Monday, March 23, 2015

Yoo 659 - The Canoe Trip That Never Was

For our second anniversary last July, we had a three-day canoe trip down the Neches river in East Texas planned. Because nothing is as romantic as three days without showers while camping in snake and alligator-infested swamp forests! Seriously though, we were looking forward to this. I'd spent two evenings packing up our supplies and putting together food and everything was ready to go. That Friday morning we got up before the sun and drove five hours to get to the canoe outfitters. Unfortunately, our arrival there coincided with the moment that a flash-flood warning screeched from my phone. All trips were cancelled.

We were bitter, though we did get to spend an evening with family and take Roscoe to the Disneyland of dog parks on our way back to San Antonio. But instead of paddling down a rare pristine stretch of Texas river, our third year of marriage began in our house, watching a documentary on the Pacific Crest Trail while making cinnamon rolls. It fueled our desire to thru-hike the PCT but was otherwise anti-climactic.

And I still wanted to do that canoe trip.

Fast-forward to spring break a couple weeks ago. Perfect time to try the trip again! The weather wouldn't be as blazing hot and we had a three-day weekend. So I got everything ready to go, Greg drove five hours, and there we were.

Same story, second verse.

River was flooding and all the trips were cancelled.

We spent an hour being really bitter and complaining to each other while parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot. It was a low moment. But while in that parking lot I found a state park in the somewhat nearby vicinity that miraculously still had campsites available during a busy spring break weekend. We booked a site and headed for Huntsville State Park in hopes of salvaging the trip.

And salvage the trip we did.

I just love camping. Even if it's with a million other people at a designated site with flush-toilets and hot showers nearby.

I also just love this dog. He's so funny in the tent. Can't figure out where his "spot" is so he just stretches his dog body wherever it may go...and it's usually squarely on Greg's sleeping bag with a few limbs crossing over to mine. We have so much fun camping with him.

He's super impressed with the camera. And being in the tiny tent with us.

We did get to do a bit of canoeing while there. Even paddling right up to our campsite for lunch one day! That was fun. Rule number one about the canoe was "Roscoe can NOT jump in the water". Pups and I reviewed this frequently because the park rangers warned us about alligators and how they "lose handfuls of dogs every year to the gators".

That would be tragic times ten.

I don't know if it's true or false but Roscoe settled into the canoe just fine and we didn't have any problems. Or see any alligators.

Also, he wears a life jacket so he has handles, not because he needs it to swim. Plus he looks cool in it.

I'm including a picture of the fire to remind me about all the effort that went into getting this fire. We'd scavenged some leftover firewood from another site that turned out to be quite damp. Fun thing about camping is you usually don't have anything better to do than try your hand at dumb challenges, like starting a fire, sans lighter fluid, with damp wood. So we grabbed our tinder of choice and gathered kindling and alternated donating lung-fulls of oxygen for two hours and, voila! Fire.

It was really pathetic compared to the fires of nearby campers but they had GALLONS of lighter fluid. Cheaters.

(I love lighter fluid and yes I was jealous).

The sunsets were beautiful each night, as sunsets usually are.

We bought THE nerdiest sun hats. Bought as in, yes, we actually paid money to wear those things. Eight dollars even. We basically broke the scale of dorkiness the moment we put on them on but they work and I stand by my decision. I mean, my dad owns a sun hat that is at least somewhat respectable and then there's us.

At least they can hide our faces!

Roscoe pulls the hat off a little better.

We hiked over seven miles in our sandals one afternoon...again, hadn't packed the hiking shoes because we were expecting to be sitting in a boat all weekend.

Good morning to you too, pups!

This picture makes me want to pet my dog forever. He has the softest ears. Also he's the cutest thing on the planet.

He decided he was tired of waiting for us to set breakfast in front of him.

I'm so happy when I'm spending time outside, away from cities and hordes of people, just talking with Greg and watching my dog explore. It's a good reset button. And there are always stories. I'm still a bit bummed we didn't get to go on the canoe trip, and we'll probably never try again, despite the "third time's a charm" saying. But I can't complain about what we came up with instead.

(Even though I did for a bit...)

Have a great day :-)

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