Well, At Least I Had A Nice Hike

Trying not to waste my vacation days that I am using up at the end of the year, I went hiking out at Colorado Bend State Park (Texas) on Wednesday. There were some trails out there that I had not been on and I also had an idea about sunset.

The park was actually quite crowded and I had to wait in a long line at the park head quarters to sign in. But where I hiked, I only saw a couple of other people. I went up the Windmill Trail which you can find on the map below and then came back on the Lively Loop trail. I had never been up this way and wanted to check it out.

The Windmill Trail leads to an old windmill and water tank as well as a primitive hike-in camping area. The trail is mostly level and an easy hike. The abandoned windmill structure mostly remains standing next to a large concrete water tank. These sorts of things dot the landscape around here and you can’t drive out in the country without seeing dozens of them off in the pastures.

The Windmill at Colorado Bend State Park

Below is a close up of the windmill blade assembly as it lies on the ground as I thought it interesting.

The Windmill Trail is mostly a hike through the long grasses and trees and gave me ideas for the future. I do have a strange obsession with the long golden grasses that I find while hiking and a desire to photograph them on windy days. But there was no real wind on this day so I took a few snaps with my phone and kept hiking.

The Windmill Trail at Colorado Bend State Park

My main plans for the afternoon had to do with the high clouds you can see in the photo above. At sunset I planned to shoot down the Colorado River from near the day-use area as the sunset would be straight down the river and canyon from this perspective. See the image below from Photopills showing my position with the pin and the red-orange line pointing at sunset.

My plan was to wade out in the river a little as it is usually shallow and I figured I could go quite a distance before it got up to my knees based on previous experience. But this part of the river actually drops quite sharply down from the bank and I couldn’t really get more than a few feet out before it got too deep to keep my shorts dry. So, not having a swim suit and having little desire to be in the river in late December anyway, I tried to make the best of shooting from the bank.

As you can see from the image above, if I was to have the river pointing toward the setting sun, I was going to be shooting through trees along the river bank. I sure would like to have been out in the center of the river, but upstream where it is shallower the river doesn’t face the sunset. Perhaps I need chest waders.

The sun went down and the clouds stayed gray, but I waited and watched. Eventually by about 10 minutes after sunset the entire sky turned orange. I shot my photos and enjoyed the wonderful colors. I tried to keep the mud and grass on the right hidden in the shadows.

Sunset Over the Colorado River in Texas

The picture is OK, but not really what I had imagined. But at least I had a good hike. The light in the sky persisted late into the evening and I enjoyed it while driving back as well.

33 thoughts on “Well, At Least I Had A Nice Hike

  1. What do you mean, okay? I think that sunset photo is a great picture. I also like the pic of the windmill blade, and can’t decide which of the two I like best. But I don’t blame you for staying out of the river, this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Don’t make me cry. I did just get a new iPhone and was having fun with the new and improved cameras and all.

          The last picture would pretty much be beyond the capabilities of the iPhone so at least I can make myself feel good about that. Small phone sensors do well in bright light but suffer in the dark.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Well, I meant darker conditions. The darker it is, the lower the signal to noise ratio from the sensor and the more graininess you see in the photo. Larger sensors have much less noise so do better in darker conditions. When there is plenty of light (larger signal), the noise is a much smaller part of the sensor data.

              And it is not just grain as sensors are actually an array of red, blue, and green sensors. So too much noise can skew the colors as well.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I guess I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t get what I had envisioned and the sunset was beautiful. It has been a week of wonderful sunsets around here. Perhaps I should have purchased some waders and headed back out there.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The river bottom was very slippery mud. I had to walk very carefully along the bank and had trouble getting the tripod to sit still. The water wasn’t too cold and I could have tolerated it for a while, I just didn’t bring anything to change in to and it is a 90 minute drive back home.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Its a good obsession you have with golden grass. I really like the picture you took of it. The way the sky looks with the sun being right in the center.
    And the colors of the sunset are beautiful. Glad you were able to get the photos, sorry it didn’t turn out fhe way you wanted. We don’t know how you pictured it so to us its an awesome photo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of pictured it with the river banks each going to the opposite corner of the photo, which would require me standing in the middle of the river.
      Upstream of this location, I can walk across the river without the water coming up to my waste, but it gets much deeper here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Understand, next time bring a change of clothes, so that you can get wet. You definitely wouldn’t want to be getting in the water here this time of year! But even if the water is warm being that the water was coming up to your waist, I don’t think I would be wanting to get in. I would be swimming!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. To be honest, my favorite photo is of the Aermotor blades. I’m quite a fan of windmills, and Aermotor’s an old brand. I’ve got two or three photos of those — one working, the others not — along with some other brands. Out at the Brazoria refuge, there’s a similar windmill/tank combo, although the windmill’s in better shape. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you come up with in 2022!

    Liked by 1 person

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