Goodwater Loop: Round 4 - First Taste of the Wild
Hiking with a New Friend
First, Team Adventures with BeeGee wants to congratulate Angie on being the winner of our first ever giveaway!On our most recent visit, Jack, BeeGee, and I took a new friend out for a taste of backpacking. We decided to head out to Goodwater Loop because it’s the best backpacking location in central Texas. This isn’t the first time we have taken a new hiker out to Lake Georgetown, you can check out Angela’s big adventure. On June 11th we headed out on a nice and hot day to experience backpacking for the first time.
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 hot, 90 to 95F
Day 1: The Hike and Meet Up
Stephen, BeeGee, and I woke up and headed out to Cedar Breaks Park to kick off our adventure. Even though we started out early it was already pretty hot. Thankfully, most of the first 8 miles were shaded by trees. As we made it down by the lake, the water was at the highest point I’ve ever seen. Stephen was doing fine, especially for how hot and humid it was.
We eventually made it to the first creek crossing, which is normally nothing more than a skip across. This time, the creek was knee deep and over 10-feet across. We decided it was best to take off our socks and roll up our pants before forging ahead. While we were doing this about 5 mountain bikers came from the other direction and crossed the creek with no issues which made everyone else feel a little better. Wading across was easy enough, even if BeeGee had to do a little paddling.
Moving on down the trail, it was pretty much the same walk I remembered and blogged about before. Except all of the water crossings were much fuller and the water was so high at Crockett Gardens there really isn’t a waterfall anymore. Normally you can hop across the stream at Crockett Gardens using pre-placed rocks, but this was not the case today. Plus, Cedar Hollow Camp was partially underwater, which made it difficult to find a flat location to pitch a tent if you wanted to camp there. After exploring Cedar Hollow a bit, I found 2 people kayaking that seemed a little hostile (a bunch of angry and intimidating stares) so we kept going and made our way to Sawyer Hollow Camp.
Once we found our campsite, I left Stephen to rest, relax, and protect our space while BeeGee and I set out to link up with Jack. The plan was for Jack to park at Tejas Park and meet me in the middle around the 2-mile mark. Heading out again wasn’t bad, just the standard rocky trail, until we reached a flooded creek. Thankfully, the water was tranquil and shallow enough to ford. BeeGee and I struck out to get across. About halfway across BeeGee needed an assist and I carried her to the other side, which was a steep embankment.
Not much further BeeGee and I gleefully(sarcasm) found the trail was submerged. We skirted the edge of the lake and headed where we thought the trail went to the best of our abilities. This forced us to walk through tall grass on steep angles. After about 3/4th a mile, the trail reappeared and we met up with Jack shortly after that. On the way back we discovered a snake that did not want to share the trail. After stomping and making noise to no avail, we were left with no choice but to spray water in an attempt to convince the snake to slither away.
We followed our off-trail path through the grass and eventually made it back to the “creek” crossing and Jack was super pumped. I went first in an attempt to swim his pack over the deep part while he kept BeeGee from following me. This didn’t work out so well and I was pretty certain I would end up with brain amoebas because I went underwater for a bit.
After 12 miles for BeeGee and I, we made it back to camp. Stephen was just hanging out and was a little worried about how long we had been away. Plus, another guy showed up and was setting up camp. Once the sun finally went down, everyone expected it to cool off significantly; however, this was not the case and it remained hot for a long time.
Day 2: The Long Trek to Car
The next day turned out to be pretty miserable. The group bummed around camp too long and we didn’t set off until it was entirely too hot, which made it a much harder 4 miles than it needed to be. The walk to the flooded creek wasn’t bad and thankfully the water was a little lower, so there was no need to swim the bags across. Plus, Stephen charged ahead like it was no big deal, with a real rugged mentality.
This small bit of shade was pretty much the last we saw for the day. We made our way into more of a pasture that had a few intertwining trails. This made it harder to find our way in the heat. By this time Stephen was mostly shut down and just trying to finish out the hike. Because of this, we were relying on Jack’s knowledge of hiking the area the evening before, but he always thought we were about 400 meters from the finish. We were much further than that as it turns out.
After lumbering along for what felt like hours, we finally made it to the final shaded section. Thankfully Jack was parked here and blasted the AC to cool down. Jack took us to grab a quick lunch and dropped us off at our starting point so we could head home. After all that, I was definitely impressed with how motivated Stephen had been. This adventure alone provided much more experience than other campers have ever dealt with.