Monday, April 18, 2016

Trip Report: Goodwater Loop Round 3

Angela’s Big Adventure

For the majority of the group hiking, we are no strangers to the 26-mile trail that travels around Lake Georgetown.  If you want to see a little of our history in the area, you can check out our attempted mountain bike trip or our first hike of the trail.  BeeGee, Angela, Jack, and I headed out to Goodwater Loop on March 12, 2016.  This was Angela’s first big adventure.  To build up for this Angela was able to go on a few day hikes and one overnight car camping trip.  All of this seemed to work perfectly because she was a perfect little adventure buddy.

Because we have been here before, I will only provide a quick background for Goodwater Loop.  

The Background

Location: 2100 Cedar Breaks Rd, Georgetown, TX 78633
Admission: $5 admission and $20 campsites. Primitive sites are free
Elevation: 790 to 950ft
Weather: Sunny and warm, 50 to 75F
Difficulty: Difficult
Website: http://www.swf-wc.usace.army.mil/georgetown/Recreation/Trails/Hike.asp



Day 1: The Hike Out

This was actually the earliest we had ever set out onto Goodwater Loop and thankfully it was a bearable temperature the entire day walking.  Jack was kind enough to act as Angela’s handler throughout the trip while I took care of BeeGee.  The trail looked the same as the last time we were there except Lake Georgetown is full of water.


Angela and BeeGee exploring the trail
Angela and BeeGee exploring the trail

The trip started with a little bit of a surprise.  Less than a fourth of a mile in, Jack and I hear a voice calling to us somewhere in the woods.  As we turned around to find the person calling us, there was no one to be seen yet.  Just a male voice in the woods walking towards us asking us random questions about what adventure we were up to.  I assume the guy was homeless and lived out in the woods.  I encouraged Jack to walk over so we could just answer all of his questions and get on with our hike, but Jack was scared of the guy.  I noticed the girls weren’t upset about his presence so I wasn’t too worried (Angela and BeeGee are great judges of character).  Eventually, the guy asked the direction of the trailhead and headed off and we were free to continue our adventure. 


BeeGee trying to get in some rocking climbing before it gets dark
BeeGee trying to get in some rocking climbing before it gets dark

Around the 1-mile mark, we made it to the section of the trail that parallels Lake Georgetown and I have never seen the lake so full.  On our previous trips, the water line was low and it would have been impossible to make it the shores; however, this time, it would have been incredibly easy to take a side path down.  BeeGee loves shallow water and encouraged me more than a few times to let her run down the edge of the lake.  Angela wasn’t too concerned because she hates any water that’s not water in her bowl.


Jack trying to get the girls in photo poses
Jack trying to get the girls in photo poses

So all the extra water in the area caused a slight problem because there are 4 creeks that you have to cross by jumping or rock balancing on the way to Sawyer Hollow Camp.  The first 2 creeks are easily jumpable so they weren’t too much of an issue for Angela.  After conquering those 2 creeks we continued on to the abandoned farm house.  Here we found a cow and its very young calf.  I was sure we were going to get it from the mama cow because the girls were fired up and making a lot of noise.



Angela posing on a cliff overlooking Lake Georgetown
Angela posing on a cliff overlooking Lake Georgetown
Surviving the cows, we took a quick detour down to Knight Springs, which isn’t even visible anymore because of how high Lake Georgetown’s water line is.  Furthermore, there is no way to walk over to the area anymore because of all the water.  In 2015, we were able to walk right up to the falls.  A little disappointed we headed back to the trail and found Crockett Gardens.  This little spring fed creek was only a few feet wide back in 2015, but now was over 10 feet wide.  This is the creek that was tough for Angela.  Jack and to walk Angela on her leash across the creek while trying to balance across rocks to make it across without wet feet.  He failed because Angela went a little wild and pulled him right into the water.


Watching Crockett Springs flow over into Knight Springs
Watching Crockett Springs flow over into Knight Springs

Continuing on we made it to the fourth creek, which is pretty small and spring fed.  Angela crossed with ease while BeeGee found some muddy water to lay down in.  That murky water turned out to be a rather stinky mud hole, but still nowhere near as bad as all the skunk attacks we have experienced out on Goodwater Loop.  BeeGee is almost at 1 surprise skunk attack per trail visit.

Angela Hanging out in Sawyer Hollow Camp before Dinner
Angela Hanging out in Sawyer Hollow Camp before Dinner

After 3 more miles of beautiful terrain, we finally made it to Sawyer Hollow Camp.  Once again the area looked completely different because of high water level in Lake Georgetown.  Jack and I started setting up camp and then worked on our dinner.  We tried out some new freeze dried food from Wise Food Storage.  Realizing we were not going to share, the girls quickly dozed off while Jack and I talked and messed around camp.  Not too much after dark, I corralled the girls into my tent, got them settled, and off to bed we went. 


Day 2: The Hike Back

It turned out to be a pretty chilly night and I can never sleep well if I think Angela or BeeGee are cold at night.  I naturally wake up periodically to make sure they are fully covered by their adventure blankets.  One day I plan to save up to get them pup sleeping bags so I won’t have to worry as much.  Even better than a restless night was waking up to BeeGee throwing up in our tent.  Angela especially didn’t like this and thought the best place to escape was the top of the tent and slowly climbed on my head to get away. 


After getting all 3 of us out of the tent, BeeGee only threw up on her blue foam sleep mat.  This was easily washed off in the lake before breakfast.  After everyone had a quick breakfast, Jack and I started to break camp.  I could tell the girls were energized and ready to get back to adventuring as they slowly started exploring further away as we finished packing up.  Just before hitting the trail BeeGee and I were playing with a stick, which is sometimes the best kind of BeeGee toy, when Angela came over and tried to get sassy over who owned the stick.  A tussle was about to go down, but I was able to run over quickly and grab Angela away.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize my own strength and kind of tossed Angela.  She didn’t seem phased after being thrown and the 2 girls were back to being peaceful. 


Angela and Jack hustling down the trail!
Angela and Jack hustling down the trail!

Mid-morning, we were back at it and on our way back to the car.  This being a fairly short out and back trip, there wasn’t too much that happened that we didn’t see the day before.  The exception being, Angela was able to spend a little extra time off leash, which ended in a minor scare.  Angela spotted a furry creature and took off into the woods after it.  Unlike BeeGee, Angela isn’t the best at responding to her name, but after a short search, we were able to locate her.  She was quietly barking at a hole covered in jumping cactus. 


Angela looking down at the horrible water below and being thankful she is dry
Angela looking down at the horrible water below and being thankful she is dry

It was good that Angela went back on her leash because this was probably the busiest I have ever seen Goodwater Loop.  Tons of families out walking and folks with their dogs.  Having Angela and BeeGee leashed made it easy to keep them away from other dogs (no fights) and away from dog skittish hikers.  Finally making it back, the girls seemed pretty happy for the AC in the car and were fast asleep before we made it out of Georgetown. 


If you have ever been to Goodwater Loop let me know your thoughts or if you are planning a trip what does your itinerary look like?  Also, if you like the blog, please follow us on Facebook.


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