Friday, November 30, 2012

Park (P)review: Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit - Somerville, TX

Park (P)review
We haven't camped here yet, but I've driven around and checked it out!


*Lake Somerville is a 2 unit park - Nails Creek is south-western, Birch Creek is north-western.  The two parks are connected by 14 miles of equestrian and hiking trails.  It's about a 20-30 minute drive between them on back country roads.
*Lots of great shade in this park - I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find a site that wasn't covered.
*Saw deer (fawns, a doe, and a 2-point buck) in various parts of the park in the mid-afternoon.
*Water and Electric Sties:
     Old Hickory loop was closed for maintenance when I was there (Aug, '12)
     Group Trailer Area: round robin style camping area, not much shade, but good for a big traveling group - mostly pull thrus
     Post Oak: Sites 43, 44, and 45 are amazing! private, shaded, cover picnic tables and a great lake view Sites 57 and 58 are also nice
     Yaupon: Most of the sites in this location have covered picnic tables Site 4 - shaded, and lake view, Site 13, 14, 16 have amazing views (14 is very big and private), site 24 is secluded and nice but is next to a trail head. 29 & 30 would be an excellent group site with lots of room and the best lake views in the park

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving (Part 2)

The week started off with a lot to be thankful for. We spent Thanksgiving day with Dad and then Friday with Mom.  Two full-blown, turkey and dressing, mashed potato and gravy, homemade bread and pumpkin pie days in a row? Oh, yeah - lots to be thankful for!

Even Diesel got to enjoy a good bit of it.  He travels so well, and that's something we are absolutely thankful for!  He's still trying to figure out how to jump down from his house (crate) on the bunkend in our camper, so that provides a great laugh every morning.  When the cold front came through Friday, we realized he needed a bit more warmth - so he got a new jacket and Reflectix put under his house to bounce back some of his warmth at night.  I swear, this pup really has no idea just how good he's got it!

We planned for a day at the campsite on Saturday, and I'm so glad that we did.  It was nice to have the morning and afternoon to ourselves.  It gave me the chance to work on a few more camping recipes (popcorn and potatoes - no, not together, ew!)  I'll post those up later.  Rich brought his LoneStar cast iron grill, so we had a personal-sized firepit right by our camper.  That was probably the only not-awesome thing about site #329 - the firepits were down the hill and not near your camping pad.
Yes, the grill is level.
I can't help but get a little mushy-gushy here for a few minutes when I think about what I'm thankful for this week.  I'm thankful for RDB.  For his love and support. For his kindness and generosity.  I'm thankful that he let's me keep him all to myself, and share him with my family, and that he shares his family with me.  I had no idea what I was missing until I met him. Until I was loved by him. He's the best part of my camping, well, him, and the steaks he grills out!

Mom came up Saturday evening and we grilled out some of those steaks I was just bragging about - and we enjoyed the campfire potato recipe I worked on.  Marshmallows, Starbucks salted-carmel-cocoa (Oh. Yeah.), and a beautiful sunset rounded out the rest of the trip. 
I feel like there was a few thousand other things I could post that I'm thankful for - including you, my readers. (Hiee!)  We get back from our camping trips and I can't help but wonder why so many people don't go out like we do.  The fresh air, the quiet surroundings, the delicious food, the great company.  So many things to be thankful for.

Until next time:

May the sun shine brightly on you
and it only rain during the week!
For more camping photos, go here.

Thanksgiving (Part 1)

Wow. What a week!  We left out Wednesday afternoon once RDB got off work, and made it into Cedar Hill State Park around 8pm (traffic from Houston to Dallas was a mess, to be sure).  Since I hadn't had a chance to preview this park, I had to rely on the knowledge of the local park staff to guide us to a good spot.  Ranger Bennett was the man!! He recommended site #329 in Coyote Crossing camping loop, and when we woke the next morning, we were right on the water. And the site was huge!  There was so much to be thankful for this trip...
I'm really, really thankful for Mom. RDB and I woke up Thanksgiving morning and realized that we didn't have a skillet to cook breakfast on.  Mom saved the day! I called her and asked if she wanted to come have breakfast at the campiste (we were heading to Dad's on Thursday and her place on Friday).  Of course, breakfast was contingent on her bringing the electric griddle!!  It was a wonderful and pleasant start to the festivities.
I am thankful for our State Parks.  And for the staff, and hosts, and Rangers who are willing to dedicate their lives to preservation and education.  I love my State Parks Pass and make the most of it - seriously, 5 nights in this amazing spot and it was only $80.  We couldn't have stayed in a dog friendly hotel for one night for that, much less the entire long weekend! 
I'm glad for having Dad and M.o.M. and all the family up North - and that soon we'll have my Grandparent's G up there right next door.  After breakfast at the campsite with Mom, we went up to Dad's for Thanksgiving day.  It's so much fun to have the big group over every year - and to have Papa and Grandee there as well. Of course, it becomes a yelling fest, not out of anger, but love - half the family is hard of hearing and between the Cowboys game, the kids, and the 10+ adults, it can be a little loud at times.  The food is always amazing - and the desserts this year were out of the park! Big Bro cracked me up as I was getting a slice of the coconut creme pudding pie: "That's the best one," he said. "Trust me, I tried all of them." 

