MAR 30

Our first primitive camping trip, Dale and I headed to Hill Country SNA around noon on a Friday for a one night trip. The forecast was not very favorable as rain was expected for most of the weekend. We came across a website called accuweather that said there would be a break in the rain right about the time we expected to get there. That was all the encouragement we needed.

We showed up to the park about 3pm and the rain stopped as if on cue. It was muddy as hell though and the park was quite saturated. The park ranger told us we had to camp out by the road. This was pretty disappointing news as we had our heart set on hiking a couple of miles and camping in the middle of nowhere. The prospect of sitting next to a road was tough to swallow. After assessing the situation, we decided we would do what we wanted and head to the spot where we originally planned on staying (Wildlife Camp Area). Unfortunately, to get there we had to cross a stream that was flooded with storm water. We hiked up and down to find a decent spot, but realized there was not anywhere good to get across at, so we removed the shoes and decided to wade our way to the other side of the bank. I went first and on my first step into the water, I lost my balance and dunked my shoes into the stream. Damn. Not the way I wanted to start the trip.

After we got past the stream, we found the trails to be quite muddy. We found it easier to walk on the edge of the trail where there was a little less mud. After about two miles of hiking (and surprisingly little rain), we managed to find the spot we were looking for and set up camp. We found the nearby pond to fill the water filter and also gathered a little (damp) firewood. In order to get a fire going, we used our knives to remove the wet bark. It was still slow getting the fire lit so we cheated and used the propane stove for a boost. Once the fire started to take off, the rain came back. And it came hard.

We still had not eaten yet and we were getting pretty hungry.  Luckily, there was a small shed (used for feeding animals) that provided enough cover to cook our dinners.  After dinner, we were pretty exhausted so we piled into the tent and cracked open the top of the door so we could watch the lighting show. It was quite a display and the pouring rain proved to be a nice sleep aid.

The next morning, we woke to blue skies and not a cloud to be seen. Quite a bit different than when we went to sleep! We did quite a bit of hiking and found a nice lookout scenic outlook to eat lunch. Finally, we headed back to the car to call it a trip. All in all, it was quite an enjoyable trip.  

Nights: 1
Type: Out-and-back
Campfires: OK
Trailhead: Google
Trail Map: link

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