Last weekend’s backpacking excursion was unfortunately overshadowed by it’s abrupt rush to the animal hospital with the Coopster. However, until that unfortunate tussle, it was a fantastic weekend!
I haven’t been primitive camping since I was a Girl Scout many moons ago and I was using this as a much needed weekend away and a chance to try out some of my new equipment before my big trip this summer.
We decided to leave limits of Austin City and travel to Lost Maples, which is southwest in the heart of Hill Country. I don’t think I will ever tire of driving through Central Texas and marveling at its beautiful and rolling, rugged landscape. I was impressed with my ability to pack my backpack and still carry it without falling over. I mean, it was only a weekend, but still. High five me! We hiked in .7 miles and found a beautiful area to camp. It offered ample shade, and pond-side views. There was only one other camper in the area, but we made sure to stake our spot further down and out of his range. We know standard backpacker etiquette.
As it turns out, however, not many others do. As the afternoon wore on, more and more hikers came in. Dozens with packs who we thought surely would keep going to the other designated camping areas. No. We watched as the area began to fill up with tents and hammocks, some of them even setting up only 10 feet from my friend’s tent. We’d have had more space in the car camping area! We were baffled! We thought about packing up and moving the next day, but also felt defiant. We’d gotten there first! It took several glares at one fella to get him to stop walking through the center of our living space and go around. It was madness.
But it was beautiful madness. It was worth it to be in this magical environment that was budding with spring life. We hiked for several miles the next day and my friend and I kept affirming that This is totally where fairies live! Cooper is a champion hiker. He sniffs out all the important smells and can keep up with the big dogs and humans. I did carry him the final way up one of our steeper elevation climbs. It wasn’t our first and it was long and well into our hike. He probably could have made it if we slowed down, but he seemed relieved to have me carry him. He’d earned it.
It was much colder than we’d anticipated. I was glad for my fleece, but wished I’d had the foresight to bring a hat and gloves. But it also made for pleasant hiking and cozy naps curled up with the pups.
I learned a few things for my trip this summer. Kimber will chew through any line to free Cooper so he can chase after me if I dare to leave and go to the bathroom. My backpack needs a new pad on the back because it’s old and dry rotting little roam crumbs EVERYWHERE! I really want a hammock. Always bring a hat.