I can’t believe we have lived in Phoenix six years now. Wow – how time flies! Since moving here, we got a camper trailer. Mom loves having a frig with ice and a human bathroom. Dad appreciates not having to sleep on the ground, which we used to do. In fact, while living in Texas, we did just that—once.
We drove up to hill country (about three hours from Houston, TX) and got a camp site at Enchanted Rock. We have climbed up the 425-foot rock before, but this time we were camping in a tent. Enchanted Rock is located in the heart of hill country and is near Fredericksburg, a quaint German-themed tourist town. If you haven’t been, you should visit, especially at Christmastime. They do it up right!
There are lots of camping options and the fees vary. I would recommend you go to: https://texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/enchanted-rock-state-natural-area/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=TX&parkId=1200056
for availability, rates and reservations. You could also hotel it, but Fredericksburg is expensive. We found that staying in Kerrville is a better deal, although it is 30 minutes away. The LaQuinta there is pet friendly, FYI.
Anyway, legends have it that Tonkawa Indians named the pink granite rock believing a Spanish conquistador cast a spell on it, making magical ghost fires glow at the top—thus the name Enchanted Rock. Catching it at different times of days gives you unique views of color changes.
We settled in to enjoy our evening, but true to Texas, the bugs were awful. I got bit more times than I can count. No amount of bug spray seems to help in Texas where the bugs are truly BIG! We got in the tent to sleep, and the humidity was so high that the tent sagged. The temperatures dropped down into the 40s, and we froze! The combination of cold and wet was not pleasant. By morning, our tent was about ready to collapse. We were going to stay a second night but bailed on that idea.
We still wanted to hike, and we opted to take the Enchanted Rock Loop trail this time since we had already hiked up the rock a couple of times. For a Colorado dog like me, the 1,825 elevation at the top was no problem. For Texans, it can be a challenge.
The loop trail is about 5.4 miles total and is heavily trafficked since it is flat and easy. If you didn’t camp, you will probably need to pay a $8 daily use fee. Dogs are welcome but need to be on a leash. A word about dogs on leash: even if an area allows dogs off leash, my mom encourages humans to keep dogs leashed. Not everyone like dogs, and some are even afraid. Unless your dog is perfect 100 percent of the time, a leash helps maintain control. My leash recently broke, but I was a good boy and “stayed” just as my mom commanded.
Hill country is very pretty and is true to its name: it has hills! Certainly nothing like Colorado, but it is scenic, nonetheless. This particular trail has a river near it, so doggies can get a quick dip. If you go in the fall, you just might see some color as we did. The trail basically goes all the way around Enchanted Rock, so you have views of it the entire time.
Ticks are alive and well here in the Texas forest, so be sure both canines and humans are protected. Mom puts Frontline Plus on me every month, and my folks use Deet to ward off ticks. You do not want to get Lyme disease, trust me on that. Mom had it and has never been the same since.
After our hike, we drove back home to Houston, where it was even more humid. Looking back at it, I don’t know how we survived the heavy, wet air, but we did. We saw and did some great things, and we are grateful for the experiences. However, I think we fit Arizona much better. Wherever you live, make the most of it. Get outside and enjoy it!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert, and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!