May 31, 2018

Hiking Caprock Canyon: Camping with Bison



This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc., but the content and opinions are my own.
Caprock Canyon State Park


I sit on Instagram amazed at their beauty. I'm not a fan of snow, but that doesn't matter. The Bison so majestic I ignore. I snap a screenshot and immediately send out a frantic text.



"Why didn't anyone tell me we had Bison in Texas," I text. "We must camp with them. Y'all know they are my favorite. I want to play with them. They even roam the park."





Jeff is the first to text back. A simple, "ABSOLUTELY NOT." "I value my life he continues. I will not be believin' and achievin' that."


I whimper. We will camp with the Texas State Bison Herd, I reply.


Caprock Canyon State Park

Caprock Canyon State Park


Nine months soldier past and my 30th birthday approaches. Signs cut in the shape of Bison that read Turkey Texas adone the road. The Ford screeches as it rolls past the first cattle guard. I perk up in the front seat camera in hand. I wear the excitement of a kindergartner on her first day of school. The wonder and amazement I dress like a badge of honor. Sign rears into view, "Home of the Official Texas State Bison Herd." are descendants of a herd started by Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight in 1878 during the height of the bison slaughter.

I happily bounce into the Ranger station, ID in hand ready to confirm the reservation and see all the Bison Texas has to offer. We set up camp, loaded up on water and were prepared to hit the trails. We found ourself startin' from the bottom, headed to the top: The upper Canyon trail to be exact. We made quick work of the five miles careful not to slide down the loose limestone and rock from a previous rainstorm. We reach Devil's Peak with ease: content with the vast view of the Texas Panhandle.
Caprock Canyon State Park

Caprock Canyon State Park
Caprock Canyon State Park


Comin' down the Canyon, we took our time, enjoyin' the solitude as we walked to many of the checkpoints on the State Park Map. I found myself bouncin' and bouncin'. I had yet to see a Bison and I was determined to finally come face to face with my favorite animal on my birthday.

Caprock Canyon State Park

Caprock Canyon State Park


We slowly made our way out of the trails and back to camp, I a frown on my face as I told the camera how tired and disappointed I was. It was then I felt Stephanie whack me on my shoulder and motion my silence. She turned to point and there in all its glory stood a baby Bison grazin'. She snatched the camera and snapped.



We made our way back to base camp ready to shower and eat before we slept. Our souls were full but tired from the eight-plus miles we'd just hiked.  Much of the night spent restless as I dreamed of bison wonderin' in our camp.


We woke the next mornin' bound to get on a prairie trail early before we made our way back home. Much of the time spent cryin', and smilin' and picture snappin' as bison after bison followed us along our route.

Caprock Canyon State Park

Tips: Caprock Canyon is in the Panhandle of Texas. The trials are vast and diverse. Make sure not to be in the lower canyon while it rains or at night. The night is when the bison roam the canyon and rain leads to floodin'. None of the trails have water, and the few streams that are available are reserved for the natural wildlife. Make sure to stop by the Ranger Station or Water Spicket and fill up before you embark on any trails Always stay at least 100 yards from the Bison and if you come upon one remember to keep quiet and move slow.

Caprock Canyon State Park






Caprock Canyon State Park
chicken foil pack


chicken foil pack
chicken foil pack



Meals: My favorite part of campin' has always by far been the meals. Summer and Fall spent roamin' Texas and beyond. I still remember my 12-year-old self as I'd just joined a new Girl Scout Troop and the leader was obsessed with foil packs. Tyson® Chicken in foil packs were always her meal of choice. I've found that in my adult quest to venture every Texas State Park if I am not backpackin' and have a basecamp foil packs are my choice as well.

I figured show Y'all a quick and easy one I make most campin' trips such as this one and all items especially Tyson® brand products and chicken can be found at your local Walmart. 

What you'll need:
Tyson® Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
seasoning
foil
potato
veggie of your choice

Use either a disposable knife or one that can easily be cleaned in the woods and chop your chicken breast into bite-size pieces. Place the pieces inside the foil along with your seasoning, veggies and diced potato. Fold your foil pack so that it will not release heat and write your name on it with a permanent marker. Written' your name is a trick we started in scouts so we could keep track of our dinner. Place your foil pack on either a campfire or camp stove and cook until the chicken is done and the veggies are tender.

Dispose of your trash in a sealable bag you can take out of camp and enjoy. As I tell all my scouts: "Remember what you bring in you should bring out because you should leave no trace behind."

Enjoy and let me know what you like to cook at your campouts.


