Camping is my happy place. The smell of trees and burnt wood (quite ironic), cool moving water and green shades, your own temporary patch of land where you can perch your little house and pretend as if you live amongst the various gentle creatures and just below the moon and sun and stars all the time. Makes me wonder why we ever built malls and skyscrapers and cars and roads. If everywhere on Earth looked like a campsite, there would always be something to explore.
One of my favorite components of camping starts before I even get to the site. It includes going to the grocery store and buying lots of food! Being a vegan, you might think that my options are slim, but boy am I a large, beautiful butterfly flying down the aisles. I always keep it traditional, purchasing some sort of “hot dog.” Cole and I opted for the Lightlife Jumbo Smart Dogs and the Tofurky Italian Sausage (seen in photos). I dare you to try them if you think I’m really missing out on eating a pig. I am dying for the Beyond Meat “The Beyond Burger” to come out in San Antonio already so I can try cooking that over a hefty fire. We also brought potatoes, which are perfect for hobo dinners, especially when you throw in a bunch of vegetables and yummy seasonings, as well as our number one staple snack: chips and salsa. A touch of alcohol and good ol’ HEB Texas Sweet Tea, I was set.
Enough about food. Let’s talk about the park. Here are some realizations as well as highlights from the trip.
1. I’ve been there before! Either for girl scouts or some other day visit.
2. I should have chopped my own firewood because why am I paying lots of money for a dead tree.
3. Don’t trust the coal companies that say their coal lights instantly without lighter fluid.
4. There’s no need to pay for electric. I charged my laptop the night before and was still able to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3 one night.
5. The water was cold and the rocks underneath hurt my feet but there was something so peaceful and calming about feeling the rush of water flow past your body. Also, the water there is nice and so so clear which was good since I’m terribly afraid of dark water.
6. Cole and I checked out the Crystal Cave. There’s about a fifteen minute hike to get there, a hike in which Cole and I discovered we are poorly out of shape, and though the cave wasn’t ginormous, it was really a cool thing to see. If you looked closely enough you could see the little crystals lining the whole area and could watch as little droplets of water fell and echoed through the dark spaces. P.S. our legs still hurt three days later.
7. Climb trees whenever you can. It’s a lot of fun. Except when a gigantic bee forces you off of it.
8. Cole is always in charge of the fire. He’s more aware of it than I and when he was barely setting it up, I’d swoop in with my veggie dog on a roasting fork, trying to pry it into the smallest of flames. Thanks Cole 🙂
9. It only takes one minute to boil soup over the fire and it tastes damn delicious.
10. Just be outside. With no service. With no distractions. Only stars.
P.S. Cole tried to convince me that my Little Dipper was actually Orion
With endless opportunities to hike, rent canoes and paddleoboards, play mini golf, go to a weekend dance, swim, birdwatch, explore a mini cave, etc., this place ended up being everything I could’ve wanted for a weekend away. I highly recommend!