Saturday, March 24, 2012

Things That Go GRRRR in the Night

Magnolia Ridge Damn - 20ft from the lake... and the gators.
 Our first attempt at setting up at night on this one - we got to the Magnolia Ridge Damn about quarter to 10 - after the guard house had closed for the night.  The set up was really not that difficult thanks to our Coleman Quad Lantern. It was a life-saver on the last trip with the group, too, now that I think about it. 

We drove past the boat ramp to our site - suprized by the rather large owl that flew in from the lake and perched not but 15 ft from us.  We found our spot, and with it being so dark, we didn't realize how close we were to the water's edge.  In fact, I reserved this spot specifically for the on-the-water view.  But in the middle of the night, when you can't see anything but a few feet in front of you, and you hear:


coming from the water, you forget the 'beautiful view' and wish you were back in your very comfortable home with bricks and sticks around you. 

RDB knew what it was immediately - it's the mating bellow of an alligator.  Gee, Thanks, I feel so much better knowing that that sound has *teeth*.  I was much happier once we had the roof popped up and I could start setting up inside the camper.

The weekend weather was amazing, especially given the fact that we had a huge downpour through the week.  RDB and I got up early, enjoying our coffee outside.  We had a mom and two kids camping beside us this weekend - it was awesome to see the way they interacted, and that 'Mom' was doing this on her own.  She let us know there's a pick-your-own strawberry farm down 190 towards Woodville, though we were too happy in our chairs to want to go check it out. Maybe next time.

"Those people got it made."
The view was worth it.  We were a few spots down from the boat ramp - not close enough to be bothered by the noise, but we could watch the guys float and putter by on their bass boats.  The family in the site behind us caught a few rather large bass.  It was just a beautiful day for sitting back and relaxing, and watching the "Turtle Show."

This is site 18, at Magnolia Ridge.  It will probably be a repeat for RDB and me - its just the best spot for sitting back and enjoying nature (even if that means being awakened by bellowing alligators at 3am).  It's in the care of the Corp of Engineers - say "hi" to Woody when you check in.  He's a great, friendly host.  Firewood can be had (25 sticks for $10) right outside the park on 190 - look to the where they're building the Haunted Acres.

And, yes, there's a Wal*Mart about 20 minutes down the road in Jasper.  Only 2 trips this time.

For more camping photos, go here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Are We There Yet...?

Setting up camp for the first time.  Those chairs? Worth. Every. Penny.
Forgive the title - had to get it out of my system. 

RDB was determined that we'd get the truck in time to go out for our first trip - for my 30th Birthday weekend. And it was touch and go for a bit: transfering a truck in from CA, a lost title, finding another Ranger, me being out of town, me being in the emergency room, BB driving up with the loan docs, dealing with the sales-dorks.  It was a mess.  But, we had the camper, we (finally) got the truck, and we were going camping!

RDB did a great job of keeping the location a secret - this was my birthday gift.  Though, he did let the cat out of the bag that we were camping with The 5J's and D&G+2.  It was a great first trip - lots of fun with the kiddos, about 4 trips to the Wal*Mart, and no one got hurt or lost! (That's success when you're camping with 5 kids under 5!)

We were in spots 37 and 38 at the Double Lake Rec Area.  Great for group camping (the two sites share a pad), very close to the bath house, and only about a 2 hour drive from home. 

I can't wait to go out with the group again.  And I can't wait to go out just me and RDB!