2018 – Brazos Bend State Park

The weather has not been cooperating at all this Christmas break.

My plan was to drive to Georgetown and spend three days hiking 30 miles around their lake. This was to get some long-distance-hiking-while-carrying-everything-in-my-backpack experience.

But the weather forecast kept moving the sunlight around, so I finally gave up on that plan which was probably a good thing.

Instead, I went to Brazos Bend State Park, which is only about 45 minutes away, planning to create some long distance hikes using their loops.

On Tuesday, the temperature will be 38/25, but I just plan to set up my tent, build a fire, eat dinner, and read a book.

The first site they assigned me was crap. The paved pull-in was short, so the “camp site” was close to the road, the left corner was a drainage ditch filled with water, and the right side was next to a dumpster and a parking lot.

So I called the ranger office and switched to a better site.

I boiled some water in my Kelley Kettle and made some tea. I tried to start a fire, but had no luck. Around 5:30, the sun started to go down and it got cold, so I climbed into my tent. I had two cold-weather sleeping bags with me, but it still got pretty dog-gone cold, but not as cold as it would have been with a regular sleeping bag or if I was sleeping outside.

Since it was so cold outside, I stayed in my tent until 8 or so the next morning. That’s 14 hours in the tent and that was the part that wasn’t fun. I did read some on my Nook, but that’s too long to be lying in one place.

When I finally climbed out, it was so cold that, even with the sun up, this drop of tea was still frozen solid:

The restrooms/ showers were just up the road a bit and I found out the night before that they were heated, so I took a back of MREs up there and sat in the warmth of the building to eat them.

Around 10:00, I decided it was time to hike, hoping to do ten miles. It ended up just being 6 and a half. It gets kind of boring just walking along. I need to download and bring with me some mp3s of Johnny Dollar.

I got back to the beginning of the hike around 2:00, I guess, and decided it was too cold to sit around and I didn’t want to spend another 14 hour night in the tent, so I went home.

I only took a handful of pictures.

Now that I have a better picture of the park, I can go back when it’s warmer for a longer hike.