we decided that it had been far too long since our last real outdoor adventure so we set our sights on west texas and the davis mountains. we had no idea how the dude would handle such a trip. he hasn’t really been in the car for long periods and the drive to the davis mountains state park is about 9 hours or so from houston. with that in mind, we thought that a stop at enchanted rock state park outside of fredericksburg would be a good idea for our first day out. it was an outstanding plan!
we got to enchanted rock and set up our camp site. it was a nice site with a sheltered picnic table and plenty of sand and rocks for a little boy to pour all over himself.
once we established our base camp, we set out to conquor enchanted rock. it’s a massive chunk of granite that begs to be climbed. the grade is pretty significant. the “trail” goes up about 450 ft over 0.6 miles. but that’s nothing if you can fit into a backpack and sucker someone into carrying you up to the top.
it was an amazing view.
we went to bed when the sun went down and got up when it rose. a quick cup of oatmeal and some really bad coffee/tea/pediasure for breakfast and we were off!
the drive across texas to the mountains was a long one. we quickly learned that little boys like to stop every 2.5 hours to wander around random playgrounds or parking lots. anything to be free of the car seat!
many hours later, we made it to the davis mountains state park. the nice ranger set us up with a great campsite next to “the creek.” it should be noted that the chihuahan desert isn’t known for its creeks. this one was good and dry.
we put up the tent and got settled for the evening. as we were making our dinner, we had a visitor: a buck mule deer!
we got very quiet and watched as it got closer. we snapped some photos and watched as he looked us over.
the seconds turned to minutes. the minutes grew longer. the deer didn’t move as the dude banged his pots and pans together. j.c. got tired of waiting for the deer to get skittish and tossed a rock in his general direction. the animal walked over to the rock and sniffed it. then he looked up at us as if to say “this isn’t a meatball.” finally, the deer got bored and left. this was more sad than anything else. people in the park have fed the deer so much that they have lost their fear of humans entirely. this is decidedly not cool. it was made even more distressing when we were visited by a pair of does later on during our visit. not cool.
remember people, don’t feed the animals! keep the wildlife wild! seriously…it’s not even a little OK.
the next day we set off to climb the mountain. again, this is pretty easily accomplished if your dad is roughly 10 times your size and thinks you are the greatest thing this world has ever known.
we walked up the mountain bike trail as the folks at the park who were “in the know” told us that the grade was mellow enough that hiking it with a baby would be easy. and it was. we saw wilder mule deer and plenty of cool birds and plants.
at the top of the mountain there was an observation deck and we grabbed a seat for lunch. the wind was incredible. it didn’t stop at all. the dude had some great play time in the CCC built shelter.
after about an hour we began our descent. it was a long climb down a sheer cliff.
JUST KIDDING GRAMMY!
slowly but surely we made our way back to camp in time for little dudes and dads to have a quick nap.
on our final night in the mountains, j.c. and stacey sat up recounting the adventures. from near the camp there was the loud thrashing of someone or something stomping through the dry grass. the first thought: chupacabra! what we got was a close second: javalina!
not to be on a soapbox here, but hunting one of these things has to be like ordering a pizza. they snort loudly, travel in groups, and seem to have no ability to walk quietly. they are about as subtle as a freight train. maybe these animals knew they were in a state park, but c’mon people!
it was cute to see the first one. we’d hoped to see plenty of animals and this was a front row seat. seeing the second one come out of the brush was neat too! after the sixth one entered camp, we began to regret leaving porschea at home. they say that javalinas will kill dogs. i still think that if she thought that the boy was in danger my money would be on the rottweiler. come to think of it, if she’d been there i doubt that any of the animals would have come to call. in any case, next time the dog comes along!
our trip back was broken up by a night in fredericksburg at the brand new (as in opened the friday before!) motel 6. it was marginal, but it did the job. we had some great food at the beer garden and watched the same episode of iron chef america that we saw the last time we had access to cable tv…in february…in ohio. amazing, eh?
it was a great trip and we hope that it won’t be too much longer before the next one. we are so proud of our little boy. he took to the tent like a pro and didn’t fuss any more than he would have in his own bed at home. he loved being outside and playing under the vast blue sky. he’s a natural outdoorsman and we couldn’t be more tickled.
go team wilson!