Friday, November 13, 2015

Robbers Cave State Park

Monday (Nov 9) to Thursday (Nov 13):

We packed up The Duchess and made the 180 mile trip south from Pine Island RV Resort to Robbers Creek State Park. Along the way we stopped to add diesel fuel to the motorhome and at Walmart to do some grocery shopping. A lot of the roads/highways we took wound back and forth with many curves, so it took us a while to make the trip. We did not arrive at the park until 4:00 PM in the afternoon, which is late for us.
Couple of photos of the road along the way.

Once we arrived at the campground in the park, we checked in with the ranger station/office and they gave us a list of sites available for our time frame.

We unhooked the Jeep, looked at all of the sites available and decided to select Site 26. This was a pull through site that was level and open to the south (for our satellite dish).

We met another couple in the park who are from Cedar Park Texas and traveling in a Tiffin Allegro motorhome. On Tuesday we decided to visit the actual Robbers Cave here in the park. The story goes that from the 1870's to 1890's there were a series of "robbers" that used the cave as a hide out to avoid capture. The cave itself is much smaller today due to a number of cave-ins over the years. You have to climb up a series of steps to get to the cave.
Entry point to Robbers Cave

Base of the rocks leading up to Robbers Cave

Passage way up to the cave. We didn't go this way since
we would have had to crawl on our hands and knees to get through.

Robbers Cave
After looking at the cave, we continued our climb on the rocks to the top of the cliff above the cave. From there you can see for several miles across the park.

View from the top.

Mike posing at the top.

Connie "growing her tree" at the top.
After finishing our visit to the cave, we took a hike on the Rough Canyon Trail that is located near Robbers Cave. The name of the trail is appropriate: Rough Canyon. Most of the trail is covered with rocks of all different sizes and you have to be careful with each step along the way. Also a lot of the trail is covered with leaves and pine needles making it hard to see the rocks underneath. We took our time on the trail and made it the complete loop from start to finish.

On Wednesday we hiked on the paved roads around the park to give our feet a rest from walking on the rocks the day before. Robbers Cave State Park is a 8400 acre park with several small lakes located inside the park. We did find a short trail along side of a creek that was level and not too rocky that we explored as well.
Dam at Lake Carlton

Lake Carlton

Connie enjoying the nice weather in a swing

Open area with disk golf near community center

Beaver dam along creek that feeds lake.

Trail along side of creek.
That evening we decided to have a campfire (our first one of the year). We gathered some firewood that had been left at some of the unoccupied sites around ours and were able to get a small fire going for the evening. A cold front had move through the area late in the afternoon and the temperatures were dropping as the sun went down.

Do you remember how to do this?

Connie warming her toes by the fire.

Mike & Connie enjoyed their first campfire.

We we woke up on Thursday morning the temperature had dropped to 37 degrees. We took it easy in the Duchess before heading out on another hike around noon to let the sun warm everything up outside. We decided to hike the Coon Ridge Trail which would take us around Coon Creek Lake, another one of the lakes in the park. The hike ended up being another one with lots of rocks on the trails and us spending a lot of time trying to find where the trail actually went. With all of the leaves falling and the trail not being walked much this time of year, we kept loosing track of the markers and having to back track to find our way. We did stop for a few minutes along the trail to have something to drink along with eating some trail mix we had brought along.  Connie began to get worry that we might not make it back to the Duchess before it got dark.  We did get back to motorhome around 4:30 PM as the sun was getting low in the sky above hills here in the park. By the time we got back to the campground we were both tired and our feet were sore.
Hiking through the pine trees along Coon Ridge Trail

Standing on top of Coon Ridge

Crossing Coon Creek

View from the dam of Coon Creek Lake. We walked around most of this lake.
Connie had made a chicken/sausage gumbo that had been cooking in the slow cooker during our hike. We added some shrimp and enjoyed the taste of the gumbo after a long day on the trail. We took our showers early, rub each other's feet for a few minutes and went to bed early.

On Friday morning it was 34 degrees here in the park. We will be leaving today for TEXAS. We should be crossing the Red River sometime this afternoon.