Monday, February 19, 2018

Trip Report: Colorado Bend Park

Spontaneous Trip to Watch the Super Blue Blood Moon

Having finally comprehended the rarity of the upcoming Super Blue Blood Moon, I decided to plan a quick overnight camping trip. I quickly looked at a light pollution map to locate the nearest state park with a low level of light pollution. My 2 best options were Enchanted Rock State Park and Colorado Bend State Park. I went with Colorado Bend because BeeGee is allowed every in the park (unlike Enchanted Rock), and I knew BeeGee wanted to see a crazy rare moon event.

Super Blue Blood Moon at Colorado Bend State Park
Super Blue Blood Moon at Colorado Bend State Park

Background

Info: Colorado Bend State Park is 5,328.3 acres in the Texas hill country and contains springs, caves, trails, sinkholes, and a river. If you want to bring a pet (aka your best bud), they are allowed as well on leash.
Address: 2236 Park Hill Dr, Bend, TX 76824
Admission Cost: $5 entrance fee; $10-15 for campsites
Difficulty: Easy to
strenuous


Getting Ready

I called the Colorado Bend Park Office during my lunch to reserve a campsite and find out some general information. After work, I flew home to pack up all our gear, and BeeGee and I had quick dinners. Then we took off trying to make the best time we could with the remaining daylight. Of course, traffic was worse than expected, so it took us a while to make it out of the Austin urban sprawl. Once we were out on the smaller roads, we started spotting herds of 10+ and had to take things slower. 

Colorado Bend Trail Map
Colorado Bend Trail Map

The Adventure

Finally, inside the park, there is a 6-mile drive back to the campsites and more than a few times, I was concerned I was heading the wrong way because of the long drive. After a few map checks, we made it to the campgrounds and the park was mostly empty. We quickly set up our camp, paid for the night, and did a little exploring.

BeeGee staring down into Dogleg Canyon
BeeGee staring down into Dogleg Canyon

With setup complete, we decided we needed to hike a trail after our drive out here and settled on Cedar Chopper Loop and Dogleg Canyon Trail. The moon was so bright and we had no need for any lights on our hike. This gave me the bright idea to try and run a portion of the trail so we wouldn’t be out hiking past midnight. Overall, this was a horrible decision and took a tumble early on. BeeGee trotted back to check on me and we were back hiking to hiking before long.

The Moon was so bright out on the trail
The Moon was so bright out on the trail

Cedar Chopper Loop is a standard Hill Country trail with large exposed rocks, cedars, and oaks. We walked through one cool section with a bunch of low hanging branches growing over the trail, but mostly it was a way to get to Dogleg Canyon. When we arrived at Dogleg, it looked incredibly impressive at night, and I’d like to spend some time in the day exploring it. At the end of the trail, we found a large herd of deer and BeeGee really wanted to run wild with them, but I decided it would be best to head back. 

The beginning of Dogleg Canyon
The beginning of Dogleg Canyon

Back at camp, we took what only felt like a short nap before getting up at 4:30 and packing up camp. We set up the action cam to record the eclipse, but the action cam just didn’t have the power to take spectacular video as we found out later. BeeGee and I spent the rest of the morning watching the gorgeous moon shrink and change color. We watched the event until 6:30 before we had to head back home so I could head to work.


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