Last weekend we were treated to THE most beautiful weather that you could ever imagine Houston, Texas having during mid-January.
It also happened to be my birthday weekend, so the delightful sunny weather felt like just one more cherry on top of an already generous birthday sundae. 🙂
For years lately, I’ve always enjoyed using my birthday as a little excuse to either travel or go on some sort of new adventure. Last year we spent the weekend in New Orleans. And this year we were toying with the idea of going to San Antonio, but having just visited Austin we decided we wanted to stick around closer to home.
I love love love camping, hiking and anything outdoorsy, (yes & I am also a fashion blogger…makes total sense right?) When Patrick and I lived in Tennessee, the Smoky Mountains were practically in our backyard. It was something we almost took for granted, being able to go on a hike or camp whenever we desired. Now living in the big city of Houston, “getting away from it all” and exploring the outdoors has become pretty difficult.
That was until I asked pretty much every born and bred Houstonian that I knew where a great place nearby was to hike, camp, and/or explore the outdoors.
Brazos Bend State Park had been highly recommended, and being just a 45 minute drive from downtown Houston, off we went!
I had read that it’s pretty common to spot an alligator or two when hiking the park’s trails.
But I’m not going to lie, pulling up and seeing that big ol’ alligator on the entrance sign had me just a bit bugged out.
Patrick and I put any fears of nasty gators behind us and set off for the trails, with our golden retriever, Lily, in tow.
If you’re local and considering which trails to hike when visiting the park- we hiked the around the two big lakes, Elm Lake and 40 Acre Lake
. The five mile loop only took a couple of hours and gave us just the taste of nature we were craving.
Lily was clearly not afraid of the gators.
Also, I must mention how I’m obsessed with all of the Spanish Moss trees that were in this park!
The swampy scenery with the moss swaying in the wind sure was a beautiful sight.
So naturally I snapped a whole lotta photos!
Twenty minutes into our adventure we spotted our first gator, sunning not too far off from the trail.
Can you spot it below?
I stayed a safe distance away from this dinosaur-esque creature and zoomed in to get a good shot.
It’s honestly surreal being so close to an alligator without any sort of fence for protection.
But these ginormous creatures didn’t seem to care too much that random pedestrians and puppies were walking a mere three feet from them.
It was kind of insane, if you ask me.
And soon enough, we spotted another one!
Which, I then had to take a picture of it, showing my shoe so you all could see just how close these things were to us.
Halfway through the loop, hikers are treated to an observatory tower that overlooks the entire park.
Not wanting to drag the pup up all the way up there with us, Patrick and I took turns climbing to the top.
Words really can’t describe the spectacular view from the top of the tower, so therefore please check out the photos below. 🙂
Once we reached the opposite side of 40 Acre Lake, we turned a corner where we found a trail shaded with the tallest of trees that were just dripping with Spanish Moss.
‘Twas a lovely sight indeed!
Not to leave any of you fashionistas hanging and wondering what to wear when you go on your next nature hike, I must tell you, I was super comfortable during our hike in my stretchy BDG jeans
And not knowing whether we would be traipsing through swampy waters while adventuring, my duck boots
were the obvious choice for the occasion!