Enchanted Rock: The Climb

Enchanted Rock – 1,825ft – a pink granite wonder located in the Texas hill country. The climb is a steep 425 foot rise in about a half a mile. And to a non-math, non-physics, non-calc type person like me; it doesn’t mean much from the bottom. Except…..
Is that an ant or a person up there?

My only assurance that it all would be fine and I would make it to the top (or could) was seeing a young girl and her weenie dog at the bottom. She seemed exhilarated by the climb. The little dog still wheedled around on his stumpy legs happy as could be. If they could do it so easily and with a smile – couldn’t an overweight desk job gal like me make it? (What’s a half-mile anyway?)

So, I wasn’t concerned. I was excited! Look at the picture again. TONS of people are climbing the summit trail. It can’t be THAT bad, right?

Enchanted Rock State Natural area consists of 640 acres. It is a Texas state park located 15 miles to the north of Fredericksburg. And apparently – according to wiki – the large rock is called a monadock; meaning a lone hill (or mountain) rising out of the plain.

It is recorded as the largest monadock in the United States. The Indians used this word and that explains a lot about Enchanted Rock. There are MANY stories and legends very spiritual in nature. It’s been said the minerals in the rock are renewing. It’s been said if you stay the night there you become invisible. The natives revered it as a holy portal to other worlds.

I don’t know about all the legends, but I do know it caught my attention. Not just the monadock of Enchanted Rock but the whole area. The feel of it, the colors, and the peace that radiated. The utter fascination reminded me so much of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I couldn’t stop staring at the “rock”. I wanted to grab some clay or mashed potatoes; mold it, sculpt it, and remember every detail.

But instead, we did what any budding photographer(s) would do. Took the scenic route around the rock – better to see you with my dear – and not just climb straight up.

The Loop Trail was our path to begin with.

The loop trail takes you between Enchanted Rock and Turkey Peak. My sights were equally torn between the two. There were people on Turkey Peak as well, but the climb looked much, much harder (for another day when we are more fit?).

Turkey Peak

I fully expected a rough climb right away, but it wasn’t. There were big rock stairs and a nice wide path. The ascent on this side was very gradual. The scenery as beautiful as I expected.

The loop trail (we took half the loop trail) did not disappoint in all the sights of the two peaks and great landscape.

There were soooo many cactus, but they decorated the grounds perfectly. The area was very dusty and dry and they seemed a natural part (which they are). Some of them were in full bloom. I had no idea dull prickly cactus had such gusto and vibrancy in them.

Around the bend we discovered……..

Crazy adrenaline-rushed maniacs rock climbers hanging from a cliff (ZOMG!). And I kid you not, about four vultures circled in the immediate area. Coincidence? I don’t think so (shudder).

Of course the hikers let out quite a whoop when the guy made it to the slanted narrow rock face they sat precariously perched on. Ummm, yay?

The next part of the trail goes from scenic – look at the pretty flowers – to ugly in about twenty steps. No more lovely curving paths peppered with pretty cacti. Oh no, it gets rough. Enter Echo Trail path. I think they call it that for the screams and scrapes from climbing BOULDERS. This is not a path it’s a death trap.

This is the trail.

I was wearing sneakers and shorts. I was terrified of snakes under rocks (that’s where they live, right?).

But hey, you know what? I grew up with two brothers close in age. I used to climb trees for fun. I faced a snake or two and lived to tell about it. My husband, the former Marine, with nerves of steel is waiting.

The boulder way seemed a short cut to the top. After the vigorous slab hopping, we ended up within sight of the peak.

It became clear to me there was only one way to go from this point. Up (pic above).

Or back down.


I wanted to go up. I did. Every part of me wanted to be at the top on a very FLAT surface. Just something even to stand on; not a slope or a slant. Ohpleasefortheloveofallnature get me down. Whimper.

But I had to move my limbs UP to get there. That’s when I had my first panic attack of all time. The full-blown can’t look down – can’t go up – legs turned to jello heart-thumping kind of panic attack.

Jason smiled from high above, “It’s okay. You can do this, just lean into it. It’s not bad.” Then he pointed out the 11-year old girl walking up the side of the mountain with her parents and younger brother. Casual-like, in fact…. almost running skipping up the side.

That’s when I pulled out all the stops, not that I wasn’t scared, but I wasn’t going to let Jason continue to smile and move his eyes in the direction of the CHILDREN pouncing up the granite surface in a hop-scotch-kind-of-way as he so casually stood way, way above me. Did I mention he was smiling? Fine!

I put my head down and I climbed. Eat your heart out Miley Cyrus.

To this…

The Summit.

I made it. I leaned. I dug. I took several panic breath breaks to get there.

And the view? Incredible.

From every side.

And every flower.

And every vista.

