Pedernales Falls SP, January 2020

January 27, 2020

Pedernales State Park

8:47 PM

---Wow. This has been a great day so far. There haven’t been any crazy mistakes, which were happening so much lately for me that I was actually worried. There was one mistake for this trip. I double-booked and will have to go to New Braunfels tomorrow for a Master Naturalist field trip at the National Weather Service. That’s a 90 minute drive, but it will be on beautiful country roads. If I were going from my house, it would take just as long because of rush hour traffic on 410 and I-35.

---An example of my mistakes of late happened yesterday. Rachel had bought some deluxe birdseed on clearance. I poured it in the container and mixed it up good. Then, I couldn’t find the feeder filling tools. Of course, I couldn’t. I had just poured about 4 pounds of birdseed and mixed it with $40 worth of tiny kibbles of dog food. Rachel and I sat at the table and seperated it out the best we could. We still have about two gallons to deal with later.

---So, when the drive up here was wonderful and check in and set up went without a hitch, I breathed a sigh of relief. And, believe me, that was amazing in itself. I noticed how orange and heavy the Ashe’s Juniper (Mountain Cedar) branches were with pollen and expected to be miserable. It reminded me of the time I camped here in the Casita Jim and felt like the pollen was trying to execute me on the spot. Today, knock on wood, it isn’t bothering me a bit.

---After I got the trailer set up, I took a hike around the camping area to get some exercise and see if I cold find some phone service. I only had about 1 bar of 4G around my camp site and it was intermittent. All I could do with it was try to send texts. As I hiked, I suddenly got an email ping, so I stood perfectly still and responded. As I got closer to my campsite, I discovered that site #52 has 2 full bars of ATT- NOT 4G. That’s what I usually have on a camping trip inside the camper.

---Just as I was leaving the house, UPS delivered the box of 12 Hormel Compleats dinners that I ordered yesterday. They are great for camping. No refrigeration and only a minute in the microwave. I used one to eat a delicious roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy lunch.

---Then I decided to start watching the stuff I have on my iPad from NetFlix. I am altering between episodes fo Frankie and Grace and Sex Education. I got tired of that at about 7:45, so I took a lap around the camping loop in the dark. That was really nice, except where people have too many lights around their sites. The stars were gorgeous, the moon was a bright orange sliver shaped like a fruit bowl, and one of the planets was blazing a bright orange color at me and seemed huge.

---Now, I’m going to spend a little time with Merlot, finish an episode on the TV, read a few chapters, and get to bed.

Wednesday, January 29, 12:20 PM

---Okay... So I didn’t write anything yesterday, so I have some catching up to do. No problem. I remember everything so far.

---I fell right to sleep Monday night. The bed in the Colby 2.0 is about the most comfortable I have ever slept in. Add in the new 1600 thread count sheets I bought before the last trip, and sleeping in here is Heaven! Even the rocking one rolling of the trailer during the many passing thunderstorms and the driving rain that accompanied them, just couldn’t keep me awake. I would hear a crash of thunder, roll over, and instantly go back to sleep.

---I woke with my alarm at 6:30. I got up, made a cup of coffee, used the bathroom, got my pills ready, then sat on the couch listening to a book on audible until about 7:00. Then, I put my Pyrex pan in the microwave to heat some water for shaving. I still have the hot water heater bypassed for the winter season, although I am using the cold water. It is looking like we may not have any freezes the rest of the season. I may go ahead and un-bypass the hot water heater, but it isn’t that important right now. By the way, please don’t be one of those crazy people who say that it is a water heater and not a "hot water" heater. It most definitely is. It heats the cold water, then it constantly heats the hot water to keep it at the desired temperature.

---Anyway, I shaved and got dressed. I had planned to leave for New Braunfels at 7:45, but decided to go ahead and leave at 7:30. I would use the extra time to read email, etc., while I waited for the others to join me.

---The drive was nice enough, but there were several really bad foggy patches. I didn’t really get to enjoy any scenery because of the foggy and overcast conditions. Traffic was not bad. It was heavier on a small stretch of 290 going to Dripping Springs than anywhere else. My route took me from the park to a road that connected to 290. Then, in Dripping Springs, I turned onto Ranch Road 12. I followed that all the way through Wimberly and San Marcos. Then I took a left onto 123 South. That led me to a back road that went straight to the National Weather Service.

---The visit to the National Weather Service was very interesting. I learned a lot. I asked them why all of my weather apps project different temperatures. They explained that most of them only we one data source. The National Weather Source monitors hundreds of them and then forecasts based on that. I recommend any of you calling and requesting a tour.

---The ride home was beautiful. The sun was shining and there was absolutely no traffic. I retraced the same route from the morning. This time I stopped in Dripping Springs to full up my gas tank.

---By the time I got back to camp, the winds had picked up. The mountain cedar still wasn’t bothering me. My eyes were runny from the contact with the wind, but the pollen here isn’t doing anything. I even cracked a few windows open to cool the camper down. It warms up from the sun, but it was cool enough for a jacket outside in the wind. Typical Texas. On Monday afternoon, I was running the air conditioner.

