Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lone Star Hiking Trail, TX. Best Place to Walk and Walk. Krakatau. Michael Vick. ‘Vickory’ Dogs.


For “Travel Tuesday”:  Let’s visit The Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Piney Woods Region of TX:

#Region.R_Description# “Experience the warmth and Southern hospitality of the Texas Piney Woods Region. This beautiful forest land offers visitors a glimpse of the history of the Republic of Texas and early statehood times. The Texas Piney Woods offers some of the best fishing, down home cooking, championship golf and family activities in the Lone Star State. Discover the Southern Hospitality of the Texas Piney Woods Region.”

Lone Star Hiking Trail, Texas in the Sam Houston National Forest

“East Texas’ Lone Star Hiking Trail runs for over 128 miles through the Sam Houston National Forest, but that’s too much hiking for me. I can handle, though, the challenging 27-mile section between Evergreen and Cleveland, which is a designated National Recreation Trail. Tree tags 25 to 50 yards apart mark the narrow path, but I suggest picking up a map from the Sam Houston National Forest district ranger’s office in New Waverly. Pines and magnolias shade the trail, which also blazes through thick brush and swampy areas, and crosses several creeks and the East Fork of the San Jacinto River (twice). You might also see white-tailed deer, turkey, quail, and rabbits. Foxes and bobcats live here, too, though you’re unlikely to see them. Old stumps covered in shades of green moss, strange fungi growing on fallen logs, and a variety of mushrooms lend an otherworldly, untamed feel to the landscape.

USDA Forest Service, Sam Houston Natl. Forest, 936/344-6205

“Driving Directions to Richards Trailhead: From Houston, go north on I-45 about 40 miles to Exit 87, Conroe/ Highway 105. Turn left (west) on Highway 105 and go 13 miles to Montgomery. Go north on FM 149 14.3 miles to Forest Service Rd 219. Turn right, go .1 miles and trailhead parking lot is on right.”


Smooth and easy hiking deep in the heart of Texas.

“They say everything's bigger in Texas, so a 140-mile trail should come as no surprise. The Lone Star Trail jaunts through the Sam Houston National Forest, deep in the heart of southeast Texas. Here densely packed pines and hardwoods tower overhead, and a rusty-red carpet of pine needles crunches underfoot. The going is smooth and easy, leaving you free to scan the forest for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers or bald eagles.


One of the trail's highlights is the Big Creek Scenic Area off FM 2666 in the eastern portion of the forest, where the path is laced with gently flowing streams and sprinkled with springtime flowers. Three developed recreation areas along the way (Double Lake on FM 2025, Huntsville State Park just west of I-45, and Stubblefield on FS 215 near New Waverly) offer convenient access.”  More at:  http://www.backpacker.com/february_1998_destinations_texas_lone_star_trail/destinations/792


“A voice-over introduction to the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest north of Houston, Texas presented by the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club. http://lonestartrail.org/. Karen Borski Somers Guide to the Lone Star Hiking Trail is available at http://www.wildernesspress.com/produc....”



Best Place to Walk and Walk and Walk and Walk

“The Lone Star Hiking Trail is more than 120 miles long and runs from the tiny town of Richards at the west end to Montague Church (just east of Cleveland) at the east end. Much of it goes through the Sam Houston National Forest, and very little of the trail is “road walking.” The trail crosses rolling hills of tall pine forest and hardwood bottomlands with magnolias and rare beechnuts. It crosses two rivers, one named bayou, a number of swamps and flowing springs, and some very big creeks. The trail passes through both Huntsville State Park and the Double Lake campground, and is a joint effort of the Sierra Club and the National Forest Service.























Lone Star Hiking Trail:

Hikers resting along the Lone Star Hiking Trail

“The National Recreation Trail meanders the breadth of the Sam Houston National Forest passing through the eastern edge of the forest near Montague Church on FM 1725 close to Cleveland, Texas to the extreme western edge near Richards, Texas.

Sections of the trail cross private property and public road rights-of-way. Therefore, visitors should show good trail manners, so private property owners will continue to allow foot passage across their land.

The terrain is relatively flat with some wet areas; and bridges allow for easy creek crossings. The southern portion of the trail follows an old railroad tramway.

Trailhead parking areas are at the main access points, but because the trail is intended to be primitive, there are no restroom facilities.  View these maps for trailhead locations:

East side Map    West side Map

At a Glance

Fees:  None

Best Season: Spring and fall

Busiest Season: Spring and fall

Closest Towns: Cleveland, Texas; Richards, Texas; Coldspring, Texas; New Waverly, Texas

Water: Fresh water is not reliable and hikers generally carry their own or obtain it at one of the two campgrounds (Stubblefield or Double Lake) along the trail.

Water Availability: Carry one bottle and use a purification pump the rest of the way. Plenty of Creek water flowing, untreated of course.

