That Time I Hiked Through a Dust Storm and a Wind Monster

Spring Break was pretty epic. Not only did I get to visit the Houston Zoo with my son (he loved the reptile house and we laughed at the irony of the smiling faces of the deadly black mamba), but we also did a 48-hour road trip to two of Texas’ more famous state parks, Colorado Bend and Enchanted Rock.

Now, I’ve never been to Enchanted Rock. I’ve wanted to visit since I was in college, but a combination of funds, time, and vicinity (it’s in the Texas hill country and I live in Houston, which for non-Texas readers means Enchanted Rock is a five-hour drive from here). That’s almost 300 miles, again in non-Texas vernacular.

Getting to Enchanted Rock would be quite an excursion in itself, not just due to the long roads but also to the storms. While driving through Houston, we cut through a storm front like we were the Andrea Gail. The temperature on my Jeep dropped from 74 to 58 degrees, and by the time we reached Bastrop, it was sunny and 80 degrees. But then came the massive dust storm (thanks, West Texas). So when we arrived at this secluded spot, Enchanted Rock’s alluring vistas looked very beige and lacked much in views.

Enchanted Rock is unique in Texas state parks because it is mostly primitive camping, and few trails allow cyclists or dogs (the granite dome that is the enchanted rock gets very hot, very quickly, and there is no respite from the rock).

I wanted to do something different for this blog post. My wife, frugal traveler, wrote her own description of the grueling hike. You can check it out here. I really prefer her account because it does such a good job of trying to figure out why the hell were we there in the first place, and what hiking to the top of the rock was like.

The only thing I will add (besides a few photos below) is that hiking to the top was exponentially brutalized by that pulverizing wind out of West Texas. You know those videos of people on top of Mt. Washington where they are being pushed around by the wind? It would be hyperbole to say that it was that extreme, but I’m a Texan, so I will say it was worse than that! I was never knocked off the rock, but there were a few times I was starting to wonder…

Life is an adventure unless somebody dies, and then it’s a tragedy. I’m glad that I got to share this adventure with my family, winding through dirt roads, climbing granite domes in the middle of nowhere, and finding new places together.

5 thoughts on “That Time I Hiked Through a Dust Storm and a Wind Monster

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    1. Isn’t that true? If we are traveling toward Colorado or California, we have to account for one day of hard driving to get through Texas. I’ve actually considered flying just outside of the state, and then roadtripping the rest. Financially, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I’ve lived in Texas almost all my life. I don’t need another view of the interstates… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s NOT too much to say those winds were intense! Anytime the wind can swing you around or grab your backpack and send you flying IS super high winds. Good on ya for going in such conditions, and surviving a major windstorm on a mountain. Now that is a tall tale you can tell for years.

    Liked by 1 person

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