I have not been hiking much this year — partly because I am busy, and partly because there has been so much snow. The snow is finally melting, so I am resuming my weekend jaunts.
Last year I passed by the trail leading to Bandera Mountain, and wished I could go there, so when I saw a meetup going there, I joined in. We got to the trailhead before the parking lot was nearly, but not completely full. Starting up the trail brought back memories of the last time up here. I felt like I was making pretty good progress, but everyone else was hiking a lot faster than me. I don’t know if I am slowing down, or if this is a fast group.
Once the trail to Bandera Peak splits off the main trail, it gets remarkably steep. There are no switchbacks — just straight up the grassy slope. Finally reaching the ridge line, it turns to a boulder hop. Finally, I reach the top, last in my party. It is cold up there, especially since I am sweaty. Nice local views, but high clouds obscure everything far away.
There were a dozen or so hikers, besides our group, at the top. That seemed like the end of the trail — certainly no one was going farther along the ridge. It was not until I got back and looked at the GPS track that I realized that we had not actually reached Bandera Mountain at all. The real peak is farther along the ridge. I guess I will have to go back. When the sky is clearer.
The wildflowers were pretty on the high meadow below the ridge.