Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 28, 2014

Three Men and a Dog | 1

Thru-Hiking the Lone Star Hiking Trail

We’ve all heard the old Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That first step and every step after that are what progressively take us deep into the context of adventure. Every step that leads away from all that is familiar to us moves us in the direction of new discoveries about ourselves and the places where we venture. There is, perhaps, nothing as exciting as setting off on a journey and taking that first step toward a distant horizon.

Almost one year ago I heard about the Lone Star Hiking Trail, the longest hiking trail in Texas. Intrigued, I read anything I could find about the trail and watched YouTube videos posted by those who had hiked segments of the trail. I was hooked. I wanted to hike this trail. So began the preparation stage of my journey. I bought a Texas State Parks pass so that I could do day hikes on my day off. I exercised daily to strengthen my core muscles. And I began to make lists of everything I would need to do a thru-hike of the main 100-mile section of the trail.

3 Men and a Dog
As a result of talking about this next adventure, my friends Bill Crenshaw and Doyle Lowry signed on to join me for the hike. We all did lots of day-hiking together, some of these hikes with full packs in order to become accustomed to caring weight on our backs. And we had countless conversations about equipment, weather, maps, notes and cautions posted by other hikers, and much more. Preparing for the hike became a healthy mental and physical balm to soothe the daily stress of the workplace.

Having led more than eighty short-term teams on journeys all over the planet, I knew that our 100-mile adventure would require careful planning. You don’t just decide that you are going to do a 100-mile hike, buy a backpack, and show up at the trailhead. An adventure like this requires intentional preparation before taking that first step on the trail. In addition to gathering all of our necessary supplies, I spent a lot of time studying the maps of the eleven trail segments. I also consumed “The Lone Star Hiking Trail” guidebook by Karen Somers, an excellent resource for anyone interested in hiking this trail.
Team Pic 4 FrameAnd so began our journey of one-hundred miles. The week before our hike Bill asked if he could bring along Paxton, his daughter’s dog. Knowing what a good dog Paxton is made it easy to say yes. So, Paxton became a part of our team. Finally, on Friday, March 21, our friend David Rogers drove us to Trailhead Number One near Richards, Texas. We circled-up and prayed, then put on our backpacks and took our respective first steps on our journey of one-hundred miles. To say we were energized would be an understatement. I took a deep breath of anticipation, looked up at the sky, and then set my face toward the trail.

Thanks to all who followed our journey and left encouraging comments on our Lone Star Pastors Facebook page. I appreciate my daughter Niki for maintaining the page and updating it daily. In the coming days I will continue the story of our journey — the adventures of three men and a dog along the Lone Star Hiking Trail.

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Responses

  1. Can’t wait to hear more stories!

    • Thanks, James. Looking forward to telling the story of our adventure in the coming days.


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