We went down via the Summit Trail – the one at the beginning that we skipped. I’m really glad we didn’t go up that way, because the sight of this rock face would not have bode well with me and my jello legs.

The trek down was just as hard, but if you walk in baby steps. Stop often, and choose a diagonal zig-zag path, it’s not so daunting. Just be careful of the children racing by.

The best part of the whole trip….I wasn’t even sore the next day. Four hours of walking and climbing a mountain of stone by an out-of-shape middle ager suddenly fearful of heights. Yet, I still left the rock energized, accomplished, and only scraped on one knee.

Enchanted Rock? Definitely enchanted me.

A little post about my blog

When I started blogging, well – quite frankly – I didn’t know what I was doing. I had experience with ONE blogger and that was it. All other blogs were new to me and as foreign as Lithuania. So I tried to model that blog, but make it my own. Ya know? I really fumbled that. At that time, I didn’t know what my blog was about. I didn’t know what I wanted out of it. One thing was for sure, I just wanted to represent me.

The other thing I knew was – I thought I could blog. Hence the URL (above) youthinkyoucanblog (after so you think you can dance, but so was taken- right?). When I began to write, many things came out. My original header was of the mountain peak in Utah outside Salt Lake City. My title was – Just this side of a God Breathed mountain top. I could practically smell the fresh air when I read that. But it also pointed out to me – I’m not ON the God breathed mountain top. I am to the side of it, because I will never be perfect. I am just me. The beauty of God’s work is not lost on me. The mountains, the oceans, the sunsets, and the plains. Truth is, we are all just to the side of any amazing portrait God has painted. To be just to the side and possibly breathed on? Well (maybe I was overthinking it), but I didn’t feel my blog was worthy enough. Scratch that, I didn’t feel it represented what I wanted. A mountain is incredible to look at but what about relate to? I didn’t want my blog to be an unreachable peak.

As time went on, I changed it again. I don’t know. I made many mistakes in my life. Even some of my first blogs have more negativity than I’d like. I’d like to think I’ve grown and reached beyond some of those issues. I have. I’d like to think, my blog wasn’t just about what I was next to or what wonder I would gaze upon, but about everything – from past to present. The good, and the bad. The growing, and the learning. The lessons, and the risks.

One thing I knew for certain was that I blogged about life. And the second thing I blogged most about – was love. And if you know me at all, you know I can’t live life and love without great laughter. It’s usually at myself. Because I’m a goof, a dork, and just all around a crack up. Doesn’t seem to matter if anyone else gets it, since it sends me over the edge of hysterics. The wise old saying that goes,

“Happy is the man who can laugh at himself, for he will never cease to be amused.”
— Unknown

Yeah, that one. That’s me. A constant source of entertainment and delight. I can’t help it. I was the youngest of four. I got lost in the shuffle. I had to entertain myself and I did. With pennies, with M & M’s, straws anything I could pretend were people. They were usually skating. Couple skate and one picked someone out of the line on the wall, usually they were favoring the girl with the pom poms on her skates, but I digress….

I thought LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH. That’s me! Then I realized, it’s a present thing with me. Not just doing it one time, but my life is a constant flow of it. Living, Loving, Laughing…..

The NAME of my blog was born. Wait, I should say the permanent name of my blog was born. And no, it doesn’t match my URL. But I sorta like that. It keeps me grounded to the fact of WHY I started. Because I could. To WHY I continue. Because my life means something and I want to record those moments, and those memories from my heart and soul. Not just for me, but for my family. And maybe to help someone else out, by inspiring or just being real.

I’d like think in the last 100 posts in the last seven months – my blogging has evolved. I am more experienced. Creativity bloomed. And most importantly, I learned to let my guard down and reach out. I comment. I link. I join. Not because I want a gazillion followers who hang on my every word. Not at all. Actually, it’s because I am enamored by the bloggers out there. I am fascinated. I love to connect. I love to meet. I would spend all day reading about their lives if I could. It wouldn’t matter to me if they returned the favor or not.

Of course, if they did, then I might actually get to know them which would be super ideal because that is my ultimate goal. To know you. I have seen God put very significant people in my life. I know they are there for a reason. I wouldn’t have met them otherwise.

It is truly amazing. Like I said in my about me, I am just happy to be here. I hope you are too.

This post was previously written a few weeks ago. My daughter Sydney and I are currently at Camp Hoblitzelle for a womens retreat. I HEART iPhone. This is a great campground. We are in a hotel room type building. Our room holds three other women besides us, another mom and her two daughters. I can’t wait to take pictures out here. It’s incredibly gorgeous. I’m looking forward to talks and walks with Sydney as well. Although, I may not agree with everything presented and talked about here……I have great people to openly discuss and hear different sides in peaceful ways. I have uplifting women all around me. For now, I bid you adeiu from the chilly countryside, wishing you the best weekend ever. Enjoy!