Lipton Herbal Tea
Y'all have heard me make the joke I'm not 70 percent water I'm 70 percent tea. Maybe it's my Southern roots, maybe it's my family heritage but a meal isn't a meal without tea. I'm known to give restaurants a lower ratin' if the tea is subpar. Even when campin' you can enjoy the refreshin' goodness of a glass of tea. At the moment I am really lovin' the NEW Lipton® Herbal Ice Tea Bags. So, good with just the right amount of flavor. I like to carry small amounts of prepackaged sugar in my camp bag in the sack I store my food. All you need is to add water and its perfect after such a long hike. It's always so hot in Texas most times of the year that its quick and easy to make Herbal Sun Tea.

What's your favorite drink you are added to your outdoor adventures this summer?


May 29, 2018

Luckenbach, Texas

luckenbach texas

Each Travel Guide I love to link the full 
#TravelinTexan bucket list so Y'all can see the entire list. Drink a Shiner in Luckenbach, Texas crosses number 2 off the list. Shall we get into this quick little trip? 

Everybody is somebody in Luckenbach.

Luckenbach, Texas population: 3 as of the early 2000's

Luckenbach, Texas became popular 'cause of the Country Song: Luckenbach Texas by Waylon Jennings.

Luckenbach, Texas sits on Ranch Road 1376 and is about 20 to 20 mins South of Fredericksburg, Texas and is an old post office and dance hall. That is the extent of Luckenbach.

If you're ever in the area make the trip to Luckenbach to see the history, get a cold one or hear a song.

luckenbach texas

luckenbach texas
luckenbach texas

luckenbach texas

luckenbach texas
luckenbach texas

luckenbach texas

luckenbach texas
luckenbach texas
luckenbach texas






May 22, 2018

Travel guide: Dinosaur Valley State Park

This post is sponsored by Kleenex but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 
Dinosaur Valley



I can still feel the soreness in the balls of my feet, even as I sit to write this short recap. I suppose next time ill bring water shoes or flip flops before I venture into the rocky swimmin' hole of Plauxy River at Dinosaur Valley.

Speakin' of Dinosaur Valley State Park: Each Travel Guide I love to link the full #TravelinTexan bucket list so Y'all can see the entire list. Shall we get into this quick little trip? And hang until the end to see what Kleenex Wet Wipes has to do with the World Wildlife Foundation and bein' the Travelin' Texan.
I've never much had a fascination for dinosaurs. The little knowledge and interest born from my sister's fascination. But, the thought of seein' dinosaur tracks peeked my interest. To stand where the beautiful creatures walked, danced and ate millions of years ago. 

We packed up midday Tuesday and made the short two-hour drive to the state park in Glen Rose Texas next to Dinosaur World. We quickly checked in with the Ranger Station and paid the seven dollars per person for a day pass. We made a quick study of the trails map and realized the Cedar Brake Outer loop trail that we had intended to do would not happen that day. The path was roughly seven and a half miles long but took you to none of the historical sites or dinosaur tracks. We only had four and a half hours to spend at the park, and that trail would have to be for another time. 

We opted for the Blue Hole Trail as it had dinosaur tracks and led to a swimming hole at the Plauxy River. The map said it would take about 30 minutes, but we made the trek within minutes. We found ourself at an indention of the PlauxyRiver. We spent much time enjoyin' the colder areas and swimmin' around. We even waded over to see the permanent footprints of animals long gone.

Fascinated by my new GoPro much time was spent splashin' underwater and wigglin' our toes until we were doubled over in laughter from the ticklin' on our toes as the fish swam around.

Dinosaur Valley
Dinosaur Valley
Dinosaur Valley
Dinosaur Valley
Dinosaur Valley
Dinosaur Valley

Dinosaur Valley


We quickly made our way back to the car and grabbed our camp bag ready to head to the day use area and cook a quick lunch. As soon as we reached the car, it was then I realized the bag that kept all the outdoor cookin' equipment had a hole and part of the camp stove was missin'. I joked, 
"I guess we will be eatin' these vegetables as the dinosaurs did: uncooked."


As we made our way to the large day use area Avery and I began to disagree on which table we should sit. Avery wanted the shadiest area of the park while I wanted a cleaner spot. We compromised and picked Avery's table. I turned to notice a long pink item sittin' next to the outdoor grill. I mentioned Avery to go over and see what it was while I divided or uncooked vegetables. 

Avery quickly hollered, " Its a fire poker. This grill is still hot. Someone just used it and didn't put the fire out correctly. Think we can get the fire back?"

