Lighting Makes Magic: Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

The week of, I found out I was invited to a friend’s lake house. Immediately, I asked, “Oh, which lake?” Because through most of my research I’d found out that almost every lake has an attached state park (at least in Texas). Luckily, I was right, and so with a weekend planned to head out east to Lake Bob Sandlin – I knew it was time for another hike, and another state park to get crossed off my list.

The weather has been really tricky this year, putting me behind on my 52 Hike Challenge. There was yet again rain in the forecast, but I decided to just hope for the best, and hike even if it meant I’d be slogging through mud. Overall, no rain and only a few muddy spots, so I’d call that a win.

Since it was a friend’s weekend, I decided to do a sunrise hike because most people would be sleeping in and I had less of a chance of missing any fun (or being rude). Even though I went to bed around 1AM, I set my alarm for 6AM. The best part about “camping” (quotation marks because it was a fully furnished house with showers and comfy beds) is that the drive to the state park and trails was a five minute country drive. So no people, beautiful fields, a short trip, and a great view of the sky. Plus, we were right on the lake, so I saw the sunrise unhindered.

I’d learned to print my trail map beforehand and then not rely on them too much (it’s crazy how hard it is to find a trailhead, yet alone a marked trailhead). I ended up stopping at the first parking I found at the end of the road and decided to get a move on. I knew from my map they all pretty much connected and they were all about a mile (or less) so it wouldn’t take me long to hike all of it. It’s a small park with the majority of its space reserved for camping and fishing, so I wasn’t expecting much from the trails.

Besides that, I’d forgotten my hiking boots in my car. Which was a bummer. I’d been counting on mud, but I refused to let anything stop this hike, so I forged ahead in my simple sandals. Because of who I am, almost all of my “nice” stuff is pretty durable and ready for the outdoors. My sandals are meant for fashion, but they also have a sturdy sole and they worked fine enough. Not going to lie, I was concerned about the mud making them worse for wear. At the end of the trail, I realized there was a spigot for washing off. Perfect!

Even though there was a swampy pond, some nice greenery, and a little stump for lake-viewing, what really made this hike magic was the lighting. Sunrise hikes, ugh. They seem like you’ve stepped through time to explore a fairy land. That might sound lame, but that’s really how mystical it feels to me. It’s quiet and soft, and the world is happy in those sunrise hikes. I hope to go on many more.

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