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Trail Journal: Inks Lake + Lesson Learned

Yesterday, I made my way back to Inks Lake State Park to explore the trails on the other side of the park that I’ve been wanting to explore for a while now. I decided that morning to make the 1.5-hour drive because I didn’t want to be stuck indoors for the next week without spending some time outside (the forecast shows storms for the next week). First off, let me just say I didn’t eat breakfast. I decided to go for a bag of chips and a Gatorade. I’m not sure if this is just me, but sometimes I don’t crave breakfast right in the morning. But I love morning hikes. So that's an issue I need to work out for myself, haha.

Moving along, I parked near the headquarters and walked to the Lake Trail trailhead. From there, I started the Pecan Flats Self-Guided Interpretive Trail. I saw an overlook of the entire park was along this trail, so I made my way over, taking a lot of photos along the path of the wildflowers, lizards, and trees.

I was getting pretty confused during my walk because the trail markings weren’t clear, but I made it to the overlook regardless. It was beautiful! Check out my photo journal of the hike at the end of this post.

At one of the high points along the trail

At this point, I was looking for the connecting trail to the Woodland Trail, and it turned out I looped around from where I first started. I was referencing my trail map so much I had it pretty much memorized at this point.

Pecan Flats Trail Loop

I was feeling a bit tired and a little dizzy (hence the poor “breakfast”). I was debating if I should leave since the way back was right behind me. I was standing between all three trails and decided to trace my steps back to the overlook because I was determined to find it. I went back up and nothing. There was not a single trail marker that would point me in the right direction. I stood at the top and did something I do on every hike I go on when I feel flustered. I ask myself, “How am I feeling?” And I whisper to myself, “Listen to your body.” This is very important. I suggest that everyone does this when out in nature or in everyday life. We tend to push ourselves past our limits when it may not be the best thing to do, and we pay the price for it later (ex. passing out from heat exhaustion if you don't take a break from the heat).

As much as I wanted to find the next trail, I decided to turn back around and head out because of how I felt. All in all, be kind to yourself and don’t bully yourself into doing something that your body is screaming at you not to do.

~ V

Note: I want to mention that I never have a phone signal when I go here, so there was no way for me to find the trail. Keep that in mind! I have T-Mobile but a friend, who has AT&T, had no issues.

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