OCT 17

I flew into Austin on Thursday and Ted, Dale and myself headed to Georgetown the following morning around 11am.  After stopping to get a few camping supplies (including a fishing pole which Ted guaranteed to catch a fish with), we grabbed some lunch and made it to the park around 1pm.  Once we arrived at the park, there was some mix-up at the front gate and they ended up letting us in without paying any fees.  Not sure why, but we weren't complaining.  Upon pulling into the parking lot, there were only two other cars, so we were hopeful that there wouldn't be many people out and about. 

Once we set out on the trails, we were pleasantly surprised.  The landscape was typical of central Texas but there was quite a bit of elevation change that we weren't expecting.  The trails would meander to the lake, then into the cedar forest, and back to the lake.  The lake was smaller than we expected, but that was likely a result of the water levels being lower than normal.  As the trail first reached the lake, you could see the standard campsites on the other side of the lake, but we knew we were quickly heading away from them.

At about two miles in, we had already passed the two groups of day hikers heading back to the car.  Shortly after that, we hit the Knight Spring.  It was a cozy little spot, very lush and green with a spring cutting across the trail and heading towards the lake.  On the other side, it formed Crockett Falls, which was fairly reminiscent of Colorado Bend's Gorman Falls, only much smaller.  After hanging out for a bit, filling up our water jugs and contemplating just camping right there on the trail in this perfect little spot (which clearly you shouldn't do), we continued towards our destination.

Shortly after Knight Springs, we came to an area along the lake where there were cliffs about 60 to 70 feet tall.  Perfect for jumping, but I refrained.  Getting back up would have been a chore and I wouldn't be certain that I wouldn't land on a large rock thinly veiled by the water. So we kept on heading towards camp.  At about 4.5 miles in, we encountered Cedar Hollow Camp.  We checked it out and it seemed like a nice spot, but since we heard Sawyer was even better so we didn't give it much thought.

Not long after, Ted was starting to slow down.  He told us to go on ahead without him, set up camp and he would be close behind.  Once we arrived at Sawyer, it wasn't bad but it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for.  The map shows that it was right on the water, but that certainly was not the case.  The lake was about 200 yards away and not easily accessible.  Again, I attribute this to the low water levels.  If the lake would have been at capacity, the site might have rocked.  As it stood, I think Cedar Hollow would have been a better choice. 

While we were waiting for Ted to arrive, Dale and I set up the tent, fetched water, and gathered some firewood (despite there being a burn ban in effect).  It had been about an hour since we got to camp and Ted still had not shown up.  We decided to wait a little while longer before we would go looking for him.  Before that point came, we heard someone yelling off in the distance so Dale went to find out what the hell Ted was doing.

About 30 minutes later, Dale came back with Ted in tow.  Evidently, Ted required a few extra bathroom breaks along the way which slowed him down.  He wasn't sure if it was the water (or lack there of), something he ate, or pure exhaustion, but something was most certainly effecting his stomach and it wasn't going to go away anytime soon.  Once he got to the campsite, we got him hydrated and he relaxed for a while.  After about an hour, he finally started to recover a little.  Lucky for him, there was also a compost toilet next to the camp which he quickly became well acquainted.

It turned out to be a nice, cool night and shortly after the sun went down we got the fire going.  Dale and Ted roasted some hot dogs while I ate my freeze dried meal.  Ted was supposed to bring some veggie dogs for me, but failed.  Luckily, Ted did bring quite a few snacks that we don't have when he's not there.  Since Ted doesn't carry a tent or cooking supplies, he has some extra capacity to bring such luxuries.  This time though, he went overboard and brought WAAAY too much stuff, including two bags of nuts, god knows how many granola bars, coffee packets, hard candy, a bottle of whisky, and who knows what else.  Dale and I were amazed that he brought so much crap so we compared our packs and his actually weighed the most.  We weren't complaining, only making fun :-)

We kept the fire going until about 3 am.  Dale put a pretty sizeable dent in the whiskey and we sat around shooting the shit, talking politics, and generally making fun of each other.  Dale finally passed out lying next to the fire, Ted was sleeping cozily on the picnic bench, and I climbed into the tent.  I had a pretty decent night sleep, but morning would bring a much noisier side of the park.

The problem with camping near a lake is that it's a lake.  Saturday morning brings an assortment of jet skiers, boaters, (evidently) helicopters, and people.  None of which are very quiet.  Hearing the loud whir of a motor boat puts a bit of a damper on the "solitude" that we look for in our primitive camps.  Dale and I were originally planning on hiking to Tejas Park, but considering the condition of our group (Ted's stomach, my feet and back, and Dale's knee), we decided instead to camp to the Cedar Breaks Camp.  So after eating breakfast, we packed up and headed out.

Upon getting to Cedar Breaks, there was already another group occupying the area.  There were several different sites at the camp, but clearly the best one was not open.  We scouted the area for a while and decided we didn't like the prospects.  We started eyeing the time, and realized that the UT - Mizzou game was a night game and we could easily make it back in time.  Watching our top ranked longhorns play against the number 11 was pretty tempting.  More tempting then camping next to a group of people.  So off we went, listening to the buzzing of motor boats all the way back to the car.  Oh, and Ted once again failed to deliver that fish dinner to Dale.  0 for 3.

Type: Out-and-back
Trailhead: Google
Trail Map: link

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