Wonderful Waco, Part 1
[I visited Waco on November 11, this entry is just catching up.]
Mention "Waco," and you know what everyone thinks of. This is despite the fact that the Branch Davidian compound was actually located about a dozen miles outside Waco in Mount Carmel. If not for the regrettable incident that took place there so long ago, Waco would just be a small, sleepy farm city with Kansas-style wide, open streets. It makes a convenient highway stop as it's midway between Dallas and Austin. It's also home to the Baptist university Baylor.
I decided to skip a tour of Baylor, and concentrate on doing a bit of mountain biking, visiting the zoo, and taking some pictures at the compound which, surprisingly enough, had been razed to the ground just one month after the unfortunate incident had taken place.
I did the mountain biking in Cameron Park, which has some pretty interesting trails. The park is set along the Brazos River, and it rises to some small bluffs. The maximum elevation gain between the bottom and the top of the park is probably only 100 feet or so, however many of the trails are well beyond my technical skills.
Obviously, this is not the San Gabriels, but then again all the trails are single-track with nary a fire road in sight. Some of the trails are steep, and many are rocky or filled with tree roots. Some are marked on the map with double black diamonds; I don't doubt that that's accurate.
I started out in the Lover's Leap area, and biked down to the River Trail. I had to walk the bike down one section that was particularly steep. I kept biking until I got to a set of steep stairs. Thinking I could quickly regain some elevation, I carried the bike up the stairs which, given the occasional high rises and narrow steps and the fact that they were a bit slick, was a little difficult. When I got to the top, I found out that it was difficult to get from there back to my starting point, so I ended up carrying the bike back down the stairs. It's all good exercise, right? I biked back up the River Trail and went past the point where I came down. On the left were some interesting small cliff faces. Climbing them didn't look too appetizing; they looked like they'd melt in my hands. I returned back to the starting point mostly on the bike. Christian of txdb.net was there shooting a music video with some other Baylor students, and he was lucky enough to meet the Lonewacko.