Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"Well, there goes that antibiotic.."

While driving home from Houston Monday, I came across this view. I could hear the river and I was so tired I was desperate for nap near it. Alas, I felt I couldn't drive off the cliff, nor climb into the ravine if I wanted to make it home that night. So I did the next best thing. I texted my friends Lacy and Shelby and told them we would be camping Tuesday night. Apparently, it was a wonderful idea, because they both agreed.
The view that inspired our camping trip
So after I got home Monday night, I unpacked, and repacked. We met up, and headed to Devils Den State Park. After we got there, I suggested we start on the booze early and wait to put up our tents until we were thoroughly intoxicated. Thankfully, we decided against that. It was eventful enough sober.
Me putting up my hammock and Shelby watching in amazement

This is me trying to put my hammock up. That's right, I don't sleep in a tent. I sleep in a hammock when I camp. And yes, I am standing on the side of the tree. There was a tiny knob there that provided me with just enough traction to stand on.
My idea of a tent
Here's the finished product, self included. It's actually quite comfortable and I'll probably never sleep on the ground again if I can help it. Of course, I put my sleeping bag and pillow in there later.

Once we got everything set up, we decided it was time for margaritas. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring cups. Lacy and Shelby both chugged bottles of water to pour theirs in. I'm a little more sophisticated. I like my margarita dressed. Actually, I need it dressed. I have an unhealthy obsession with salt. We had eaten at Sonic on our way there, and I still had my sonic cup. Lacy came up with the most genius idea ever for the salt.
An idea worth patenting

Here it is. Salt in the lid of a sonic cup. Best idea ever. Especially since you can never get enough salt on the rim of a glass to do justice for the margarita within.

Once we had our drinks ready, we headed for a trail up the side of the mountain. Wise choice? Yes. Unfortunately, we didn't take nearly enough margaritas for our 3 mile hike. I was finished long before we got to the top of the mountain and tried to steal Shelby's from her. She tried to stab me, so I gave it back.

About 3/4 of the way up, we came to a small bluff, and I have a thing for sitting on the edge of cliffs, so I had to sit for a minute. I dropped the only water bottle we brought with us, and Lacy and Shelby started harassing me for littering the forest, even though there were several other things down there. So I did the only thing I could. I jumped off the 30 foot bluff.. To a tree which I shimmied down.
Me taking a selfie before I shimmied down the tree
Here's me, on the tree. But before I shimmied down it, I had to take a selfie. I think this is the closest Xena (my dog in the pic) has ever come to a bluff willingly. She's scared of heights. The entire time I was down there, they said she cried and whined, trying to find me. How sweet.

After finding the litter I so carelessly scattered to the forest floor below, I tried to throw it back up on the bluff. And failed. Miserably. I hit the side of the bluff and the water bottle busted. No more water. In case we were planning on sobering up or staying hydrated on this hike (which we weren't), our chances were now ruined. Thus, I started my venture to get back up the bluff. The tree I had shimmied down was too far away from the bluff for me to jump back from the tree to the bluff, so I had to find another way. My movie education saved me once again. Thankfully, Lacy and Shelby had seen the same movie. Mulan.
Climbing the tree like Mulan
They sat on the edge of the bluff and sang to me the whole time. They didn't know the words, but "Did they send me daughters?! .... Something about sons!" came up several times. I couldn't stop laughing, greatly hindering my ability to make it up that tree, which is a lot harder than it looks. I had bark and a dog leash. How Mulan did it with her strip of cloth and a telephone pole is beyond me. She's seriously my hero.

We made it to the top and back down without further incident. Aside from me continuously trying to steal Lacy and Shelby's margaritas. Which didn't work. We got back to the camp and I promptly poured more margarita for myself and left them to fend for themselves. Shelby brought some kind of fire starter, which I completely consider cheating when building a camp fire. But the slight intoxication made me more compliant. The fire was supposed to be Shelby's job, but once it got dark, Shelby and Lacy were both too scared to go into the woods. So I did. And I'll note that I had several more margaritas. Xena stayed at the camp, but every time she whined or barked I figured there was a mountain lion about to pounce on me and I was saved only by my drunken stumbles. How I ever made it back with enough wood to keep the fire going is beyond me, but I kept it pretty large.

The usual camping followed. Lots of margaritas, fire, hot dogs, and wildly inappropriate stories which I shouldn't share here. The next morning I woke feeling rather refreshed and decided a good jog was in order. It was freezing and I needed some way to warm up. So, I grabbed Xena and the leftover hotdogs and jogged up the mountain to the first bluff with sunlight on it to warm me up while we had breakfast. I'll admit, the view wasn't bad either.
My view for breakfast
This is where Xena and I had our breakfast. Not bad, right? Shortly after I descended the mountain we had to start packing up our campsite. Again, Lacy and Shelby had to convince me that sobriety was probably best for this endeavor. We were almost out of margaritas anyway. I took home all the leftovers, making me quite the happy camper.