My friend Tom was in Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Festival, and decided to leave the city behind for a hike at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

When he got back, he wrote me this email:

I did that little hike around Austin, and remembered to take a first aid kit (okay, bandaids and gauze) because I read your post. Besides impressing a girl with my preparedness, I also got to use it when I stepped into a giant crevice and scrapped up my knee and legs. Let it be known that because of Casey Schreiner, I didn’t have to hike back down to the crowded base with blood streaming down my leg, which tends to upset people. There are two lessons here: 1) bring a first aid kit 2) no matter how alluring the view, or your hiking partner, pay the most attention to where you are stepping. Also, enchanted rock outside of Austin is super crowded, but still cool.

One other thing that just popped into my head: When we were pulling into the park to go on what we had been calling a “hike” the ranger said “Ya’ll here to walk around?” Yes.

Also, as long as its going on a hiking blog, you must get to Enchanted Rock in the morning or else you will get stuck in an enormous line of cars stretching way down the highway, waiting to enter. We watched them sit there — with tenderness not judgment — from high upon our rocky perch. And the woman at a delightful mexican restaurant we stopped in down the road warned us that they stop letting people in at a certain number, but I’ve got nothing else to back that up. Her quote was something like: “They say too many people been walkin’ around on it. Say they’re ruinin’ it.” P.S. I fell in love with Texas.

See? Read Modern Hiker and you’ll impress girls and not upset people! I can’t think of a better endorsement. Here are a few of Tom’s pictures from the hike:

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Remember, if you ever have any good hiking tales, experiences, or trail advice you’d like to share, feel free to leave comments or send me an email.

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