Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Little Lake Creek Wilderness, and the hike that didn't happen

Ah, the rain insane stays mainly in the coastal plane.  After suffering through a drought of record that apparently peaked in 2011, it seems this year that the precip is never planning to stop here on the upper Texas coast.
This is what the radar looks like as I write this post.  It wasn't any better two days ago when I was up in the Sam Houston National Forest.  
Ordinarily I would not venture out in that kind of weather, but I had business in the area and I decided to divert for an overnight boondock.  I was hoping the rain would let up long enough for me to explore a trail or two in the 3,800-acre Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area.
I saw a lake, alright, but it wasn't where it was reported on the map.  It commenced in the parking lot and continued over basically the entire wilderness.  The ditches in the area were overflowing onto the FM roads, which is something you don't see every day.  
Not looking good, is it??  But I had journeyed all the way to this trailhead north of Montgomery, Texas, so I had to at least give it a proverbial shot.  A token effort.  
The ground was so saturated that every step was a slip 'n' slide.  The trail is not well-compacted and has not been mulched or covered in aggregate.  This is good information to know.  In heavy rain, it's almost impassable.  I couldn't walk more than about one mile an hour due to the uncertain footing in these conditions.  
This bridge sorta summed up my mood.  

Signs pointing east and west toward areas of interest that I will have to return one drier day to explore.  
This guy was trying to keep from drowning.  Hug that sign!
I hiked for about 20 minutes total, but the downpour was so intense that it was literally deafening on my umbrella.  This is where zip-off pants really come in handy, though.  The umbrella kept the top part of me relatively dry, and I was able to remove and wring out the pant legs without having to get undressed.  I hung them up to dry using Container Store's magnet clips.  
All was not lost, however, as I had a peaceful and relaxing boondock that night in the nearby Conroe area.  We are drawing closer to the time of year where boondocking will be difficult to impossible due to the subtropical summer heat.  Our Interstate has an Onan generator that will run the coach A/C, but I find it difficult to imagine a restful night with that noisy little sucker running all night long. So it will be RV park or bust for the coming months.
I never have a boondocking overnight without learning something new, and this time was no exception.  What I learned is that I still haven't identified a workable butter travel solution. I don't like to put it in the fridge where it would become rock hard and unspreadable, but I haven't found a good receptacle for containing the inevitable slop, either.  This is the standard Rubbermaid butter dish that has been manufactured for years, but even used upside-down from its intended orientation, it still found a way to leak like a sieve all over my tiny little Class B floor.  The search for a better butter solution continues. 
But I did get some yoga done.  Believe it or not, one can successfully do a lot of yoga in the narrow confines of an Interstate.  More about that later. 

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