Monday, March 05, 2007

Camping trip (Feb 22-25) - Saturday

No I didn't forget. Just been busy. LOL

Saturday was another early morning. K came in around 6:30 AM to let the dogs out, which woke me up. She wasn't able to sleep. I don't know if the other girls I was sharing with woke up then but I had a hard time falling back to sleep and just dozed until about 8:00 when she came in again.

After everyone got up, a couple folks cooked breakfast and then the rest of us cleaned up. I guess it was about 10:00 or so we headed out on to the ranch to see all the animals. This is an actual working ranch that M's Dad owns. It's 1200 acres and sprawling with different pastures all over the place with different names, two camps - the one we stayed at and another one, and at least three times we crossed over dry creek beds. Two of the girls, E and A, stayed in the cabin all day, preferring to relax that way. T and D drove the four wheelers with H on the back of one and J on the back of the other. I rode in the truck with M, K and K's boyfriend C. M took us all around the whole ranch and we saw quite a few critters. We brought a couple bags of feed with us, which probably helped draw out the animals. The goats pretty much will go anywhere there is food. LOL

They have a huge herd of goats, a couple horses, a llama, lots and lots of cattle, a beefalo, YES, it's called a beefalo. It's half buffalo half cow. Has the body of a buffalo and the head of a cow. Very interesting looking animal. They also have TONS of deer roaming, lots of wild hogs (Not something we ran in to anywhere thank goodness. Though the guys were bummed, they were looking forward to hunting hogs.), and some herds of black buck. Black buck are an African animal that looks like a kind of antelope. They are beautiful creatures with spirally looking horns from what I could see from a distance. What's funny is most of these animals weren't even M's dad's originally. They just showed up on his property and never left. M jokes and calls her dad's ranch the black hole. It's where all the animals from everywhere else disappear to. She said as far as they know, none of her Dad's animals have wandered off the ranch. Some have been killed over the years by coyotes and hogs, but not just wandered off to never be seen again.

We spent a couple hours driving all over the ranch and headed back to the cabin about 12:30 or so for lunch. The guys did the grilling (I could get used to this!) and the girls cleaned up. And man did we ever have a feast! All the meat was from M's Dad's cattle and so full of flavor. We had SO much food (and alcohol - can't forget that. LOL) we had to use up since we had dinner plans for the evening and wouldn't be there to eat anything. We had food everywhere! After lunch was over and everything cleaned up, A and I wanted rides on the four wheelers. So T and D took us out. I rode with T and A with D. WOW!!! That was the highlight of the whole weekend! I had never ridden a four wheeler before and they weren't exactly built for two people to ride. All we had to sit on was metal bars that are racks for carrying stuff. There were lots of extra pillows floating around no one ever used so we each put one of those on the four wheelers to cushion the ride a little bit. T is a bit of a wild man so he was FLYING all over the place. D is a little more cautious of a driver so we kept leaving them in our dust, quite literally.

But such a great time! We were out for probably 2 - 2 1/2 hours and rode the whole ranch. I have never had so much fun! Even with all the airborne moments, of which there were quite a few. Nothing like flying in to the air and knowing not a single wheel is touching the ground. (T liked to take the most difficult route to get anywhere so we rode through and over the dry creek beds, right under trees where we had to duck really low so as to not get our faces all beat up from the branches, etc. But that it made it even more fun.) We were out in the pastures with the animals. The goats of course came right up to us, hoping for food. And we came across the llama who thinks he's a big ol' dog. He waltzed right up to T and I so I spent a little while petting the llama. I think A maybe got a picture or two of it.

We even rescued a goat! As we were zipping along the fence lines we came across a goat who had gotten his horns stuck in the fence and couldn't get loose. Poor thing was bawling up a storm, frantic and desperate to get loose. T and D wouldn't let A and I help because they said it was too dangerous with as panicked as the poor thing was. So they made us stay a little bit back and T grabbed the horns and D pinned the goat to the fence so they could work his horns free. As soon as they got him loose, the little guy took of running fast as he could. He still had a lot of energy so they figure he hadn't been stuck more than 24 hours or so. I guess T used to be around goats a lot when he was younger and
rescued a few over the years so he was able to guess how long it had been there based on how it was acting. Shortly after that we had to end our ride as the four wheeler T and I were using ran out of gas and was down to its reserve tank. So we took it much slower going back to preserve what gas we did have and stopped to fill them up again before heading back to camp.

