It wasn't until I met Clarissa Howard in my mid 20's, that I truly appreciated "nature walks".  Well, the real story, is that I stammered around the radio station lobby (Clarissa was the receptionist) in hopes that she would notice me, and when after nearly one year passed with her only nodding at me in disgust a half-dozen times, I finally got up enough gumption to ask her out.

Little did I know that she 'dug' guys who were work-out freaks, had a day old beard, and six-pack.  Why she agreed to go on a date with me, I'll never know, for I was a couch potato, who ate day old bread, then washed it down with a six pack.

She told me that lunch was on her, literally, because she brought it with her, in the form of celery and carrot sticks, which she strategically stored inside a teeny-tiny pocket on her teeny-tiny body.  And, let me tell you, when we hit the trail, just watching all of her parts move, was enough to keep me motivated to keep up with her, on our five mile trek.

Sadly, I didn't even get to first base that day, and a feeble attempt to grab a second outing with her, ended up with her laughing at me hysterically (I took that as a "no").

On the positive side though, the "hike", as I remember, was adventurous and stimulating, despite my ability to score, and this brings me to the real crux of this story - "Davy Crockett National Forest".  Have never been, but with a name like "Davy Crockett", I'm guessing thrills on the trail similar to a Six Flags roller-coaster ride?

More trails have opened for the season as crews have removed hazardous trees killed from the drought, so enjoy the Ratcliff Lake area (day use), Piney Creek camping and horse trails, as well as the 4-C trail Forest Service Road 521 North to Neches Bluff.

For "Happy Trails", visit this website for more info.