over memorial day weekend we went camping. we made solid plans thursday to leave on saturday, which meant a whirlwind of packing & planning. the idea of camping in texas didn’t appeal to me; I pictured a hot, dry desert wasteland full of nothing but rocks, dirt, and snakes. it didn’t help that the place we were camping at was called Possum Hollow, inside Possum Kingdom. yeah, I didn’t have very high expectations.
I was sorely mistaken.
when I hear the word ‘caravan’ I usually picture camels loaded with tents and water bags and clattering pans and things like that [I don’t really know why…]. this was the first time I felt like we were really caravanning, with bike racks and trailers and luggage racks tied up with rope—we must have really looked like we were headed for a grand adventure. or the wilderness…
I’m the self designated dj on road trips, since my mom is usually pro-country and I’m pro-everything else. but somewhere in between the fields and horses and tractors I gave in and all of the sudden we were listening to country. it was weird. and that was about the time that everyone fell asleep, which is not a coincidence.
at one point on the drive I turned around to see kenyan sticking her face out the window, allowing the wind to ripple her cheeks and make her eyes water. she absolutely thought no one was watching, and was pretty mad when she learned I’d been not only watching, but documenting. ha.
after a flat tire, a stop at walmart, and a few bathroom breaks we arrived. we heard there was a lake nearby so we cleared some rocks, pitched our tent in record time, grabbed our suits and headed for the lake. that was about the point where I realized this trip was going to be awesome.
the lake was really meant more for boats than swimmers, but that didn’t deter us [or our fellow campers] one bit. we took up residence on the docks and it was littered with our towels, clothes, and empty water bottles for the rest of the weekend.
the docks and ramps were excellent platforms for jumping off, doing tricks, and playing king of the hill.
I can’t even explain how great it was. it’s been so long since I’ve been swimming in a real body of water. we swam, soaked, flipped, dove, played stupid games, and tried not to ever touch the muddy lake floor. the only way to get out of the water was to pull yourself up onto the dock [much easier said than done] which resulted in splinters, incredibly sore arms, new calluses, and a few minor cuts. but no one really complained. it’s incredible how pain tolerance seems to increase when getting injured means you can’t play anymore.
poor little aria wanted me to get a picture of her doing a back flop on the water. unfortunately, I got an excellent one of her smacking the water, and the sound of her body hitting the lake was heard by everyone. she came up crying because it hurt so badly :(
we also went tubing, and though I didn’t take any pictures of it, I’m so impressed with my siblings. everyone, even little aria, swallowed any fears they had and hopped on, getting lugged around behind a speeding boat, like a human skipping rock, flipping and skidding in and out of the wake. we were tossed around by a merciless boat driver [actually one of the nicest guys I’ve met] until our white knuckles couldn’t hold on any longer and we gave up, falling off and coming to a sudden stop in the deepest parts of the vast lake. jace took the cake though, coming off of it with bloody elbows. that right there is a fighter.
watching the sun go down at the lake was breath taking. the sun dipped down leaving the sky a soft, gentle blue and casting a rosy glow over the boats.
after the sun went down and our bellies were full of good camping food, we knew to head over to the ball field for a game wiffle ball or kickball. there were always bikes and camp chairs scattered around the bases, a good indicator that a grueling game was in progress.
evidently jace only got three stripes of sunscreen sprayed on him
my absolute favorite thing about being outdoors is that it makes you so tired, which means it’s really easy to fall asleep in a camp chair. twice. during dinner. or on a dock while watching boats unload. or in a hammock while having a conversation with someone. oops. despite all my mini naps, the sunburn and the exhaustion teamed up to help me fall asleep easily on my air mattress under a roofless tent staring at the stars.
needless to say, there was absolutely nothing missing from this camping trip. it delivered.
best picture of the trip
it was a magical three days of two french braids and no makeup. it was relaxing, it was a break from reality, it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.
[title from secret valentine by we the kings]