
06/14  Del Rio
06/19  Into the Desert
06/20  Cold and Wet
06/21  Bicycler Bottleneck
06/22  Chisos Mountains
06/23  Chisos Mountain Lodge
06/24  Terlingua
06/25  Alpine
06/27  Friday Night Light
06/28  Dust Devils
07/02  Crops in the Desert
07/03  Armpit of America
07/04  City of Rocks
07/10  Gila National Forest
07/11  Peanut Butter
07/12  Last of the Washboards
07/13  Quemado
07/17  El Malpais
07/18  Last Desert Stretch
07/19  Farmington
07/24  Colorful Colorado
07/25  Between a Rock and a High Place
07/26  Cinnamon Pass
07/27  3250 Miles
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Enchanted Rock and Old Tunnel


tl;dr: I sort of visited Enchanted Rock and ended the day at Old Tunnel State Park to watch bats.

From Llano I made my way to Enchanted Rock State Wilderness Area. There is a $7 entrance fee, but because I had no intention of hiking, had already seen much of the rock from the road, am cheap, and, besides, I've seen plenty of rocks before, I simply ate lunch at a picnic table, topped off my water and left.

Fredericksburg is an amazingly touristy city with a tourist strip over a mile long. I didn't stop.

So this is what low humidity feels like? Every time I came to a flowing creek (which was often), I would stop and soak my shirt. By the time I arrived at the next creek, the shirt would be dry.

There was a sign clearly indicating that my chosen road was closed, but I ignored it (as I do). When I finally made it to the bridge construction and asked a guy if I could sneak through, he said, "That bridge is gone. The water is eleven feet deep, and it's crowded with snakes! I've never seen so many snakes!" So I returned to the detour.

In typically poor judgment I drank almost a liter of chocolate milk at a gas station. That slowed me down as I climbed my way up to Old Tunnel State Park.

While peddling, I spied a herd of axis deer in some woods, but I assumed I was seeing whitetail fawns. Then a dozen axis deer crossed the road right in front of me. It turns out that axis deer and sitka deer and blackbuck antelope have little respect for fences, high or otherwise. A few years ago massive flooding made short work of many of these fences, anyway. Now these exotic critters are feral and thriving and can be shot on site at any time.

Old Tunnel State Park is a state park built around an old train tunnel that now houses some million Mexican free-tailed bats. The bats pour out of the tunnel to great affect if you are more lucky than me and arrive on a night where they launch before twilight.

As I sat with the crowd of touristy bat watchers, I could see the bats, but no pictures turned out. Oh well. Interestingly, some folks had (very) good binoculars, and the bats were very visible through those.

Though the park does not allow camping, it was hinted that nobody would be investigating the park once everybody left, which happened quickly, because apparently bats don't hold the attention that a mile of tourist shops does.

The park is the highest point in several counties, so there was a good wind blowing away mosquitoes. I decided to just sleep under a picnic table shelter at the edge of the lookout where the breeze could hit me all night long.

Today I drank eight-and-a-half liters, although some of that was soda and chocolate milk. It seems I can expect to drink a liter every eight miles if I "pre-hydrate" by guzzling as much water as I can hold when I find a water source. It pains me that I'm mixing metric and imperial.

Sandy Creek

loose livestock


toward Enchanted Rock


Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

looking back upon Enchanted Rock


blackbuck antelope


Frontier Outpost


more catfish heads


Old Tunnel State Park

waiting for the bats

if you look really close, you still won't see bats, but they are there

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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