Beautiful Day for Baking

I should be at the grocery store right now but I just can’t quite bring myself to go yet. It will be a zoo, and I hate to go to the grocery store in the first place.

I spent the morning baking the things I could (pumpkin biscotti and pumpkin pie) and finishing up the school-related stuff I needed to do before the holiday arrived. So I’ve put off my run as well. I had intended to bust out a road run from the house…but it’s so beautiful that I couldn’t bring myself to just “get through” a run, and that’s what running on the road felt like. So I’m treating myself to St. Eds as soon as I get the grocery store checked off the list. The old carrot before the horse, if you will.

Trail Running Time at Bandera

This weekend was Bandera. Friday was a nasty day in Austin but I kept telling myself that that didn’t necessarily mean it was nasty in Bandera, which is about three hours west of here. As I drove that afternoon, it kept raining and the sky was overcast. It wasn’t looking good, and I worked to psych myself up for muddy slogging and being cold and wet. I pulled into the park and drove to the Lodge where the group was staying, where I was greeted with the news that the rangers had closed the trails. WTF?!? A couple of years ago during the monsoon summer they only closed portions of a couple of trails (except for the time the park actually flooded and they made everybody leave); I was incredulous that such a drastic action had been taken over three inches of rain. Oh, well; the plan changed: hang out and assess when we woke in the morning.

The morning was absolutely gorgeous! Trail #8 was open, and we splished and splashed and mucked through it (and a good bit of running down the park road, yuck) after a late start and a delicious breakfast. In fact, we christened the #8 trail “Biscuits and Gravy” because that’s what we “8.”Har har…trail runners like to name stuff and often times, I don’t remember all the names, but this one will stick with me. After noon, the rangers opened up several other trails, so we covered a lot of Trail #5, which goes around Sky Island and the Three Sisters, and the #1 and #1B loops, which hit Ice Cream Hill.

For that second loop, I had Johanna as company and we had a great time. I took it really, really easy so that I got plenty of time-on-my-feet without beating up my body. The sky was about as blue as a Texas sky can be, and there were butterflies everywhere. I love Bandera on a beautiful day.

That night, we had a big dinner in town and cooked S’mores around a camp fire. The last couple of times I’ve been out at Bandera, there’s been a burn ban and you couldn’t have an outdoor fire, so this was a welcome change. The stars were beautiful until suddenly clouds blew in and completely hid everything.

Sunday morning was an overcast day with wetness in the air. But the rangers had opened up yet another trail, so we were able to do a short loop on #4 and its offshoots, encompassing most of my favorite spots in the park (Cairn’s Climb, for example). And we ran the trail counter clockwise, so I got to run down Boyles…my absolute favorite thing to do there, bar none. It was a good run, if short. After cleaning and packing up, we had a big breakfast at the OST Diner in town and then hit the road back. I was home around 2PM.

I am looking forward to being back there in December for Bunmart and then for the race in January. My hope is to PR the 50K out there, which on one hand seems like a no-brainer…but Palo Duro has made me gun shy with goals. In any case, I will love the time on my feet there.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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