Or a dirty house, a stack of papers to grade or contracts to write we still managed to get out of town for a night. Just down the road a bit past Bastrop to Buescher State Park. We didn't leave till after 3 the boy had a basketball game. Glad we stayed around for that because he made a free throw and missing that proud ear to ear grin would have been a crime.
So this was another inaugural trip for Ruby. It was Paco and Mom's first time in Ruby alone (cue the Barry White :) ) We cruised down thru Bastrop listening to some new tunes courtesy of a good friend who loves music. He gave us a whole case logic case (remember those) full of not just tapes but mix tapes. I want to take a longer trip soon just to listen to tapes. Seeing some of the devastation around Bastrop was sad but not nearly as heartbreaking as what we would see the next day.
We pulled up to the park just at sunset, good thing we had reservations. Home for the night was the Lakeview loop site #41. I'm telling you the specifics because I think it was the best spot of the whole park. It backed into a ridge and there was only one neighbor. Overall a very quaint and quiet campground, all tents. Two campsites over was a very brave dad with 4 kids. They seemed to be having a great time and Dad was patiently and respectfully listening to his girls debate the qualities of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.
Because it was already getting dark Paco started a huge fire. I think he bought all the wood at the camp entrance. But that was a good thing because the temperature dropped fast.
We love the boy but it was a nice change to camp alone. Just to sit around the fire, discuss life things and be mushy. Paco and I are kindred spirits who relish our time together. And NO hot dogs! Just beer, wine, almonds and jalapeno chips. We were so engrossed in our conversations that we kind of forgot to eat.
AND then we heard it, well Paco heard it before but it was my first time to hear it. The barred owl mating call. I have never heard something so unusual; it was fast, loud and done. Kind of reminded me of camping in Connecticut. I heard a similar cry and asked Paco what the mysterious noise was he replied. "Uh that would be the tent just across the way." They too had a mating call similar to the barred owl!
Lots of wine and stories later I was sleepy so I went to our bed. This time we tried replicating our big bed at home. We had blankets, comforter, quilts and pillows. One of my biggest complaints about camping is the sleeping bag. It traps you in and is not conductive to cuddling. Even with all the blankets it was ***cold! Don't think I have ever slept so close to Paco all night long.
We slept in later than usual without the boy climbing in and out. I arose first and sat with my coffee and basked in the morning sun. No agenda, no email, no phone or to do list. Just me and the birds, wish every morning began this way. Once Paco finally woke up we decided to do a quick hike before leaving. It was a 7 mile loop but we only did half of it. On the trail we came across another couple. There seemed to be something flapping from their behind. I just figured it was their backpack strap. Uh no it was a tail like thing, kind of like a squirrel tail. It was really funny and I bite my lip as we passed them so I wouldn't laugh. I bet they bought them at Bucees! The rest of the hike was quiet as we were regaining our equilibrium from the night before. We did come very close to a red shouldered hawk, so close you could see it blinking it's eyes. She just stared at us showing off her beautiful plumage.
I wanted to stay longer. I did not want to go home to reality but Paco had work to do and the boy would be home soon. In true Ruby spirit we took the back roads home and that was where we saw the real devastation of the fires. Tall forests completely charred and mailboxes to no homes. The hardest image to see was that of a tall white stone fireplace all alone in a black abyss. Heartbreaking.. But there were already many homes rebuilt and still many others under construction. The people of Bastrop have a fighting spirit.