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In Which We Go Camping

by William Jackson on 2013-07-01

Way back in January, Rebecca sent me a link to a camping workshop run by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and asked me what I thought about taking Emily camping. My first thought was, “Does she know me at all?”

I kept the link in my inbox and thought about it for a while and finally, in May, I decided that no matter how many unpleasant memories of camping as a Boy Scout I had, I could make this fun.

Besides, Iʼm an adult now. I can be responsible and wear sunblock.

William, Emily, and Zoë check out the lake.

So I registered for the workshop and Rebecca told me she was actually really surprised that I did. Maybe she does know me after all.

At first, it was going to be just me and Emily. But Rebecca thought it would be more fun if we could find someone else to go with us (Rebecca wouldnʼt touch a tent with a ten-foot tent pole herself). I talked to my friend Josh, who has a daughter only slightly younger than Emily, and they agreed to go on this adventure with us.

Emily and Zoë searching for wildlife.

Because we were camping as part of a workshop, the Parks Department provided most of the basic equipment: a tent, air mattresses for the adults, sleeping pads for the kids, a lantern, a cooking stove, and pots and pans. We only needed to bring food, clothes, towels, soap, and any other fun things we wanted. And letʼs be honest, we never used the soap.

I had no idea what kind of pots and pans we would encounter in our kit so I brought along my own cast-iron skillet just to be safe.

Even though we are camping, beds still need to be jumped on.

We drove out on Friday night (21 June) and stayed until Sunday morning. We got to choose our own campsite, and we got a nice one right on the shore of Inks Lake. We spent a long time in the water on Saturday.

Josh and Zoë swimming in the lake.

William and Emily swimming in the lake.

We also got to do a little fishing (I caught a 2-inch fish!) and kayaking. Emily had a nice relaxing kayak ride while I rowed her wherever she asked me to.

William and Emily in the kayak.

We saw a fair bit of wildlife, too. We would often see lizards zipping around in the grass and on the trees. A deer came through our campsite early Saturday morning. Two ducks came to the shore at our site, probably looking for free food. We also spotted a heron in the water near our site. A pair of cardinals took some interest in us and even made off with a bit of hot dog bun Emily dropped on the ground. We also saw a wasp that was possibly as big as the fish I caught.

The weather was really nice, and we all had a wonderful time! We agreed that this was definitely something we want to do again.

Emily and a full moon.