Seldom do I get the chance to spend an entire day with my grown son so when it happens, I like to take advantage of that time. As a boy, he had an adventurous spirit and a great imagination and that hasn’t changed in all these years. When he called me and told me he was coming down for a visit, I wanted us to do something really special together so we drove just north of Fredericksburg to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.
Driving from Fredericksburg to Enchanted Rock is an adventure in itself. For anyone who’s never been to the Texas Hill Country, Ranch Road 965 offers some of the best views I’ve seen and the final turn introducing you to the beauty of the rock makes it even better.
More than 1,800 feet above sea level, the rock is a phenomenon. The rest of the landscape nearby is made up of rolling hills covered in grass and trees, but not Enchanted Rock. Well, aside from the occasional tree, wildflowers and cactus, it is almost entirely barren of vegetation. It covers 640 acres and rises approximately 425 feet above the rest of the terrain around it.
Individuals who don’t understand the importance of state parks in Texas have probably never experienced climbing a rock with their young child or their elderly grandmother. We saw both the day we chose to climb along with hundreds of other individuals including scouts, BFF’s, senior citizens with canes, families with dogs and couples getting engaged.
The most interesting part about taking on this beast of pink granite is how it fools you into believing you’re almost there when you’re only about halfway up. Of course, when you look to the top and can barely identify the ant-sized people, you know you’ve got a long way to go.
Aside from a graceful slip while going up the rock in which I managed to break a tiny hole in my water bottle and damage a thumbnail, the actual climb was slow and steady, even though my 21-year-old son probably would have preferred to travel like the hare and not the tortoise.
Though you might get slightly winded while ascending, the views make the trip worthwhile. As Barbra Streisand sang, “On a clear day, you can see forever.”
For more information on Enchanted Rock, visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/enchanted-rock.