Colorado Bend State Park

I recently decided that I have a new life-hobby. That means that it will be a hobby for life, or at least until I’m too old to continue, and I’m really excited about it.

Last year, Matt and I started to really get into camping and hiking.

We visited several state parks, including  Pedernales Falls and  Palo Duro Canyon, and trekked our way through Guadalupe Mountain National Park and Big Bend.

This year we want to step things up a bit. That means more trips, better gear, and eventually (spring) we want to try our hand at backpacking. The goal is to return to Big Bend in the spring and then a big trip to the Grand Canyon in the fall.

In preparation, we’re planning on taking as many smaller trips as possible.

We decided to start the year out with a weekend trip to Colorado Bend State Park.

One problem that we’ve run into is that there aren’t many local places to go where you can hike for extended lengths. As much as I love the Greenbelt, sometimes a gal wants to hike more than 4 miles at a time.

IMG_8385 IMG_8389 IMG_8447Colorado Bend State park has over 30 miles of  trail systems, is right on the river, and offers a fairly remote atmosphere. By “fairly” I mean that there are no showers, no sinks, and only composting toilets…. but I was able to log on to a weak signal of WIFI from our campsite. On the other hand, there was absolutely no phone service or electrical hookups, which to me, is pretty ideal.

We didn’t arrive to the site on Friday evening until nearly 7:30, so it was dark and difficult to get a real feel for our surroundings. The park ranger had already left for the evening, so we were also not able to light a fire. We set up camp, heated up some turkey chili, and went to sleep fairly early.

carissa cave IMG_8439 IMG_8442

Saturday morning we woke up early, took our time making breakfast and exploring the site, and were still able to fit in a good 7 hour hike. We didn’t add up our mileage until we got home, but I wasn’t surprised to learn that we put in 15 miles that day, which is pretty good considering the days are shorter when you’re in a canyon. We also managed to find a few geocaches (our other super nerdy hobby) and hide one of our own.

We actually cut it pretty close. The last 2 miles of our hike were done in complete darkness. For a few minutes there I was pretty sure I would become coyote dinner.

The highlights of the weekend were the numerous caves that you could walk in, some that have never even been explored before; the perfect weather during the daytime (nights were a little cold); the beautiful Colorado Springs, and the fact that my phone didn’t work for over 36 hours.

The only downfall is that we both came home feeling a little under the weather and completely exhausted. I would write more, but my eyes are swollen from allergies and my stomach has seen way better days.

 

 

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  • Rob

    I’m pretty sure those caves have been explored, and most likely by me as a kid. Gorman Falls and Lemon’s Fishing Camp were well-trodden grounds back before the late ’80′s when it was taken over by the state, and I spent a lot of time there as a kid running around the various caves and falls. You could actually climb Gorman Falls and swim around before it became “environmentally sensitive”. All of the good swimming holes have gone the way of the dodo.