Recommended Clothing: long pants light jacket

Suggested Accessories: Need a walking stick to help over all the fallen trees.

Restroom: None


Hiking, Day Hiking,  Backpacking

Camping is permitted anywhere along the trail except September 15 through February 1. Overnight camping is allowed in designated camping areas only during that time period.

Off-road vehicles and horses not allowed on hiking trails.

“No trace” backpacking methods are recommended.








Documented Icon - Location includes a detailed write-up:

Lone Star Hiking Trail - Big Creek/Double Lake Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Big Woods Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Four Notch Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Huntsville Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Kelly/Caney Creek Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Magnolia Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Phelps Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Stubblefield Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Tarkington Bayou
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Wilderness Section
Lone Star Hiking Trail - Winters Bayou Section

I hope you enjoyed another visit here in the state of TX.


On This Day:

Krakatoa erupts, Aug 27, 1883:

“The volcanic island of Krakatoa, (also called Krakatau), near Indonesia erupts on this day in 1883, killing thousands in one of the worst geologic disasters of modern times.

The beginning of the amazing events at Krakatoa in 1883 date to May 20 when there were initial rumblings and venting from the volcano, which had been dormant for about 200 years. Over the next three months, there were regular small blasts from Krakatoa out of three vents. On August 11, ash started spewing from the small mountain. Eruptions got progressively stronger until August 26, when the catastrophe began.

Krakatoa eruption lithograph.jpg

An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.

At noon, the volcano sent an ash cloud 20 miles into the air and tremors triggered several tsunamis. This turned out to be just a small indication, however, of what would follow the next day. For four-and-a-half hours beginning at 5:30 a.m. on August 27, there were four major and incredibly powerful eruptions. The last of these made the loudest sound ever recorded on the planet. It could be heard as far away as central Australia and the island of Rodrigues, 3,000 miles from Krakatoa. The air waves created by the eruption were detected at points all over the earth.

The eruption had devastating effects on the islands near Krakatoa. It set off tremendous tsunamis that overwhelmed hundreds of villages on the coasts of Java and Sumatra. Water pushed inland several miles in certain places, with coral blocks weighing 600 tons ending up on shore. At least 35,000 people died, though exact numbers were impossible to determine. The tsunamis traveled nearly around the world--unusually high waves were noticed thousands of miles away the next day.

The volcano threw so much rock, ash and pumice into the atmosphere that, in the immediate area, the sun was virtually blocked out for a couple of days. Within a couple of weeks, the sun appeared in strange colors to people all over the world because of all the fine dust in the stratosphere. Over the ensuing three months, the debris high in the sky produced vivid red sunsets. In one case, fire engines in Poughkeepsie, New York, were dispatched when people watching a sunset were sure that they were seeing a fire in the distance. Further, there is speculation that Edvard Munch's 1893 painting "The Scream" depicting a psychedelic sunset may have actually been a faithful rendering of what Munch saw in Norway in the years following the eruption of Krakatoa. The amount of dust in the atmosphere also filtered enough sun and heat that global temperatures fell significantly for a couple of years.

Krakatoa was left only a tiny fraction of its former self. However, in the intervening years, a small island, Anak Krakatoa ("Son of Krakatoa") has arisen from the sea. It is growing at an average of five inches every week. This island is receiving a great deal of scientific attention, as it represents a chance to see how island ecosystems are established from scratch.”


NFL star Michael Vick pleads guilty in dogfighting case, Aug 27, 2007:

“On this day in 2007, Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleads guilty before a Richmond, Virginia, judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring. That December, the 27-year-old Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.

In April 2007, law-enforcement officials raided a 15-acre property owned by Vick in rural Surry County, Virginia, and discovered dozens of pit bulls, some of them neglected, along with evidence of illegal dogfighting activities. That July, Vick and three other men, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor, were charged with engaging in competitive dogfighting, obtaining and training pit bulls for fighting, and carrying out the enterprise across state lines.

images[8] All four men pled not guilty to the charges. However, Vick’s three co-defendants later changed their pleas to guilty and agreed to testify that the quarterback had participated in the execution of a number of dogs and had bankrolled the gambling and operating funds for the venture, known as Bad Newz Kennels, which had reportedly been in existence for about five years.

Animal-rights organizations as well as the general public expressed outrage against Vick and the barbaric details of the case—dogs that underperformed in fights were put to death by such means as drowning, electrocution and hanging.”


