Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Road Again

Independence Day. July 4th. We were on the road again seeking out fame and fortune geocaches. I really do it for the exercise. Yeah, right! It is a nice little workout trekking through the woods looking for hidden boxes filled with crappy toys treasure but I do it because it's fun.

I got the backpack ready, my walking stick, water, protein bards, camera, GPS unit (my phone) and we were about to leave.  The kids were in a foul mood though.  I don't understand it. They had such a good time the day before and we had talked about hitting the roads. It made me sangry (sad and angry at the same time) for them to get in bad moods at the same time. I can deal with one at a time but not both!

Chuck made an executive decision to leave them at home and we took off on our own. Harsh? I don't think so. We left them with food and water.  They're both old enough and responsible enough not to burn down the house or open the door. Rachel knows how to use a phone (for calling 911) and a gun (for bypassing 911)

If they didn't want to go have a blast with us then fine. I wasn't going to let their mood swings change how happy Chuck and I were to go exploring. (Later they did come around and there were apologies and hugs and all is well with the Happy Texan family again. There are bumps in all families. We talk and work things out like everyone else.)

So Chuck and I took off for adventure on our own. Stopped by Whataburger for a bacon/egg/cheese breakfast burrito. Little carby but it keeps me going for a while.

Our first stop on the geocache challenge: Lake Livingston State Park where we hiked for a little bit through a poison ivy filled forest floor until we came to this:
Our route in and out of the woods. (using a cool app for the droid called My Tracks. Has other cool features like distance, elevation, time, etc. for free!)

View 2011-07-04 11:48 in a larger map

Then off for a not-so-healthy lunch (we'll just pretend that didn't happen, ok?) and a 1 hour drive to our next destination: Huntsville State Park.

It was so crowded there that they were only letting people in as others left. They were filled to capacity. Fortunately we didn't need to be at the most crowded location which is the swimming hole at the lake. You couldn't pay to get near that place. There were cars parked on both sides of the street and others waiting to find a parking place. We went to the other side of the park where it was peaceful.
Turk's caps bloomed along the path. I picked one and munched on the petals as we walked. Does that count as a vegetable or fruit? ;-)
Finally we came upon the cache hidden under a palmetto.
The hike back to the car held more surprises like this pretty mushroom growing among the pine needles on the forest floor.
We also came across a lizard that was huge for these parts. I've never seen one that large in the wild. We tried to take a picture but it was fast and scurried away.

We even got to meet up with karma. Chuck kept tripping over tree roots along the path. After one tripping incident I shared some helpful advice: "Watch where you're stepping and you won't trip!" As soon as the words came out of my mouth I tripped on a stump. Karma raises her ugly head again to mock me.

While at the park we decided to grab one more cache that was near the nature center on our way out. We searched and searched for that cache. The GPS was all over the place because of the tree coverage. We finally decided to give up and go back to the car when Chuck spots it. See if you can find it. ;-)

OK, he helped you. He's pointing right at it.
Chuck was having all kind of luck finding things (maybe karma felt bad for him since I gave him such a hard time about the constant tripping). We're walking to the car and he finds a bunch of quarters on the ground. Woohoo!

View 2011-07-04 13:51 in a larger map
I forgot to start the My Tracks app until we were pretty far down the trail already so it's not completely accurate.
Off for another long drive. This time to Washington-on-the-Brazos near Brenham. We didn't know they were having a big 4th of July celebration so it was pretty crowded and we had to park far from the cache we were seeking.

We decided to stroll around and check out the birthplace of the nation of Texas. There was an old building from 1899 that's a replica of where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed in 1836.

I snagged a geocache behind the building. :)

There were musicians, reenactors shooting muskets, performers, FREE Blue Bell ice cream (we refrained), rope trick performers.
We walked around, got a couple of more caches, met a fellow geocacher (what gave it away? the backpack, walking stick and my face buried in my cell phone following the map to the geocache?), gratefully accepted some free ice water and went walking. Saw some pretty flowers.
And, of course, we grabbed our geocache for the challenge.

We wanted to stay to watch the laser light show (fireworks banned due to burn ban because of the severe drought) but it was already after 6pm and time to head home for the two hour drive.

View 2011-07-04 16:52 in a larger map

We made it back home, got cleaned up because we were a sweaty mess, and went out to Saltgrass Steakhouse.

I don't know if it's the extra activity lately or what but I've been so hungry lately. Ravenous! I have got to stop myself from eating everything at dinner. It makes my shorts a little tight. :(  So today I've made up my mind that if I'm starving I'll eat a little more but will make sure it's low carb. I can't gain weight. I have to lose weight.

Whew! That was a long post. Thanks for sticking it out 'til the end with me. :)


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful day! I'm the same when it comes to parenting I think when I get gets. I think discipline is lacking in SO many families these days so it's refreshing to see that you know how to deal with it.

    Love the scenic pictures!

  2. Sounds and looks like a fabulous day!

  3. FREE Blue Bell? And you passed on it?!?!? I don't know you anymore. :(

  4. Not sure how I came across your blog, but glad I did. I was born in Houston and also lived in Ausin for eight years. In Arizona now.

    I took my 14-year-old daughter to the shooting range for the first time a couple weeks ago. Big fun, and a necessary stage in her learning self-defense.



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