The morning air was a crisp 59 degrees, a beautiful kiss from the changing of the seasons. We arrived at our trail head at approximately nine o'clock. Just as we planned. I crawled out of my girlfriends car that hiked us an hour North up the highway from our current apartment. Immediately I am blasted by an almost deafening silence that the vast forest creates, which is a stark contrast to the bombardment of busyness we experience closer to the city. I take a deep breath and noticed how fresh and overpowering the trees smelled. Almost an instant connection was made to all of the plant life around me. I gathered my ruck before doing a few minutes of stretching, then I threw it on my back. I double checked our maps, location, and equipment. Then I grabbed my pumpkin to snap a pic sending me off into the woods.
Hiking through the wilderness has a way of cleansing the mind in alot of ways. It opens parts of the brain that are longing to be closer to nature. Texas is an absolutely beautiful state with a unique spirit engrained inside of those trees and in that wind. We even heard music from Cody Johnson raining down from the skies it seemed. (I'm serious we checked our map and have no clue how anyone near us was playing music on what sounded like distant concert speakers. It was Lonestar magic or something.)
We walked and talked but not to far into the hike we decided to abandon our pumpkins which led me to the idea of changing the tradition to the Autumn Hike and make it a yearly thing in October. Anyways, the further we made it through the trail the more I felt my spirit rebuilding. My girlfriend and I kept spotting beautiful wild mushroom after beautiful wild mushroom. Seemingly the more we spotted them the more they exposed themselves. Taking in the soul of the forest was an intention I set out to experience. The hike itself was easy, no rocky elevation like I'm used to in my home state of Colorado but it was a great workout for my back and legs. We took a minor detour looping back around at the end of the trail to come back which delayed our hike about 30-40 minutes but we still finished in a little under 3 hours. Staying fit, active, and healthy while enjoying the outdoors. Not a bad idea. I think I might just do it more often.
Sam Houston National Forest, Lonestar Hiking Trail: Big Creek Section 10.