I ‘Pokemon Go’ to Enchanted Rock
The popular app has been all over the news since it was first released on July 6th of this year: people getting mugged, walking into traffic, and other incidents that cause victims to blame the game (even though the loading screen clearly states: WATCH YOUR SURROUNDINGS…but I digress). On the flip side, however, this video game has not only gotten players out of the house, but also meeting new people and becoming part of a fast growing community that is centered around the love of the classic video game. In addition, it’s GPS system tracks your movement and, based on your region, the movement of Pokemon that are, again, based on your region. I took a hike at Enchanted Rock Natural Park in Fredericksburg, TX, to see if there’s any difference between the pokemon there and the pokemon in College Station, TX.
The 3 hour drive was certainly worth it, pokemon-wise. Other than Echo Canyon where I lost my connectivity (and had to climb my way out), the variety of Pokemon was far different from the Bulbasaurs and Pidgeys that I was used to. This list of pokemon included, but are not limited to: Clefairy, Nidoran (male), Nidoran (female), Paras, Rhyhorn, and my personal favorites, Growlithe and Cubone. In addition, there were Pokestops at the campgrounds, and at least 2 gyms around the trails (thankfully, one of them was safe in Team Valor’s hands).
The hike itself, though, makes the trip even more special. There are multiple trails throughout the park, but the ones I stuck with were the Loop Trail and Echo Canyon. The Loop Trail was beautiful: views for miles and multiple secret areas that you can’t find on the map. One spot that I found I dubbed Pride Rock (you can take the girl outta Disney…). There’s also a lake on the Echo Canyon Trail called Lake Moss, which was perfectly blue on that day. Along with the lake, and various nature-made rock sculptures on the sides, the trail was just as enjoyable with and without the game.
If you really want to catch ’em all, then be prepared to spend a little extra on gas to get extra. If you want to try your luck at Enchanted Rock, admission into the park is $7 per adult, and camping is permitted, though fires are not (for obvious reasons). My advice is thus: bring at least 3 bottles of water with you on your hike, wear good sturdy tennis shoes, bring sunscreen, and watch out for the dreaded gecko (it’s adorable face is it’s most lethal weapon).