January 29, 2009

What REALLY happened at Lake Bob Sandlin

Okay, so I had an epiphany that what readers and visitors to this blog really want to know is the scoop, and gossip, and dirty details of our camping adventures. After all, half of the adventure of camping is the stories that come out of it. So, for those of you just itching for the nitty-gritty, here are the highlights

What was the best things that happened?
Joe says: Bronte, our almost 5 year old male dog, finally decided to man up. Seems that given the opportunity, some natural instincts kicked in. He was very protective of the ladies, following them anywhere outside of the fire area. Also, He was on constant guard, patroling the camp site. We were very proud of him. (For those of you that haven't met Bronte, he is a cuddlely and lovey attention mongor at home -- a bit of a sissy actually).
Kristi Says: All of the careful planning, supply lists, and shopping came to fruition. I was very pleased that we had just about everything that we needed. We were well prepared and organized, and we had a great time.

What was the worst thing that happened?
Joe says: Definately the hangover. Whose idea was it to bring a bottle of Jack? Oh, yeah...that was my idea.
Kristi says: I became the butt of not 1 but 2 ongoing jokes. One was an instance of a joke referenceing eye-spy gone awry (see also "What was the funniest thing that happened" for more details). The other was a comparison of my attire to a gansta thug (It was chilly so I wore a ski/skull cap and I wore a hoodie sweatshirt with a hoodie part pulled up -- somehow this envoked images of a hood thug). I was referred to as Gangsta thug the rest of the evening -- So not me.

What was the funniest thing that happened?
Joe says: Kristi as Gangsta Thug is a close tie with the Eye Spy debaucle.
Kristi says: Ok, I will admit that the funniest thing to happen was an idiot comment I made. Let me set the stage -- It is late in the evening, it is pitch dark outside, except for the roaring fire. Joe says "Eye spy something orange". I look around the camp site and it occurs to me that everything looks black and grey. Everyone kind of chuckles -- I figured it was because Joe said "eye spy". That was kind of funny in an unexpected way. Then as I look across the fire to Joe, I say "I don't see anything orange" and I was serious. Well Duh! Jokes on me, the fire is orange. I had only been staring at it for hours on end. Just goes to show, that sometimes the most obvious answer is literally right in front of you.

Lessons learned?
Joe says: If you are going camping with Mike, bring a fire extinguisher. He likes to build bonfires.
Kristi says: If your camp sites offers running water, find the water spigget early. I didn't find it until we were literally leaving. (Good thing I brough plenty of water with me. It is just a waste to use bottled water to rinse of pots and pans. You want to use free water for that).

January 27, 2009

Test Drive

We decided that in 2009, we were going do more camping. It is a great way to see new sites, commune with nature, and it is a fairly cheap getaway for the weekend. So last week, we started to piece together our camping equipment. (As a side note, we must say that Bass Pro Shop is the coolest place.) So, after three evenings of shopping we finally felt we had acquired the basic necessities for camping.

We were so eager to "test drive" our new toys that we planned an overnight camping trip. After several hours of perusing the
Texas Parks & Wildlife website, we decided to go the the Lake Bob Sandlin State Park. This park is about 1 hour and 45 minutes east of Dallas on I-30 just before Mount Pleasant -- in the pine lands of Texas. Our friends, Mike And Kelly joined us for the inaugural trip (So, for the purposes of this story "We" refers to Joe, Kristi, Mike, and Kelly, plus our dogs ,Bronte and Mia).

We left Saturday afternoon around 3:00 (because Joe and Kristi had committments in the morning) and arrived just before 5:00. That gave us about one hour to get our tents up and get the fire going -- which we managed to pull off despite this being the first time to assemble our tent.

Did I mention that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees outside? We HAD to have a fire to keep us warm. Although, I am grateful that there was no wind and we were well blocked in by the trees. It took a few attempts, but by 8:00 we had a roaring fire.

There were about 30 camp sites in the
Fort Sherman section of the park. We were at camp site #11 which is a lake side campsite. We were the only people in Fort Sherman. It was awesome! It was as if we had the entire state park to ourselves. We could be as boisterous and obnoxious as we wanted to be (and trust me, we were boisterous after we got a few drinks in our system). Plus our dogs, who also went on the trip, were able to roam loose without bothering anyone -- they had their own adventures.

We stayed up until the wee hours of morning enjoying camp food, drinks, good company, and a warm fire. Shortly after 3:00, we stumbled our way back to our tents. The next morning we enjoyed pancakes, eggs, and sausage while nursing our headaches. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home.

Our next camping trip will be an overnighter on Saturday, February 7th. Location is still to be determined but it will be close to the Dallas area as we don't want to drive far for just a one night camp trip.

Intersted in going? Email or call us.

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park

We found Lake Bob Sandlin State Park on the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

Camp Site: The camp site was very large, and well secluded from neighboring camp sites. several "premium" campsites are right on the lake with a lovely view. The site included electric hook-ups (for RVers) and a water spigget (which is hidden behind the electric hook-up -- we had a hard time finding it).

Restroom Facilities: The restroom facility was a short walk from the site. It was a very nice and clean facility with 3 toilet stalls, three sinks, and three shower stalls. The water in the shower was nice and hot and the restroom area was also heated (probably a/c in the summer).

Other Activities: Like many of the Texas State Parks, Lake Bob Sandlin offers many hiking trials, fishing, and other events and activities. Because we were there for less then 24 hours, we didn't have much time to check out the other offerings .

Overall Impression: We will definately return to Lake Bob Sandlin State Park. We are eager to check out what the park offers. Both the camp site and facilities exceeded our expectations.