I know it's crazy, but I'm thankful for the internet and technology this year. Our Weatherbug App gave plenty of warning that a cold front was coming in, so we could bundle up before going to bed.  Pinterest provided me with a really awesome banana pancake reciepe: one banana, one egg - mix well, and cook like a regular pancake.  (Sounds crazy, but it's crazy good).  We watched a downloaded movie from the comfort of our bunk, and, we got to do our Black Friday shopping right from the camper.

I appreciate the atmosphere at Mom's.  It truely feels like Thanksgiving at her place (I think has something to do with the home-made bread and turkey gravy.  Oooooh, the graaaavy.) It was a smaller group over at Mom's: just us, Big Bro and his girlfriend and her kids.  Kinda nice to have everyone at the same table.  Mom asked each of us what we were thankful for this year - jobs, good bosses, life, camping, and family.  We really are a blessed group. 
Life is truely precious and amazing - and there's so very much, when you stop and look around, to be thankful for.  Just sitting here at the kitchen table this morning, having a day off from work (having work to have a day off from), having the technology to listen to Christmas songs on one device and update my blog on another - to even have a blog! - I've got so much that I'm greatful for this year.  And this post is only the half of it - look for another Thanksgiving post to finish out the weekend trip.

Friday, November 23, 2012

B.Y.O.C. at Cedar Hill SP

Hey y'all!  We're camping out at Cedar Hill State Park this weekend, and would love to have you come for a visit!  It's bring your own chair (and bring a picnic lunch if you want) - we've got firewood and marshmallows and our site is right on the edge of Joe Pool Lake.

Sunset was about 5:30 tonight, and we'll be grilling out and roasting marshmallows about that time tomorrow.

Or if you want to bring your fishing pole mid-afternoon that's cool.

Or if you just feel like escaping all the crazy shopping and get back to nature, then drop on by!

I've got plenty of coffee and hot chocolate to go around!

Entrance fee for the park (day use) is $7/person, 12 and younger are free.

We're camping in Coyote Crossing Loop, site #329.

Send me a text if you're coming over!

Otherwise, Happy Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!!

Park (P)review: Lake Somervile State Park, Nails Creek Unit - Ledbetter, TX

Park (P)review
We haven't camped here yet, but I've driven around and checked it out!


*Lake Somerville is a 2 unit park - Nails Creek is south-western, Birch Creek is north-western.  The two parks are connected by 14 miles of equestrian and hiking trails.  It's about a 20-30 minute drive between them on back country roads.
**Impressed with the size of most sites - they are set up nicely with holding pens for horses in some areas
*Dappled shade, beat up roads, scrubby looking brush around the area, cactus - this park has great character!
*They've recently renovated the facilities by the tent camping area
*You'll find recycling for plastic and aluminum cans near each dumpster.
*Water and Electric Sites:
     Cedar Creek: Sites 44, 48, and 50 are HUGE and well shaded with great views of the lake. Sites 44 &46 would make for a good group area

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Park (P)review: Goliad State Park - Goliad, TX

Park (P)review
We haven't camped here yet, but I've driven around and checked it out!


*Such a sweet, quiet and historic park (on a week day afternoon)
*Mature hardwoods, scrubby brush throughout
*Several different hings to see, historic sites, monuments, and artifacts
*Electric and Water Sites;
     Karankawa - Group sites 11 & 13, 7 & 9 - lots of shade and room to spread out, odd numbered sites from 3-13 would be great for solo camping
     Jacales: (think RV parking lot - only a little better) This area would be great for a large camping group or club. Sites 42-44 and 33-35 had good afternoon shade. All of this loop have covered picnic tables and access to a number of very large smokers (not just grills, but group sized smokers!)

We Stayed here Feb '14: Going for Gold at Goliad

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words....

We stayed at McKinney Falls State Park this weekend and took a sunset-trip over to Bastrop SP, too.  This was one of those trips where there was so much good I don't even have words for it. 
So, if a picture's worth a thousand words, here's my $21,000 post:




For more camping photos (yes, more!) go here.