Live armadillos: 3
Poo Conversations: 24
Flies: 4 thousand
water moccasin: 1
Cliff: Eats Fly Smells Like Butt Wampum
Teresa: Eats Snacks Takes Naps Wampum
Jon: Growls at Inanimate Objects
Lydia: Pencil Under Shoe
So our camping trip was a whole lot of fun! Here's the run-down. (And go to Teresa's blog for another perspective and more pictures!)
It all starts with our house full of things to take camping. We push and shove most of it into our car, but some just won't fit. No worries, we think. Cliff and Teresa aren't bringing much, so we'll put the rest in their car. Not so. Cliff and Teresa arrive, and their car is as jampacked as ours. How much stuff does it take for 4 people to go camping?? A lot!! We cram most everything in and headed on our way, stopping to see Cliff's old stomping grounds and to grab some barbecue for lunch.
The campsite is really great. We have a perfect spot, near the showers and the office, and it has two trees just the right space apart for a hammock! We set up our tents, our hammock, our laundry line, and the many bins of food. Jon starts the burgers, and we enjoy the evening. We don't see many mosquitoes at all! We have our first experience with the "breezy" compost toilets.
The next morning, I wake up early, and head off to find a good spot for breakfast and Bible study. I pass the dumpster, which is guarded by several buzzards. When I get back, I head to the hammock for a nap, and then it's time for the Gorman Falls tour! Cliff stays behind to rest, but the rest of us head off. It is amazingly beautiful. The falls are spring fed, and the water is crystal clear, a far cry from the muddy Colorado.
Swimming was one of the reasons I picked this park. I found it in a list of Top 10 Texas Swimmin' Holes. There are three waterholes of spring water at the end of the park. We'd been told it was about a couple hundred yards from the office, so we start off on foot. A couple hundred yards later, we come to a gate. Figuring we misheard, we decide the "couple hundred yards" must start here. We continue. It starts raining. We don't mind so much, because we're dressed to get wet anyway, but it's hard to walk, and really not that much fun. Besides, we've definitely gone a couple hundred yards and haven't seen any sign of a spring. We find a hole in the vegetation that lines the path. Being a curious person, I poke my head in, and it's a tree whose limbs drape all the way to the ground, and vines hang down to form a canopy, and a pretty dry one at that. We duck in to wait out the rain. After awhile, Cliff heads out to see just how much further the spring really is. He doesn't come back, and a family coming from the spring lets us know that he's going to stay. We ask how much further it is, and they say, "Just beyond that tree. I'd say a couple hundred yards." The rain is slackening, so we head off.
Well, several hundred yards after that (and I mean several), we finally see the springs. They're beautiful. The water is clear blue, and floor of the pool is limestone, slick with use and algae. We have tons of fun, lazing around and exploring all the pools. We do see one water moccasin. I'm sure he is as scared of us as we are of him, but we aren't going to stick around and test it out. We enjoy more time at the main pool, then head back for hobo dinners.
By this time (Sunday evening) most people have packed up and headed home. We find out the pros and cons to that very quickly. Pros: We can go wherever we want and be as loud as we want. Cons: The flies have no one else to attract them, and we seem to be their sole food source. It's nasty.
On Monday, the rain starts around 2:00pm. Hoping it will be short and sweet like on Sunday, Jon and I wait it out under a large tree. The previous campers under that tree said it was a good cover, "just like it's not even raining." We enjoy it for about the first 2 minutes, and then we are soaking wet for the next 30. Cliff and Teresa had sought refuge in their car, and had driven around a bit. At one point, the rain stops, and we dry off enough and got in our car as well. But the rain starts up again, and eventually, we're all in one car, heading to Lampasas, an hour away, to wait it out. We decide to eat dinner there and get back just in time for bed. Our plan works just fine--it's not raining by the time we get back--except that everything in Cliff and Teresa's tent is soaked.
This poses a problem, because the forecast calls for more rain, and right now, we're down to one tent, one set of sleeping bags, one set of clothes.... We realize that C&T aren't going to get to sleep in the tent that night, so in the light of evening (and later the Coleman lamp) we pack everything up, drying it as much as we can before shoving it into the two cars. Everything's a wet mess, and our cars are in need of Febreze. We leave camp at 10:15pm, with lightening confirming our decision to go. C&T stop for the night in Waco, and we head on home. We hear an emergency announcement on the radio about tornadoes and heavy rains in the area where we left. I have a fleeting thought of the Park Ranger coming out to warn us, only to find that we've been "swept away," with not even a box of matches left behind.
We pull into our driveway at 2:15am, leaving everything in the car but what we needed that night. We both take showers in hot water, enjoying the feeling of clean, then sink into our bed about 3am.
Today, I'm glad I'm at home for my last day of vacation. We slept in, then unpacked, and we'll have the day to do laundry before I have to go back to work. It was a great vacation. We shared a ton of laughs with some of our closest friends (my stomach actually hurts from laughing!), and we made lots of memories.
To see the pictures full-size and leave comments on them, click on the Picasa link. To turn off my captions, click on the green thought bubble in the lower left-hand corner of the slideshow.
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