Camping with the dogs

Just returned from a four-day, three-night camping trip with husband and the two dogs. Traveling with the dogs is exactly like traveling with small children in one very important respect: it’s all about them. You sleep and wake around their schedule, you rest when they’re tired, you do what they want to do, and don’t do what you want to do if they can’t do it with you. Not that any of that is a problem, it just is a fact.

I did develop an interesting nancynomic principal during a driving daydream on the way home. Normally when we travel we have to board the dogs at $20/day per dog. If we camp with them, we pay a total of $20 per night. Therefore, when we travel by camping with the dogs, we actually are making a $20/day profit. Sweet.

We were at Pedernales Falls State Park which I’d been to twice before, but not in the last, oh, 12 years. The river is beautiful there, running down thru a small canyon of sorts – meaning you have to hike down about 300 feet to the river. There’s flat, rocky falls at one end and some nice swimming areas downstream a bit. Decent hiking trails up on the either side, somewhat scrubby land with small oaks, cedars and prickly pears mostly. Definitely “hill country” with great views and that wide open Texas sky. You feel like you’re way out in the country, the closest town being the tiny Johnson City. But actually, when you drive west out of Austin you don’t even leave development before you reach Dripping Springs which looks to be fast turning into a legitamate Austin suburb, and after Dripping Springs it’s only about 15 minutes to the park.

One afternoon when we thought it might rain we went for a drive. Blinked and passed through Johnson City, though we did enjoy the LBJ state park area adjacent to the LBJ national historic area. The Texas White House is there on the Pedernales, on a quieter, flatter stretch of the river. Then we circled around thru Blanco, TX, which is even smaller though I’m not sure we went thru the heart of the town. Real Ale Brewing is located there, which is almost reason enough to consider it as a retirement option. Definitely beautiful country, but all a bit too far removed for this not very self-sufficient suburban girl. And without strong enough cell phone and high speed internet connectivity for husband.

Before we left, husband posted a question on facebook, “what will we forget?” Nobody got the answer right this time. It was ALMOST pillows, which would have been a major disaster for husband, but I remember at the last minute. Purposely left behind the doggie downers because we thought the weather was going to hold, that was a bad call as I would have been able to get a bit more sleep if Loki had been sedated during the thunderstorms that rolled through one evening. The correct answer was The First Aid Kit. Not a crisis, but we were looking for ibuprofin after the 7 mile hike.  Probably not the best thing to forget, all-in-all, but there’s always something. 

Met two out of three successful camping trip criteria: dry in and dry out. Not completely dry during, but the weather was mostly beautiful. If only I could figure out how to get ready to camp in only one day, and to “de-camp” just as quickly, then I’d be up for this a lot more frequently. And at $20/day, think of all the money I could be making…

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