---I spent the afternoon taking hikes around the area. I am trying to get the twenty pounds I have gained off. That’s why I took stopping for barbecue on the way back off the menu. Today, I a fighting the urge to go into Johnson City and grab a burger at Pecan Street Brewery. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

---At one point during the winds, I took my trash to the dumpster by site #52. For some reason there is phone service at that site. I wanted to text Rachel and let her know I was back safe from New Braunfels. I heard a horrible noise and saw that the awning on the trailer parked in 52 was extended. It was flapping in the wind like crazy. I stopped the park hosts as they passed in their little vehicle (gator? Can’t remember what they are called!). I asked them if they new a way to take an electric awning down. They didn’t. I felt so bad for the people in 52. It is camping 101 that you don’t leave your awning out when leaving the camper for extended time. Not having any phone service, they may not have know about the strong winds that were forecast for about two hours. Anyway, later I saw that they had come back and managed to get the awning rolled in. I hope it wasn’t damaged, after all.

---The evening in the trailer was a repeat of Monday night. The only difference was that I watched an episode of a new series about Dracula. It was pretty creepy.

---This morning, I woke up totally refreshed at around 7:00 AM, but laid in bed until about 8:00. I finally got up, made the bed, got some coffee, took my pills, used the bathroom, got dressed, and drove up to headquarters to use the WiFi. I wanted to download my word games, check email, get an updated weather forecast, and look at Timehop.

---After that, I drove over to the bird blind. I got some nice pictures of birds. Then, I hiked to the duck pond- OR, what should had been the duck pond. It is now more of a duck puddle. The one duck that was in the water flew off the second I approached.

---From there, I drove down to the falls. I hiked to the lookout and took the stairs down to the falls themselves. I took a lot of pictures. Climbing back up and hiking to the truck really wore me out. It is this extra weight. It is literally killing me!

---Anyway, I came back to the Colby 2.0. I ate a nice roast beef lunch and drank a cup of coffee. I stretched out on the sofa for a nap, but suddenly decided to write this up first. So now, it is 12:56 PM. I am going to take a nap.

Wednesday, January 20, 10:55 PM

---Well, I did take a nap on the couch. It was wonderful. One of those afternoon naps full of realistic dreams that make you feel so wonderful. By 2:00, I was wide awake, rejuvenated, and ready to go.

---I took a short drive down to the swimming area. That involved about a one mile round trip walk from the parking lot to the river. You go down several scary steps. I call them scary because there is no railing ant the steps are pretty steep.

---After that, I went back to the bird blinds and took some more photos. I won’t know how good they are until I put them on the computer, but I am confident.

---I drove straight to the Twin Falls parking lot because I was afraid it would get dark, if I walked all the way from the trailer. Anyway, the hike down was amazing. Somehow, I ended up on the wrong trail on the way back up. I came out about 300 yards from where the truck was parked. Not sure how that happened.

---When I got back to the camper, I fixed my second meal. Then I laid on the couch and watched the last episode of Dracula. When it was over, it was full on dark. I moved to the bed and started the usual volley between two different series. I iced my last meal at 8:00 pm and started wine service.

---The rest of the night was spent watching the shows and eating popcorn. Then I stepped on a piece of gravel on the way to the bathroom and decided to vacuum. I cleaned out the vacuum filters and went ahead and stowed the vacuum and my hiking stick in the basement.

---Unfortunately, I had a little potty problem. No details, just know it wasn’t comfortable. When that passed, I started writing this up. Funny story... After vacuuming, I washed any dishes I had used. I decided to wash and stow the wine glass. Then, I got my pills ready. I saw that my coffee cup was already filled with cold coffee. Then, I remembered that I was drinking my wine in the coffee cup since I had stowed the wine glass. Oh well.

---Any way, when this episode of Grace and Frankie is over, I am going to bed. The alarm is set for 6:30 AM. I am anxious to get home and have a real meal with bacon!

---I will close this out tomorrow when I get home before I post it.

January 30th, 2020, 3:11 PM

---Well I went to bed as planned, but that 6:30 AM alarm just didn't set well with me. I remembered that Rachel was substituting all day and Jared would be at work. There was no reason to hurry home. I reset the alarm for 8:00 and drifted back to sleep in that heavenly new bed.

---At 8:00, I made the bed, fixed coffee, used the bathroom, and started some general in-house departure things. I decided to get all my take home things in the truck. While out there, I grabbed the portable tire pump and set it in front of the tires. As I went in the trailer, I thought I heard the tippy tap of rain on the ceiling. Sure enough, it had started to rain. I brought the pump inside, brewed a second cup of coffee, then sat on the couch until the rain stopped.

---The rain only lasted a few minutes. I stowed the rest of the stuff in the trailer like the coffee maker and heater. Then I went out and topped off the air in the tires. After that, I hitched up, disconnected the water and the electricity, took the trash to the dumpster, locked up everything and headed home.

---The ride home was non-eventful. I took 290 to 281, then nine miles south of Blanco, I turned towards Kendalia. Then I went through Bergheim to get to 10. I prefer that way to going anywhere near the intersection of 281 and 1604.

---One last thing to mention- It was really cold when I got to the storage lot. I had to put my jacket on. Wasn't cold up north.

---I am going to upload my photos from the Canon to the folder on my Google Drive. I will come back and put the link down here when I have that done.

Here they are: