I don't particularly care for January. It is a long month, post holidays, the days are short, we have to go back to work...wah, wah! But we do get a long weekend in January and even though we had only been back at work for a few weeks I was already in need of a break.
Luckily we had planned ahead and booked a site, many of the parks were already filled, which is awesome. This long weekend we would be heading east to Huntsville State Park. And this time we were bringing our girls: Juno, a golden retriever and Sassy, a terrier/mut mix. Juno had been camping with us once before pre-Ruby to Garner State Park when she was still a pup. Sassy had never been on the road with us. Our neighbors would graciously watch them whenever we took off. This time however we decided to give it a go. Crossing our fingers that it would work out.
Saturday post last long run we loaded up and hit the road. The journey was a little farther, about 3 1/2 hours. The girls loved the trip. We stopped in Navasota to let them have a break. That is an interesting little town. There were so many old mansions. I spied one for sale but was the idea was quickly shot down. A charming drive though thru lots of cow country.
The park, which was just outside of Huntsville, was crowded! We had to go inside to check in and like I said earlier so glad we had reservations because they were packed. The clerk was not in a mood for humor and when I asked her which of the remaining sites were the best she was very nonchalant. We chose one with a view of the lake.
Huntsville is very popular with day trippers. The parking lots were filled and there were tons of hikers and bikers. When we pulled up closer to our site we had to do a double take because it was covered with boyscouts. We checked the site number and confirmed that it was indeed our spot. The troop leader apologized and said they would be gone shortly. Girls were anxious to stretch their legs so the boy and I took a short jaunt to a fishing pier. There were warning signs about alligators but we never saw any. The scouts left and we got busy.
On this trip we didn't pop up Ruby, no need since the boy would be sleeping in a tent with the dogs. It had been quite a while since we had set up the tent. I love the attention Ruby gets when she is popped up. As we were setting up camp I noticed that just across the road was a large group of teenagers with skateboards, mini motorcycles..I groaned and yes pre-judged them. I was instantaneously taken back to Connecticut when we camped next to some very interesting and loud campers. But as the days and nights passed I was pleasantly surprised. We stayed up later and were probably noisier then they were. Ok after setting up camp we decided to just lay low since it was already late afternoon. The game set that I bought at Christmas was a big hit. We played washers and ladder ball until it got too dark.
Dinner was muy bueno thanks to our new camping stove. I don't know how we survived without it (oh yeh we ate dinner from a bag!) Paco whipped us up some fajitas. The campground was very quiet. There was a nice family next to us with their grandfather, I mean dad, it was hard to tell. They ran their camp like a little military school with orders being shouted. I'm surprised they didn't play taps the next morning. I was exhausted from the miles run earlier and crashed early. The girls were hesitant at first to crawl into the tent but eventually settled in.
I slept in longer then usual because the boy was not slamming the door back and forth. But when I stepped out of Ruby the boy made it clear to me that he was starving. I made some killer "campcakes" and we spent a lazy morning reading until we decided to take a hike. There are quite a few trails and without the girls we might have ventured further but our girls could only handle about 4 miles before a break. The trail was peaceful and it was a nice change to be under the tall pines. But where were the birds? There were birds but not much variety at all. In fact even that night there were no creatures?! I wonder if it is because of all the day traffic at the park?
After our hike we mellowed out in the beautiful, unseasonably warm weather. We read, played games and read some more. There are no cool animal stories or adventures in this entry. Just a lot of R & R, which is what we all needed. I did pick up a cool radio station out of Livingston that played old hits from the 70's. The boy got serenaded a few times. He will have such a well rounded taste in music when he grows up. I hope someday he will hear an old Steely Dan song and be instantly transported back into time and camping with us! Love that boy so much and treasure these weekends that we can steal away from the busy-ness.