Posts Tagged ‘Brazos Bend State Park’

The big baby guarding the road. I estimated his length at about 12 feet, the smaller ones I passed at about six feet. ... Photo by Pat Bean

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” Abraham Lincoln

Yesterday was a first for me. While rain, sleet and snow have occasionally cut a hike short, I have never before been turned back by an alligator. This day I was.

I had  passed three smaller snoozing reptiles on the narrow dike trail around 40-Acre Lake at Texas’ Brazos Bend State Park before coming across the big guy. He had stationed himself facing the trail. I would have to pass within 10 feet of him to continue on. This was far less than the 30 feet distance a sign at the start of the trailed warned hikers to maintain when spotting alligators.

I was actually considering sneaking past him until he opened his eyes. One look at those dark orbs, which sit atop its head and act like a periscope when his body is submerged in the water, stopped me in mid-step. I backtracked past the smaller reptiles, one of which didn’t look so small at a second look, and detoured to do the Hoots Hollow trail.

I saw fewer birds here than I would have on the lake, but the peacefulness of hiking without having to fear losing a leg to the big guy soothed away any regrets. As Scarlett O’Hara said when not getting her way, “ … tomorrow’s another day.”

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