First off, it has been a hot minute since I have blogged but here I am. I am excited to tell y’all about my camping adventure in the Texas heat.
Now when I say Texas heat I mean 102ºF-103ºF, so yeah. We arrived at our campsite in Lake Brownwood State Park Thursday afternoon at probably the peak temperature of the day. We are great planners like that lol. Now I had done my research on this camping trip bc I am very analytical so I do like to plan and prepare. All the pictures I looked at had TREES. We were assigned to a camping spot and told it had a tree for shade right over the tent site so I was happy to get to the shade and not have to put everything together in the direct sun. We finished check in and got to our assigned site only to discover that the supposed “trees” were mesquite BUSHES. These beautiful plants were far from trees. Just because a bush is taller than a human doesn’t make it a tree, just saying. Plus, if you are unfamiliar with a mesquite bush, they are very scarce in their foliage so they don’t provide much shade even if they are tall. Thankfully we found a different site that did have an Oak tree and true shade.
We got unloaded and set up our awesome camp. While it was hot I did not find it unbearable. I am a Texas girl through and through so heat is my friend. I much prefer it to the cold. I abhor being cold. You will not find me on the slopes in Colorado in the winter. I am the layered up, chattering/shivering girl trying to climb into the fireplace.
We worked our tails off getting it all set up and as we sat there resting a bright red Cardinal flew over and perched on our table. Cardinals are my favorite bird and I have decided when they randomly show up anywhere I am, it is my God telling me that I am exactly where I should be and He just wanted to tell me hi and He loves me. I know it’s corny and a little “woo” but I can’t tell you how many times it has brought me immense comfort when one of those beautiful birds shows up out of the blue. Both my love and I just smiled at each other when it landed there, knowing we were going to have a great weekend.
Once everything was in it’s place we decided to head down to the lake bc poor Beau was having a rough go in the heat. He has grown accustomed to his cushy life in the AC. The lake was so much better that I had imagined and it was empty for the most part so we had the beach area all to ourselves which was glorious. Beau was all to happy to lay in the water and chew on his ball while we swam around. It did take me a while to get used to the silty, muddy floor of the lake but I had a tube so I was pretty happy to just not touch it while my love towed me around.
Our first night’s dinner was a cluster mess. I had a simple sausage hash on the menu but bc the area was in a burn ban we couldn’t cook over a camp fire. Thankfully we had some charcoal and that’s what we used but we couldn’t get it hot enough for a while. I think dinner took about 1.5 hours but we ate and it was delicious.
Sleeping in the tent is always one of my favorite things about camping especially when the weather is cooperating and we can leave the rain fly off. Our tent is screen on the top so we can look up and see the stars at night and it is beautiful. That first night I couldn’t close my eyes because I just wanted to stare at the sky. I finally fell asleep but Beau woke me up shortly. The fan had fallen and nearly landed on him so he was done with this “camping” idea and letting me know with many paws to the face, he was ready to go home. He was so confused as to why on earth we were pretending to be homeless and sleeping outside, lol. He is used to staying in hotels and having his huge cushy bed next to me in the AC. I finally got him situated in a spot on the floor next to me and I guess he was exhausted because his snoring was what woke me up next.
We woke up with the sun the next morning and the chorus of birds all around us. We made our coffee and walked down to the lake to watch the rest of the sunrise. We took a little hike and enjoyed the slow morning feeling more rested than we had in quite a while. Our bodies were already loving the complete lack of a schedule. We made some breakfast and then both grabbed our books to head to the hammocks. I brought a book titled, The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman. I picked it up at Costco but I’ve linked it to Amazon if you’d like to check it out. Of course the title grabbed me but the story was one in which I had many identifying moments. I would highly recommend it.
