A few of my favorite hikers on YouTube:
Fun fun fun! 🥾
On the days I am working at the office, I’ll usually take a walk at lunchtime. It’s nice to get some fresh air, a bit of sun, and also peruse the food truck options for the day. And, of course, it’s even better when we have nice weather such as today. 🌞 I’m really thankful that my work has a nice place to walk!
It was a beautiful sunny day, so I went out for a little bird-watching in nearby Liberty Hill and ultimately ended up at Doeskin Ranch, which is in the Balcones Canyonlands. There are several trails here, ranging from easy to moderate (although listed as Difficult on the map), and I figured I would take my time on the trails, stop a bunch and look for birds.
I started with the Rimrock Trail, then took the Shin Oak Trail, then hit the Creek Trail on the way back to the car. The Rimrock Trail was the most challenging because of the elevation gain and switchbacks, but it’s nothing to be overly worried about. Just take your time and soak in the views and you’ll be fine. I had some great weather with temperatures in the low 70s but it might be more challenging in the summer months. I didn’t bring water with me on the hike, but make sure to bring a bottle or Camelbak if you hike in the summer!
The trails at Doeskin Ranch are really nice, winding their way through large trees, over large stones in the small creek, up to a nice plateau with some great view of the Texas Hill Country all along the way. A nice touch is the self-guided walking tour of Creek Trail where you can learn a bit of history about Doeskin Ranch and the surrounding area. It’s very cool!
If you live in the Austin area, I definitely recommend coming out to Doeskin Ranch and checking it out. It’s free, kid-friendly, and very clean. Just make sure to bring water, because there’s none available at the ranch.
And I mentioned that I wanted to do some bird-watching. Well, I didn’t spot anything worth noting! Disappointing, but oh well. I just started birding so I can’t expect much. 😊
Enchiladas for dinner! Slightly new recipe since our local market carries some new Oaxacan cheese. Was yummy!
Here’s a photo of our dinner table. It’s a bit messy and not so great-looking with all the salsa containers and tortilla chips bag, but that’s how we do things at the Fujimoto house. 😄
After last weekend’s Big Bend trip, I’ve been bitten by the camping gear bug, and have had my eye on some items for the solo camper. After doing a bit of research, I went with some budget items that have good reputations.
First up is Stanley Camp 24oz. Cook Set. It’s a skinny stainless steel pot, with foldable handle and lid. It includes two insulated green mugs that nest inside, but I probably wont be using those since I have another cup solution. But the pot and lid are great, especially because size/shape works well with a couple other camping items.
The standard canister fuel (small size), like the GSI 110 G canister in the photo, slides into the Stanley pot perfectly (even better if it’s upside-down).
Next up is an ultralight and ultracompact stove: the BRS-3000T Ultralight 25g Backpacking Camping Gas Stove. It’s basically a titanium alloy burner that attaches to the top of a fuel canister, and is a favorite of backpackers because of it’s simplicity, weight, and price. It comes with a small green bag, and since the arms of the stove are fold-able, the whole thing can fit in the palm of your hand. This sits easily in the Stanley pot as well.
Next, I purchased a Jetboil Fuel Can Stabilizer to keep the whole cooking unit stable. (You can find it at Academy for $5) It also has fold-able legs and fits easily in the cooking pot.
As I mentioned, it all fits perfectly in the pot, with enough room to also add a small lighter, small sponge, small microfiber towel, etc. But to do this, that meant not being able to use the green mugs. Of course I can just throw those in another bag, but there’s a much more elegant solution: the Ozark Trail 18-Ounce Stainless Steel Cup from Walmart. The beauty of this cup, other than being cheap and durable, is that the Stanley pot fits inside of it. And as an added bonus, the lid from the pot fits perfectly on the cup as well.
There are plenty of YouTube videos about this particular setup that I checked out before purchasing everything, so I’m confident it will work out nicely. It’s definitely a compact and inexpensive cooking system. I can’t wait to try it out on our next camping trip!