Friday, December 28, 2012

A Trip To Mecca

Today Ward and I thought we would go into the historic district of Fredericksburg for a few hours, and check out the town. The plan was to wander around town until one o'clock or so, when temperatures warmed a bit, then we would head up to Enchanted Rock. It's a State Park about 20 miles north of Fredericksburg. Story has it the Native folk of the area considered it a sacred place, but nowadays people simply go there to climb to the top.

I checked the weather conditions for the area and today seemed to be the best day for our pilgrimage. Temperatures were going up to 65 degrees, which would be the best we would get for several days. The only issue was the north wind blowing at about 15 MPH, yikes.

After a morning of wandering through shops downtown, and a nice bowl of soup at a local cafe / bakery, we headed out. The wind turned out to be quite a challenge, but we made it to the Enchanted Rock State Park. There was a line of cars waiting to get to the entrance and make payment. We didn't mind because we were out of the wind and the line moved fairly quickly.

Once we parked the bike Ward and I both looked at each other, then the rock, and back at each other, saying it likely was not the smartest thing we have done by walking around town all morning before coming out to the Enchanted Rock for a trek to the summit. We agreed that we would not take the trek too seriously and just go part way up the 450 foot climb. Looking up the rock, you could see a long line of hikers making their way up. It looked like pilgrims on their way to Mecca, with those at the summit becoming tiny specs in the distance.

I was surprised at how many people were at the rock, climbing to the top. Some folks had walking sticks, others had dogs with them. There were a lot of kids hiking up the rock with their parents. Some smaller children road in packs on their parents backs. Then there were the ones that were jogging up the rock.

Ward and I just took our time, slowly walking along the trail and clambering up the rock face. We actually made it quite far up the rock, which surprised both of us. Ward is in this picture, making his way up the rocky steps.

We each went as far as we thought prudent. Yes, I left Ward in the dust, or on a nice rock in the sun and went a bit further up the rock.
Ward was right beside me in this picture, sitting on his rock. I got to the top of this section of the rock, up a fairly steep incline before I made the decison to stop.

I would like to say that I made it almost to the top, but I believe there was still quite a hike ahead of me if I was to continue. You can see the summit in the distance in this last picture. It was not in the cards for me to try making it the full distance. Well, not if I was going to make it back down again.
You can see the 'start' marked in the photo in the top right corner. Ward made it quite a ways up, his mark is to the left in the photo. I got  to the top of one section of the rock, up a steep incline and marked my spot in the photo in the bottom center.

The view from where I made it was quite nice. I stopped several times during my accent to take photos.

During the trek down the rock Ward and I were both glad we each turned around when we did. We could feel it in our legs as we came to the end of the path and back to the motorcycle.
Here is another view of how far we made it up the rock.

Next time maybe we should bring water, oh, and not go hiking all morning through shops downtown.

That's about it for now folks. 

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