We both fell asleep while reading in the hammocks and sweet Beau was laying between us on the ground having finally resigned to the idea of camping and being outdoors 24/7. It was a great nap and as we woke we realized our bodies were ready for some lunch so we put something together. This is another thing I love about camping. We don’t rely on a clock to tell us when to eat. We let our bodies lead the way and eat when we feel hungry. It always shocks me how little we snack and actually eat when we camp but that just speaks to the ridiculous “food culture” we are surrounded with in our daily lives. There are commercials and billboards everywhere giving your body false signals that it wants to eat so we reach for food way more often than we truly need.
After lunch it finally dawns on me that I have yet to urinate since being at the park. I have been drinking copious amounts of water and even drank a Suja watermelon juice. I notice my skin is much drier than usual and I had convinced myself that I forgot to put lip balm on my lips at bedtime as usual and that’s why my lips are parched. I did tell my love that my mouth was so dry the day before but just kept drinking water.
We decided the afternoon heat was getting brutal so we headed back to the lake and camped out there for the afternoon. I did finally use the restroom so and it wasn’t super dark so I figured I was fine. We were in the lake for over an hour and I knew for sure I would have pruny fingers and toes when I got out but to my surprise I didn’t! Instead my body was very dry and ashy once I dried the water off. It was so weird. We got back to the campsite and got an earlier start on dinner considering how long it took us to get it cooked the night before. During dinner my love mentioned the heat was really getting to him and if it I was agreeable he would be totally fine with going home a day early. I had started considering it myself but not said anything . I was worried I was getting too dehydrated in some weird vortex because my body was not responding to the amount of fluids I was consuming and my skin had never been so dry. I had also noticed by this time that my hair was super dry too. It was seriously like Barbie hair. We both agreed that going home a day early would be best so we planned to pack up in the morning.
As the sun set I noticed I was yawning already and quite ready for bed. My body was totally acclimated to it’s natural circadian rhythm. This was the main reason for me wanting to take this adventure so going home a day early was not an issue as my goal had been accomplished.
We showered and got ready for bed and I don’t know exactly what time we went to bed but I’m sure it was way earlier than we’ve been to bed on a Friday night in a long time. About 11:30pm I was reaching for my lip balm in the tent pocket near me and all the sudden my phone began ringing with my oldest son’s ring tone. I of course went ice cold because I was sure this was “that call”. I have had ” that call” before in my life so I get terrified if my phone rings after 9pm. I sit up and answer the phone with my heart in my throat. My son is on the other end and all I can hear is dishes clanging and muffled voices in the background. He starts by saying, “Hey mom, what are you doing?” OMG! What! I was like, “I’m in a tent in the Texas heat trying to sleep and you called me from work just to chat?! What do you want child?!” I took a deep breath thanking God he was okay and it was just him wanting to “chat” but dang it! My adrenaline and total relaxation was GONE! We finished our conversation and I felt good that my sweet boy just missed his momma and for whatever reason he thought 11:30pm was a good time to call and check in. I told him I loved him and good night and then I tried to calm down and get back to sleep. About an hour later a lovely couple decided the campsite right next to us was THE spot to set up their camper for the night. They must have just arrived and checked in but they let their two dogs out to bark and run around while they set up which of course put Beau on high alert. Beau didn’t bark but he was grumpy and proceeded to growl to let them know in no uncertain terms that they were not welcomed nor appreciated . After their incredibly loud set up (I mean leveling jacks cranking and all) we finally got some sleep. We were so over it by morning and made quick work of packing up to head home.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a perfect adventure but in the end it was an adventure and I am glad we did it. We really did have fun and for the most part we got to relax and recharge. I love having these memories to look back onto as we grow old together. We have another camping trip coming in September in the East Texas area and I am sure you will hear all about that adventure too.
I was on a Whole30 during the camping trip but I had a glass of Rose´as soon as I got home so… I am still following the Whole30 template with all my meals but I mean after that kerfuffle, I had to have a glass of something. #foodfreedom
If you have a fun camping story, I’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments below and I will read it for a good laugh!