Happy New Year!

What better way to begin a new year than with trails and camping? This has been an unusually cold winter for Louisiana. As a runners and lovers of the outdoors, we have welcomed the opportunity to enjoy mother nature without the heat, humidity, and bugs. To celebrate the beginning of 2014, Shane and I spent the year's first weekend camping in Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, LA. The low for the night was around 25 with the next day's high in the low 60's. What is great about this park are the extensive trail system, huge lake, and arboretum. Since we only stayed one night, trail running and hiking were all we had time for. However, there is plenty of fishing, boating, and wildlife watching to enjoy here on our next visit.

Date of Trip: January 3 - 4, 2014

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Cypress forest at the shore of Lake Chicot. View from trail between South and Walker Branch trailheads.

What I like: I love the squiggly reflection in this photo as well as a brilliant blue sky. Many times I have difficulty with washed out skies unless the rest of the picture is way too dark.
What I don't like: Although there are three distinct color parts to this picture I wish the scene had a little more color variation. But that's winter for ya.

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Again I like how the water and the sky turned out with crisp colors; however, it would have been nice if the green parts in the foreground were a little brighter. This was a shady spot though. 

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Lake Chicot from pedestrian bridge, south of Walker Branch TH.
What I like: I love the trees of Louisiana, especially in the winter when you can see the branch structures.
What I don't like: For some reason the web displays this picture with way too much red tone. I also think I could have cropped a lot of the sky out for a 1/3 - 2/3 split at the tree line.

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View from trail near the North Landing TH.
What I like: I like this particular part of the trail and the logs that cut across it.
What I don't like: Forest floors in the South tend to look very messy. Sky is slightly washed out as well. At some point I will muster up the discipline to make a dawn photo shoot!

There are much prettier parts of the trail at Chicot; however, at my mileage I am currently unable to reach those parts easily! Hopefully you will see them on my next post from Chicot.

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