9/8/13

Day Trip in the Mazda6i Grand Touring #Travel #Fredericksburg #Texas

This week we're driving the Mazda6i Grand Touring for review and September 7 was the perfect day for a Day Trip. Fredericksburg, Texas, is about two hours from the Austin area and we set out early afternoon to go visit Enchanted Rock, a massive 500-foot-high dome of pink granite.
Driving on the back roads gave us lots of opportunities to try out the handling of the Mazda6i Grand Touring and it has fabulously fast pickup. The steering is very responsive and the ride is really smooth, even over the many cattle guards across the Texas back-roads.
The built-in navigation system was our guide to Fredericksburg. The lady navigator that tells us where to drive is kind enough to quiet the radio when she gives directions.
The Sirius XM radio came in handy when we drove outside the Austin local radio channel area. We listened to some 80s for a while then switched over to the stand-up comedy channel. Driving together as a couple with no children fighting in the backseat is quite delightful after 20+ years of parenting.
I love the dual-control air temperature feature and apparently I like it much cooler than my husband. I guess he's not dealing with constant the hot flashes that currently plague me. The leather interior is very comfortable and classy.
A good day trip is just not complete without a hole in the ceiling of the car. The Mazda6i Grand Touring has a sunroof that opens just for light and also opens completely for the total experience. As the temperature outside reached nearly 100 degrees, we opted for a closed sunroof.
Enchanted Rock came into view over the dashboard of the car a few miles shy of the actual park area and we finally reached the 1,643-acre Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Since it's in the hill country of Texas, we got to try the climbing abilities of the Mazda6i Grand Touring and it's got a lot of power.
Armed with our water bottles and a camera, we paid our $7 entry fees and parked at the base of Enchanted Rock. There are 7 miles of hiking trails, including the popular 6/10 mile Summit Trail which involves a 425-foot elevation gain hike to the top of Enchanted Rock, which is where we decided to go.
To begin the climb up Enchanted Rock requires a quick stop at the restroom, a refill of water bottles, and a quick prayer for light breezes. Imagine for a moment the simmering heat that radiates from a huge hill of granite in the Texas sun. Notice also that there are very few trees that actually grow on Enchanted Rock.
Going up Enchanted Rock is not for the faint of heart. The Summit Trail is a combination of rocky areas and smooth areas, with just a few places here and there where some vegetation has sprouted up and created meager, shaded rest areas.
As we climbed, we stopped frequently to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the view from our vantage point. I wondered what the young families thought as they watched the two of us huffing and puffing our way up.
At one point, I wondered if we should have instead taken the 4-mile Loop Trail that winds around the base of Enchanted Rock. As I surveyed the beautiful sights from high up, I was glad we decided to hike up instead.
Enchanted Rock has an estimated age of one billion years, making it among the oldest exposed rock in North America. It's designated a National Natural Landmark and is featured in several Indian legends. Activities in the area include hiking, backpacking, technical climbing, primitive camping, picnicking, birding, geological study, stargazing and nature study.
The 1,000 foot long Enchanted Rock Fissure is one of the largest known granite caves. For those who are experienced at rock-climbing, it promises a challenge on its steep and slippery surfaces. There are actually over forty-five established rock climbing routes available.
The breezes did pick up once we'd climbed (okay, walked at a very steep angle) up about halfway. About three quarters of the way up, I had to stop to sit. I'm just no spring chicken anymore and my legs felt like jello. Since I'd been up to the top about 20 years ago, I told my husband to go ahead the rest of the way and I'd wait for him.
As I sat on the side of Enchanted Rock, I watched the fluffy clouds roll past and marveled at the beauty of the area. The little patches of Prickly Pear Cactus poked up here and there on the grand hill and there were big bumblebees clumsily buzzing around them.
After resting a bit, I decided to go up a little farther and saw my husband standing at the top of Enchanted Rock. I was so excited that he made it all the way up! I decided I was far enough up to satisfy myself and waited for him to pick his way back down to where I was.
Going back down was only slightly easier than going up. I was amused by the number of young kids that happily bounded up and down Enchanted Rock with almost no effort. It was quite a joy to finally reach the parking lot and collapse into the delightful air conditioning of the Mazda6i Grand Touring.
Our two hour journey back home from Fredericksburg was quiet, comfortable, and uneventful. Although we did stop at a small roadside farmer's market to pick up a little basket of grape tomatoes for a snack. As we pulled into our driveway, I noticed we only used a quarter of the tank of gas! Where shall we go next?
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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this!

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  2. Sounds like a perfect day trip. The joys of no backseat arguments is one only a seasoned parent can fully understand. Love the look of the Mazda6i.

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  3. The Mazda 6 is a beautiful car! The hike looks like it would have been beautiful.

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