Michael Vick Pit Bull Euthanized After Dogfighting Career

TMZ Sports. Breaking News, 6/20/2013

0620_mike_vick_dog2“Sad news in the dog world -- the top pit bull from Michael Vick's dogfighting ring has been euthanized.
The dog -- named Lucas -- was humanely euthanized Wednesday at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah because of accumulating health problems. He was around 13 years old.
Lucas -- who was Vick's grand champion -- was one of nearly 2 dozen dogs that were rehabilitated at BFAS after they were rescued from the ring in 2007. Unfortunately, Lucas was not allowed to be adopted because of his vicious fighting history -- and therefore had to remain a lifetime-care dog at the animal sanctuary.
We're told Lucas was one of the friendliest dogs at the sanctuary -- and never stopped grinning.
Best Friends CEO Gregory Castle said, it was "a blessing in every way to be around him and to witness the wonderful effects on everyone he met."   Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/06/20/michael-vick-pit-bull-euthanized/#ixzz2cwF0zfRB


Where the Former Michael Vick Dogs Are Now

“Since their rescue, they have gone on to find peace in the best ways they could.

Michael Vick Dogs: Sox and Hector

Sox and Hector

“Sox and Hector both received therapy dog certification, and spend their days at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Sox, who came into rescue as one of the worst of the low-response cases, has improved dramatically since being adopted by her foster family. Hector, with scars over his chest and legs bearing testament to his past life, was adopted into a home with a pack of six dogs, and has made many friends, canine and otherwise.”


Michael Vick Dogs: Zippy


“Zippy, a small, energetic dog, has found peace and companionship
with the Hernandez
family, spending her days romping and rolling around the floor with two fellow dogs and three young children under the age of 10.”



Michael Vick Dogs: Johnny Justice

Jonny Justice

“Jonny Justice was adopted by a foster family who discovered his love of children, and he participated in a program called Paws for Tales, where dogs provide a nonjudgmental audience for children struggling with reading. Jonny excelled at it, until the librarian banned Pit Bulls from the program after receiving some complaints from parents. Jonny and his family resigned from the program in protest, and volunteers from BAD RAP looked into state law, finding the breed-based discrimination unlawful. When they brought this to the librarian’s attention, however, the library withdrew from the Paws for Tales program.”


Michael Vick Dogs: Bonita


“Bonita, who was used in the dog-fighting ring as a bait dog for others to practice on, came into Best Friends rescue with scars, worn or broken teeth, and an instinct to flee from other dogs. She also had babesia, a blood-borne condition common in fighting dogs, and nerve damage in half of her face, so when she smiled nervously, it was crooked. She learned to crave warm laps to sleep in, and found a little bit of peace there. In 2008, she required dental surgery and never woke up from anesthesia.”

More about the other ‘Vickory’ dogs at:  http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2013/03/08/the-michael-vick-dogs/   and http://vickdogsblog.blogspot.com/



Misty and I went to get Jay, and a job that Jay and I thought wouldn’t take long, took almost all morning.

Ray and Shay live in my guest house, next to my house, and a couple of months ago, Shay’s sister had moved in with Ray and Shay’s son, who lives in the big mobile home on the other side of my house.  The two sisters have never got along, and they have worn a pathway across my grass going backwards and forwards, usually in a huffy gait.  Well, the sister found another place to live, and had a nice dining table and wooden daybed for sale, which I bought. The daybed has a new $380 mattress on it, and is in perfect condition.  The sister wanted me to leave the daybed in there for Shay to use and pay for it ‘later’.  BTDT. The sister still owes me $500 from many years ago!  Shay didn’t want to pay me the $100 that I had paid for it.  Sod her!

When I turn my Grooming Room into a bedroom, the daybed will be good for ‘staging’ the house.  The table matches my dining chairs and it is a foot longer than my table.  It will show how big my dining area really is.  All Jay and I had to do was move the table and daybed out of the mobile home, and store them in Pugsy, (my vintage motor home) which has a big wide back door.  The table and daybed were both put together with hex screws, and some of them were stripped.  I have a full set of Allen keys, but we also had to get vise-grips on the screws. It took a lot longer than anticipated. 

Also, I had just got a computer desk with file drawers, and we were supposed to move that into my guest house for Shay’s room.  It was a bit too long to go in the space that Shay had designated. It would have gone on another wall, but she didn’t want to move all that stuff.  So Shay decided that she wanted it in the newly vacated bedroom in the mobile home, and we had the job of moving that heavy thing up the tall steps.  Ray and Shay splitting up again?  I don’t know, but I know Shay’s overbearing ways, dramatics, and drinking get on Ray’s wick, and he might be glad if she moves. They argue all the time.  It was so peaceful when she wasn’t here for a year. 

By the time we had done all that, it was too late for Jay and I to start working on my screen porch roof.  Then the rains came, soaking the screen porch yesterday.


Dizzy-Dick said...

I would like to walk some of that trail but will wait until winter to do that.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thanks for your comment, DD

I know that I wouldn't want to do that walk until at least October. A few days in January and February are too cold, but I expect it would be lovely in the Spring.

The trouble is that dogs aren't allowed to go on that hike, so I couldn't take Misty, even in her little doggie stroller. If I hike, it will be somewhere that she can go too.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.