"Yes," I hollered. "There are tons of dead leaves and trees here, and I have a lighter."

Moments later the grill began to smoke as fire engulfed the now relit fire. Avery started hollerin', "LOOK AT GOD. LOOK AT GOD," as I ran back to the car to get the camp pot!

We grabbed the Kleenex Wet Wipes and quickly cleaned ourselves up and readied for lunch happy to have a hearty meal. We tossed canned tuna, lemon pepper, potato, water, cheese and asparagus in the pot.




Kleenex Wet Wipes
Add caption
Kleenex Wet Wipes
Kleenex Wet Wipes




After lunch, we drove around the park optin' to find one of the scenic overlooks. We chose to stay close to the Plauxy River and do the trails on that end for time's sake. Plauxy River Nature Trail and Limestone Ledge Trail were in our view. Avery held is Bluetooth speaker yammerin' along to an old RnB song as I stood under a water faucet gulpin' all the water. We looked up to see an elderly gentleman laugh as he disappeared into the bush.

Tired and thirsty we made our way back to the car, the four hour trip through Dinosaur Valley State Park.


Dinosaur Valley

Dinosaur Valley

Dinosaur Valley

Dinosaur Valley

Dinosaur Valley


With that bein' said one of the many selfish things I love about bein' able to partner with Kimberly-Clark Cooperation is that I purchased all the Kleenex wet wipes from my laptop and had them delivered next day.  Easy convenience so I could focus on other fun parts of campin'. Y'all know I love a good Kleenex product and mention them periodically on my hikin' how to post. I chose the germ removal wet wipes and they are perfect when in nature and away from a place to wash your hands. And Y'all know I love a good coupon or deal; I get it from my Daddy, or so I'm told. You can save $2.00 off in coupons usin' Amazon. You can't beat that deal. You can also get the same deals with Cottonelle and Scott and Viva paper towels.

But, the best part. Yes, the best part is that from now until 2020 the Kimberly- Clark Cooperation is partnering with the  WWF and Forest Steward Council to raise awareness on the importance os usin' products that have fiber that comes from managed forest responsibly. As someone who has not only made Texas my bucket list but I spend much of my time when I'm not brunchin' outside in Nature, I'm on board. It also helps that I went to a college that is one of the top Foresty and Agriculture Colleges in the state of Texas.


All, you have to do is make sure when you shop  the package has the Forest Stewardship Council label and you're all set. I like the idea of doin' good and findin' a way to "Heart Your plant."  Somethin' so simple but will have such a huge impact.

May 17, 2018

Camping 101: Omelet in a bag

This post is sponsored by Black Creek but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.







It's no secret that I spend much of my time travel around Texas tellin' the stories of those I meet while hikin' and campin'. It's also no secret that I spent 13 years of my life in scouts and much of what I practice to this day comes from those valuable years.

Recently sharin' my outdoor adventures has to lead to many questions in my inbox and many inquiries on my social media post and with Summer right around that Texas corner now is as right a time as any to start this new campin' series. 

Campin 101: You can see many of my previous outdoor post and hikin' tips here.

Let this be the start. Campin 101: Omelet in a Bag. I grew up eatin' these while campin', and I know you'll enjoy them. 

Let's start with the basic. Omelet in a bag is a camp meal made best when you have a camp base to return to and not a backpackin' trip. 
Omelet in a bag is always best served on the first of vamp because you want your ingredients to be freshest.

For this omelet in a bag, The beauty of omelet in a bag is that you can add as little or as much as you want. 

I chose to add cheese to my omelet. An omelet isn't an omelet without cheese. Growin' up Momma always joked that she hated the "Happy Cows Come from Californa" Commerical. She lived in WI the "Dary State" for almost 15+ years. She would say, " I know cheese." Black Creek Cheese born in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin, this cheese is known for its rich fertile soil that the cows graze on.

Summer's spent campin' around the US munchin' on these omelets because The Taste of Summer is Cheddar and Y'all know I love cheddar in my omelets.


Ingredients:
Eggs
Salt
Pepper
Camp stove
sealable bag
watermeat if you chose.

Directions:
1. Bring water to a boil
2. While you water is boiling crack an egg and put it inside your bag. 
3. Add to the bag your cheese, salt, pepper and meat of choice. i used turkey crumbles.
4. Seal the bag and much it around until the mixture is beat.
5. Once the water has come to a boil place the bag inside the pot just enough that the egg is covered.
6. cook for 5-7 minutes and then enjoy.
So, try it out and your next campin' trip this summer or Memorial Day and let me know how Y'all like them.





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