Monday, June 22, 2009

Camping and Geocaching at Brazos Bend State Park

This is going to be a very abbreviated recap of a busy weekend of camping, hiking, nature watching and geocaching. Chuck took so many pics but I'm only including a few here but I'll include the link to Chuck's facebook page if you would like to see some more. :)

Thursday was Chuck's birthday. We took our time loading up and finally got set up at a great site at Brazos Bend State Park. (*get site 100. close to playground, shaded and near bathrooms!)

I was surprised to see wild grapes everywhere. Of course I had to sample the local organic fare. Let's just say that I have a new appreciation for the tame grapes. Wild grapes have a tough bitter skin but the insides were pretty tasty though filled with seeds.
Brazos Bend is the place to go for hiking and nature watching. I love night herons and we got our share of sightings of yellow capped night herons. They're so beautiful and most of them let us get pretty close.
Went on an early morning hike Sunday morning and the gators were all feeding. It was wild watching them hit the water and sift for crawfish.
I have no idea what kind of flower this is but it was growing by the lake.
A momma moor hen feeding her babies. All of the babies are bald. :)
The back side of Brazos Bend has a canoe/kayak launch off of Sawmill Rd. It is .3 miles from parking lot to launch though. I would take the term "launch" very loosely because we had to use ropes and basically repel our way to the bottom here. Very tough but fun. It was 98 degrees and very hot on the white sands of the Brazos River which was low.
A view of the trail that connects Elm Lake to 40 Acre Lake. We went on a nice evening hike that required flashlights. Saw a guy with a broad banded water snake in his pocket (and I'm talking about an actual snake, not a crass euphemism) that he had found on the trail. He let the kids pet his snake which they enjoyed. Let's move along, shall we?
Saw a mother moor hen feeding her baby and stopped to watch and just enjoy the evening breeze and the wildlife coming out. Very peaceful time.
Chuck and I were able to get pretty close to a great blue heron that was fishing. They're such large, beautiful birds.
In the evenings the black bellied whistler ducks start flying in to roost. You can't miss their pepping noises. Cute little faces to match their cute little voices.
On one night hike around Elm Lake we could hear some odd bird noises. Finally spotted a barred owl that was following us. He wasn't making his usual "who cooks for you" call. His strange callings brought another barred owl over. I guess we were wildlife to them. Glad to entertain the owls. :) It was pretty dark at this point but I've tried to lighten the picture so you can see it.
Saturday we spent the day geocaching which is an absolute blast. DO always wear pants while caching because you will get torn up by stickers and bugs. Let's also remember to bring a walking stick because you don't want to poke around in holes with your hands. Snakes don't appreciate intruders and I don't do spiders though I definitely wore enough on Saturday after walking through their webs. The shrieks of 3 children could be heard throughout the woods as they walked in to webs. LOL
Another cache found. We found a total of 7 that day! Chuck forgot to pack his razor. :P
And another cache. This is really fun.
While looking for a cache in the woods, Chuck had a baby armadillo come up to him. Chuck scratched him behind the ears and the little critter wandered back into the woods. Crazy. Those things are usually pretty skittish.
Gator Bait: Charlie, Rachel and my niece Katelynn It was a pretty large gator behind them. I have no idea why my son looks stoned in the picture. Why do boys do that?
While staying at the park we also completed our Nature Challenge (Mission Possible) mission. It was fun and the kids learned some new things like "catfish have tastebuds on their skin."
Get back to the camp site after a hike and what do we find? A raccoon feeling around on the top of our table trying to find some groceries. He was so cute.
It was an action packed camping trip. I swear we were on the go most of the time. It did make for very sleepy kids at night. :)

I figured we walked about 10 miles total. Not a lot for a 4 day weekend trip but we took our time especially since it was in the high 90s the entire weekend.

Foodwise I did very good except that Chuck and I went on a date after dropping the kids off at my mom's on Sunday night. We had appetizer, burgers and dessert. It was good to spend time together.

We finally got home around 10:30ish and passed out.

This morning (Monday) I checked the scale and it showed a gain of 3 pounds! What the hell?! I worked and sweated buckets this weekend and did pretty darn good on the food. So who knows. I'm not going to stress about it. :D

**Remember that snake I helped across the road a few posts back? The one with his white mouth open wide? Turns out to be a juvenile cottonmouth....venomous. haha Perhaps I will be more careful in the future.


  1. Perhaps you are seeing your gain from last week, when you thought you would. :( Either way, try not to stress about it too much.

  2. You still look good.

    Besides, what's three pounds? I'll help ya work that off this week. We'll do some walking together.

  3. 3 lbs? Pffft.

    You'll get that back in nothing flat.

  4. Oh my god, that baby armadillo is too cute!!! I am amazed at all the wildlife you embrace - personally, I would not want to get *that* close to the alligators!

    Glad you had such a great time - and yeah, don't fret over the week will be better!

  5. 1) looks like you had a fabulous time
    2) your son had that look because he KNEW there was that alligator behind them
    3) gained 3 lbs? absolutely NOT - I will bet it really is just water weight. I know you said you sweated a ton but you also said it was hot and humid - so no matter how much you sweat your body was holding on to even more.

    Just drink more water and before you know it the 3 lbs will be gone plus more!

  6. Sorry about the gain. Temporary.

    Your weekend sounds wonderful!

    I knew that snake freaked me they say in Minnesota, OY!

  7. Wow, AWESOME photos!! Especially love the herons. And that baby armadillo - how cute is that???

    And I would also bet that the gain was from retaining extra water for the Texas heat and humidity.
    Path to Health

  8. Another fun-filled weekend, and some great photos! Maybe the heat is making us all swell up Kelly.

  9. What fun and what cool pics. I want to go on an adventure. I want to be in the cool kids club!
    Thanks for sharing the pics.

  10. Don't worry about the gain--it's temporary, and could just be water weight or something.

    It looks like you had a great time! I love all your pictures. That baby armadillo looks so cool!

  11. Great pictures!

    The gain is likely just fluids.

  12. Three pounds will be gone in a flash. I'm sure it isn't "real," and I definitely wouldn't worry about it! Probably just the sodium in the burger.

    I can't believe all the critters in this post. That baby armadillo is adorable, and the snake story made me laugh! The one about the man with a snake in his pocket... not the one that involves you and scary snakes!!!

  13. It sounds-- and looks-- like you had a great time. Great wildlife pics! I feature people's blog posts about camping on my blog (at and would love to feature yours, maybe w/a pic or two. Of course, I would give you full credit and link back to your blog.

    Thanks for considering this,

    Jean B. in SC

  14. (You'll probably get a lot of comments today from me, since I'm playing catch up!! Plus I need some ideas to get my bootie back on track!)

    You guys take the most interesting trips! 3 lbs, we'll lose it lady, we are ole' pro's at the weight loss thing :) I just hate that gaining 3-4 lbs is so easy, but losing 3-4 lbs is a few weeks worth of work!


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