20MAR15 : Texas Hill Country State Park Double Header

My original plans for tnis final weekend of Spring Break was to head up to Enchanted Rock SNA. I already had reservations made and actually packed and ready to go. When my daughter and I woke up this morning however, the radar looked horrible and the forecast showed it only to get worse. Determined to not have the weekend a complete waste, we decided to make it into a state park road trip and were able to score a double header – hitting both Garner SP and Lost Maples SNA in the same day.

Garner State Park

Garner is a quick thirty minute trip from Uvalde and is by far the most popular park in the area. Today was no exception with respect to the popularity factor. It was packed with people. This didn’t initially discourage us, so and we got the cameras out to hike down the Frio River and hoped to get some cool shots of wildlife and the many majestic Cypress trees. After a short hike, we just couldn’t seem to get away from running into more people so we decided to pack it in and head on towards Utopia (Texas that is, albeit not far from our true Utopia which is Lost Maples SNA).

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Lost Maples SNA

Upon checking in and scoring the second of our double header, we were greeted by the familiarity of our favorite park. The rain had taken a break and the weather was perfect for hiking. We met a kind young man in the parking lot who noticed our cameras and told us that the birds were really active in the designated bird viewing station, so with gear in hand we headed over to the blind to take a look. It was a bird-a-pooluza! We lit up the little shelter with shutter clicks going off like it was the night at the Oscars!

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After leaving the bird blind we proceeded down the East Trail to ‘The Ponds – Campsite C’. Between the two of us, we have literally walked this trail a hundred times, but with our new toys the trail was fresh and new as we sought out photo opportunities. We made it all the way to the ponds and even went a bit further past them, taking side trips where we felt led by our lenses. It wasn’t until we were back at the trailhead did it start raining again. What timing!

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Lost Maples Cafe – Utopia, TX

It is an unspoken given that when we are in Utopia, usually after coming back from the park, we have to pull in at Lost Maples Cafe. In our own version of Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives, this place is at the top of Texas Hill Country dinning! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend pulling in (and don’t forget to save room for dessert, their homemade pies are out of this world)!

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