Doug Goodman

Texas Horror Writer. Cadaver Dog Handler.

Doug's Blog

21st Trail Summary

Posted by douggoodman on December 11, 2016 at 6:15 PM


Wow. I’ve done it. 21 hikes on 21 trails. That’s only half-way there, but it’s got to count for something, right? So, I've been hiking for roughly seven and a half months now, and I've just completed my 21st hike. I've just been looking over the hikes, and I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing. Throughout Texas, I've visited mountains, forests, our lovely brown coast, and the hill country. I find it interesting (probably because I’ve hung around too many engineers) that of the four major “sections” of Texas (west, east, central, and south), the only section of Texas I have not hiked in is South Texas. If you consider North Texas as part of your map, then I've also hiked in North Texas. If you see a difference between El Paso and the Panhandle (and I do), then I've yet to hike in the Panhandle, though I plan to remedy that in March.


Although most of my hikes have been in the state parks (shout-out to the Texas State Parks Pass, get yours now), the National Parks System has provided me with two hiking opportunities that I've made use of, and local parks have been under my feet for five different trails. All this and I've never gotten lost or been eaten by wild squirrels!


Some of my numbers: 44 miles and 24 hours. Yes, that's right. I've been walking for over a day. And my feet couldn't thank me enough. (I think they’re giving me the "Grumpy Cat" glare...)


Some of the things I've encountered:

Broken bridges

Swollen creeks


Rock slides

One friendly stray puppy

Hogshead snakes

Amazing, have-to-see-it-yourself waterfalls (seriously, go see the waterfalls in Texas!)

Ruins (the not-scary kind)

Giant basketball-sized balls of spiders

…and the list goes on.


I don’t want to say yet which trail was my favorite. I’m not sure I have one yet, but I will say that starting this year of hiking at Pedernales Falls and the Franklin Mountains really helped motivate me. I’m not sure I could have kept with this plan had I not had those trails to fall back on.


Part of why I did this, though, was to try to gain some newfound wisdom or insight about the meaning of life. This is a work in progress. I’m learning and I’m watching and I’m taking everything in, but so far the biggest thing I’ve found is that I enjoy the trails more with my family than I do alone. I think that may be all the insight I need.


Also, I’ve developed a keen interest in the adventure available through the parks system. I am still blown away by how each trail is new and different. Believe me, once the trails started to center around the Houston area, I got concerned. I wondered if I would get bored. But I have yet to hike a “ho-hum” trail. Whether it was the addition of hiking with the Scouts, the accompaniment of my family, or the companionship of a puppy to the trail, I’ve never been bored and I’ve always come away really pleased with the result. There are no boring trails, just people not looking for the adventure!


I have some idea of where I’m going from here. There are arrangements to hike Palo Duro, and fingers crossed for Enchanted Rock and Garner State Park. I’ve only barely begun to explore Brazos Bend State Park’s trail system, so I hope to go back there, soon. And like I said, the only part of Texas I haven’t hiked is South Texas. So there is definitely a lot to look forward to. I haven’t done “winter hiking” in Texas yet, and I might get the chance to hike some caves and try some new and crazy things. So, as I am learning, there are lots of adventures that I’m already looking forward to.


Categories: 42 Trails

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