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Day 23-I am thankful for Cold Weather Camping

November 24, 2013

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Soccer puts a bit of a damper on our camping schedule.  In the prime camping months in both spring and fall, soccer (and baseball) is in full swing.  We try to limit the number of games we miss, one or two are always inevitable, so we limit the amount of full weekend camping we do.

Last year, we discovered cold weather camping (at least cold weather for November in Central Texas).  We decided, just like Mother’s Day weekend, we would try to make it a tradition to camp the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We booked our campsite at one of favorite state parks and was off.

We had the best case scenario with weather.  For the entire weekend, there was a s 60 – 80% chance of rain, at about all times, with highs not getting out of the 30’s.  We worried a bit, mostly about getting wet.  We could deal with the cold, but wet and cold is just miserable.

It rained just one night, after we went to bed.  Because we were expecting rain, we had put all our outside gear (chairs, etc) under a large tarp and nothing under the tarp–including our fire wood–got wet.  The weather report kept most of the other campers from coming to the park–we were one of three campers on our half of the camp on night (and the park was booked for the weekend).  We mostly had the place to ourselves.  Maggie ran free and no park rangers came by to make sure we were following the rules.  (I guess they figured if we were crazy enough to brave the weather we could do whatever we wanted).

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Cold weather camping is cozy.  All weekend we had a fire going and we spent a lot of time sitting in front of said fire.  Hiking is quite comfortable and for the most part we stayed warm sleeping–the dog had the hardest time staying warm.  We drank a lot of hot drinks and ate frito pie out of mugs for lunch on Saturday.  We roasted marshmallows and discovered apple cake was fabulous heated up on the fire.  We discovered a new hill country town which we feel in love with–Curtis and I would love to go back to San Saba, just the two of us.  The kids didn’t complain about being cold, except for one time which involved them also being soaking wet because they kinda got into the springs.  They enjoyed finding hideouts in trees for cold animals and looking at animal tracks while we hiked.

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We all went to bed early and slept later than usual (for camping).  The time had already changed, so we were able to sit around the campfire in the dark longer.  We read books in the tent as the kids drifted off to sleep.  Curtis and I spent time talking and relaxing.  It was fabulous.  If you ask the kids about our weekend, all of them will say they had a great time and loved it.  Madeleine will tell you about the dead tree she found and imagined as a habitat for other animals and about the very much alive tree that she was finding little dips in where she could lay down and stay dry.  Isaac would tell you about spending time with Daddy.  You would hear about the vine tree from John, which he enjoyed exploring (and getting stuck in).

I am thankful for cold weather camping, for all the reasons I wrote above and so many I can’t think of at the moment!

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