Yes, Texas Has Hills and Such
Lost Maples State Natural Area
In an attempt to find one of the camping spots featured in Backpacker’s magazine’s November issue, Andi and I set off to hike and camp at Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, TX. We decided to deviate from the directions given in the magazine’s article and combine a couple of trails to extend our hiking to from fro our intended campsite.
The weather was beautiful, but still warmer than usual considering we were now in November. As we started to head up the trail to our campsite destination, I noticed myself feeling anxious for some reason, actually a bit frustrated and annoyed. These feelings are some of the many reasons why I have committed to hike the AT! I’m trying to teach myself (Of course Andi is a better teacher than myself) that I do not have control over those things around me and that is okay! But more importantly, I DO have control over how I respond to those things outside my span of control!
Okay, If I keep writing this, maybe, just maybe, I will start believing and feeling it!
Three quarters of the way to the top, I start to get a little dizzy so Andi and I stop and take a break. I remove my pack, drink some water and eat an energy bar. Andi, not interested in water, sniffs one of my pack pockets and stares at me…Mmmm, wonder what’s in there…smells like jerky, the kind for dogs. As I watch her, my demeanor softens and I start to smile.
Feeling better, we press on to find the campsite mentioned in the magazine. After we reach the campsite identified and after approximately an hour of searching for that picture perfect spot, we reside to just finding our perfect spot.
I pitch our tent, feed Andi and then boil water for my mouthwatering meal, freeze-dried lasagna (Sarcasm for those who don’t know me). Note to self, don’t like the cheese…will not buy this again.
I was unsure how Andi would do in terms of sleeping since she did not sleep the first time she spent the night in the tent, in the woods . To my surprise, she slept like a dog! 🙂 I, on the other hand, did not since she was taking up most of my sleeping pad. Another note:I have to find a pad for her.
I did however, enjoy the sounds of the wind and the rain hitting the tent! The sounds were very calming! The morning was a bit cooler, damp and windy. Andi was wide awake and ready to go. I started the morning with my Star Bucks pumpkin spice latte…yumm…all is right with the world! After playing fetch with a stick that Andi found, I packed up everything and we started down a different trail.
Andi was loving the weather! She would venture a short distance from me down the descent. If she saw that I was slowing or stopping, she would stop, run back and wait for me to pass that particular obstacle. She would stare at me as if to say, “Come on Mom, you got this!” Once I got back on pace, she would continue on her way, her tail going a mile a minute and a huge grin on her black and white face!
I had purchased a new pack for her since her original pack was old and did not stay on her well. Unfortunately, this new pack was too big for her so it sat lopsided. The bags were also too big. South Texas has had a lot of rain over the past few weeks so many of the creeks, normally dry, were flowing. The creek crossed the trail we were on at many sections so needles to say, Andi’s pack was partially underwater a good part of the time.
Side note: Love REI! They had no issue with me exchanging Andi’s pack for a smaller version! Thank you REI!
Lessons Learned Revisited from Previous Entries
- Different sleeping bag better for both Andi and me (Thanks again to REI for hassle free exchange)
- Had and used sunblock this time
- Stop and took breaks more often
- Had enough, perhaps too much water
- Enjoyed the scenery
New Lessons Need Learning
- Need help with making my pack lighter (Open to all suggestions)
- Need additional sleeping pad for Andi
- Need to be more aware of how I take off my back (Pulled a rib out of place…good thing a have a private physical therapist…my husband)
- Need help with packing my gear to minimize potential back injuries (Again, open to all suggestions)
- Need to be quicker putting up my tent (more practice!)
Enjoy the Pics
Fall Foliage Starting
Andi Just Ahead of Me
Andi Loving Life
“This is the spot”
Andi Found a Friend
Andi and Me
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