But were we ever scary looking when we got back! I had my hair pulled up in a bun clip as I knew it would be in the way otherwise. But everything else was a mess! My face was almost solid brown from the dust and at least three layers coated all of my clothing head to toe. I had prickly things stuck in my sock and pants cuffs that were quite painful on my legs. And even with my hair pulled up, it was filthy! 
The guys went out hunting for a few hours and H and J took the four wheelers out for a ride on their own. But by that time, my sleepiness from several nights in a row of almost no sleep (I had been out or busy every night that week leading up to the camping trip on top of only 4 or so hours of sleep a night while there.) So I just washed my face off, took off my sweatshirt and shook as much dust off as I could, then I laid down and went to sleep for a couple hours. When I woke up I took a speed demon five minute shower but didn't bother with the hair since I didn't have time and knew I'd wash it the second I got home from the trip.

The guys cleaned up after they got back and we all headed out to dinner. We had quite a long wait for tables since we were such a big group and they actually opened a whole room just for us. This place we went is known for their steaks (all beef from a local well known ranch) but it was also EXPENSIVE! And after the huge lunch we ate, I didn't want to chance spending a ton of money on something I may not eat. A lot of them split meals between them since the steaks were pretty large. Me? I went for an grilled shrimp appetizer and a baked sweet potato for my meal. Heck even the shrimp appetizer was 10 large shrimp so it filled me up just fine. They also gave me a side of veggies they didn't charge me for since I told them I was making the appetizer my meal.

Another funny story comes into play here....

On the way home, everyone needed to fill up their cars with gas so we borrowed a CD from E she had made for a friend's wedding that had all these awesome chick songs we girls love. And one where you know at least some of the lines for all the songs. So the four of us (M, me, J, H) cranked it up really loud and were belting out the songs at the top of our lungs. Still sitting in the lot at the gas station while we waited for the others. Well M keeps a ton of those lint remover rolls around since Chelsea sheds so much. She and I were sitting in the back seat and each found one in the pocket on the back of the seat in front of us. PERFECT size for a microphone! I don't remember what H and J found but they were using something too. So here we are with the windows down, singing at the tops of our lungs with our "microphones" putting on a show for the whole gas station. E took some really funny pictures I think of us doing that. So we spent the whole rest of the ride home cracking ourselves up over our antics while we sang as loud as we could. And all this while we were still sober!

After we got back to the cabin, everyone really wanted a campfire since most of them missed the one the previous night but it had gotten really cold. So everyone decided to do without and stayed in doing whatever. Some played poker, some watched movies, all of us had a few to drink, I floated a bit since I don't get into the card games. I read my book for a while but mostly sat and chit chatted with the poker players until I wandered over to watch the movie. We didn't stay up near as late this night since everyone was getting kinda tired. I forget what time I packed it in, but I think it was around 1 or 1:30.

Sunday morning, E and the other folks who arrived in her car with her left by 8 AM since E wanted to be home early for a meeting at the church. The rest of us to get everything cleaned up and dishes washed and all the leftover food sorted out. We got on the road about 11:00. We stopped at McDonalds to hit the drive thru and Maren almost gave us all another adventure. She was up front and jumped into M's lap. When she opened the window to get the food, Maren tried to leap for the drive thru window! M caught her in time but can you imagine? A dog jumping through the drive thru window of McDonalds, right next to where they put all the burgers together? So horrified laughter over what almost happened carried us about half way home till us passengers started falling asleep.

We stopped in Dallas to drop H and J off and M and H went "shopping" in J's clothing to be donated to charity basket. I didn't try anything on since J is 6 feet tall and I knew hardly anythign would fit me. So I amused myself watching them dig through all the clothes and model them for us. Then we headed back to M's and I helped her unload the car before I left. I got home probably about 5:30 or so and ready to sleep for a week! Well sleep for a week after I washed my hair several times to get all the dust and dirt out first. LOL

And that, is the wrap up of my camping trip!

Now on to this weekend's adventures. :-)

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