We decided to meet at 3:30 AM this weekend (Saturday) for our trip up to HCSNA in Bandera so that we may start our run promptly at 5. Austin's Tejas Trails group was to be there, and we hoped to meet up with them at 7 AM. after we'd covered 10 miles. With the Heat we've been experiencing, we try to get most of our miles in early.
On our way up to Bandera, Tim, Tom, and I talked about what we've seen running the trails. Stories about Owls, Coyotes, armadillos, deer, snakes, etc. And I forgot to bring up the time Tom chased a baby opossum up a tree! Great things we see trail running.
It was a pleasure to meet new folks to our group. Connie, Ben, and Lalo were new to the rugged hills of Bandera also. The pace was faster than normal and I was afraid we may have scared the new folks.
We started our run at 5 AM, in the dark of course. A line of 10 headlamps in succession illuminating the trail was a sight to see. We were to find out later that it was Connie's first time running in the dark! And her headlamp broke midway through our nighttime run. She handled it like a pro and turned it into a handheld.
Back at the starting point we met David and Bryan from Austin and started on the second portion of our run, the next 15 miles of the Cactus Rose course.
We met up with Joe Prusaitus (race director of many Trail races in Texas) and John Kuss from Austin as we came up on the Big Nasty. The Big Nasty is a very rocky, short but steep technical climb.
We continued on to the Three sisters. HCSA (Hill Country State Natural Area) also known as Bandera consists of very rugged trails and climbs with names like, Sky Island, Lucky peak, Ice Cream hill, The Thee sisters, Cairns climb, and The Big Nasty. All littered with loose and jagged rocks. No easy walk through the woods. So it was no easy feat to see Connie and Lalo complete 25 miles out there on their first visit.
After our run we laughed ,joked, and congratulated each other for a good run.
Leaving the park, we saw a red tail hawk grab a small bird with it's talons and carry it off across the sky! Amazing!