Flo's 2007 December Travels


December Camping Trips 2007



Dad showing Flo a leaf

Click on photo to see all McKinney State Park Photos

LOCATION: Austin, Texas     SITE: McKinney Falls State Park
DATE:
11/30/07 – 12/02/07     SPACE: 21     TRIPS: 27     DISTANCE: 36 miles

Friday November 30, 2007

It’s Friday, mom called McKinney Falls State Park to see if there was any opening for this weekend. She knows it’s very hard to get in McKinney Falls. The man that answered the phone said that they have a few opening. Alright my parents are taking me to McKinney Falls State Park. We arrived at McKinney Falls about 3:00 p.m. Dad checked in and we were assigned space 21 because the space we had the last time was taken. That ok because space 21 is fantastic, it’s right by the restroom. While mom and dad set-up camp I went exploring around the campsite. I found a chicken bone and I ate it. After I was finish with the bone we went on a hike.

The hike was about 4 mile long and took us 2 hours to do the hike. We hiked the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail. We caught the trail a couple of campsites down from our. The trail runs right behind the campground. At the beginning of the hike we saw some deer. I was so excited that I chased them into the trees and than I had to wait for mom and dad to catch up. We hiked a little farther and we saw a jogger. He was by himself so I decided to keep him company, I only ran with him a short distance because I didn’t want to get to far away from mom and dad. The trail goes down to the picnic area. The picnic area is beautiful with Onion Creek running along side of the picnic area. While we were hiking through the picnic area we met a young couple riding bicycles and people walking the opposite way than us. After the picnic area you hike to the visitor center. At the visitor center you can either take the trail back to the campsite or you can hike to McKinney upper falls. We decided to go to the upper falls. The falls are gorgeous with all the granite rock around them. The trail goes across the falls so you need to be careful walking on the granite because it’s very slippery. Some spots on the fall you have to take big steps to get to one rock to another rock because of the erosion, this was fun for me but mom was scared she would fall into the water. Mom looked funny trying to cross the rocks. Dad and I had to wait for her a few times. While we were walking around the falls we saw some frogs and a turtle. We hiked until we couldn’t hike any farther and we turned around a started back to the visitor center. As we were hiking back we met some college students discussing how the erosion occurred on the falls. After talking to the students we continued our hike. We hiked to the visitor center's parking lot, where we saw some deer grazing in a field across the street. We hiked along the main road until we got to the Horse Trainer's Cabin ruin. There we caught back up with the Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail to get back to the campsite. Along the trail we saw some more deer. When we got back to the campground I tried to introduce myself to my neighbor but his mom said he wasn't too friendly. My neighbor's name was Ben and he was a big dog. I didn't care he wasn't friendly because I still like him. Now it's time to have dinner before it gets too dark. Mom and dad had roast beef sandwiches while I had my special food. After dinner we went in for the night.

Saturday December 1, 2007

I woke my parents up about 7:00 a.m. Mom took me for a morning walk around the campground. During our walk we met a family with five kids I wanted to go with them. So I cut my walk a little short. The mom of the family said they had a lab just like me at home. When mom and I returned to the Minnie we had breakfast with dad. After breakfast we went on a 4 ½ miles hike for about 2 ½ hours.

During the hike I saw a lot of deer. Mom took pictures during the hike. We had to hike to the lower falls to get to the homestead trail. The homestead trail is 3 miles long. It goes by the McKinney’s homestead and a mill. It runs along the park fence line just next to the. The trail is very nice with dirt and granite. The granite was mainly at the falls. You had to be careful on the granite because it gets slippery when wet. When we were at the falls we saw some people playing in the falls and a couple riding their bikes. We cross the falls to get back to the campsite and went to the parking lot. Once we were at the parking lot we walked a long the main road to get back to the campsite. When we reach the horse trainer’s cabin we met up with some girl scouts going fishing. They all stopped and asked if they could pet me and my parents told them they could. This really made my day all these girls playing with me. After the girls finished playing with me we finished our hike. When we got back to the campsite and had lunch.

The rest of the day we hung around the campsite. Once in awhile mom would take me for a walk around the campground. One of the walks I met a dog name Bailey she was very friendly, so I introduced myself to her. I had a lot of fun playing with her. Now it was time to go back to the campsite for dinner. After dinner we called it a night.

Sunday December 2, 2007

We got up about 7:00 a.m. and had breakfast. After breakfast we went for a short hike on Onion Creek Hike and Bike Trail. We hiked about an hour for about 2 miles. During our hike we met two men with dogs. One of the dogs was a Grey Hound and the other one was a Husky. The men were very excited to see me because I reminded them of another dog they use to have. I was excited to see the dogs and the men. While my parents and the men talked I played with the dogs. We all had a great time but now we have to say good-bye. After the hike we returned to the campsite and got ready to go home.


December Trip to East Texas 2007

FLo and dad resting  

Click on photo to see all Stephen F. Austin State Park Photos

LOCATION: San Felipe, Texas     SITE: Stephen F. Austin State Park
DATE:
12/05/07 – 12/09/07     SPACE: 29     TRIPS: 28     DISTANCE: 150 miles

Stephen F. Austin State Park is located 150 miles southeast of Austin. It is a gorgeous State Park with hiking trails along the banks of the Brazos River. The trails go through a forest of pine trees. The park is very well maintained with many things to offer their visitors.


Wednesday December 5, 2007

We arrived at Stephen F. Austin State Park about 12:30 p.m. Dad tried to check-in but the office was closed for lunch. We drove around the park so my we could get familiar with the park. We saw the picnic area, tent camping area and trailer camping area. The trailer camping area has full hook-ups and pulls through sites. After we drove around we stopped at the picnic area to have a picnic. Mom and dad had sandwiches and I had a snack. When we finished lunch we walked around the picnic area. It was pretty with all the trees. Than dad checked and headed to our campsite. When we got to the campsite mom and dad could set-up camp and I went exploring around the campsite.

There are about 8 ½ miles of hiking trails in the park. After we settled in we went on a hike. Our hike was for 3 miles and took about 2 ½ hours. The trails we hiked were Sycamore Trail, Brazos Trail and Cottonwood Trail. The trails are very easy to hike and great on your feet. The trails had leaves all over them which made the trails soft. When we hiked by the river I wanted to go swimming but I didn’t. The river was very muddy and you have to climb down a hill to get to the river. My mom and dad told me that I would get dirty. That was ok I still had a great time. The hike was beautiful because the trails go through the trees and along the Brazos River. After we hiked the trail we walked around the campgrounds. We saw the screened shelters, where we saw some deer. I wanted to chase them but I was on leash so I couldn’t. We walked through the tent sites, which led us back to the trailer sites. When we got back to the campsite we relaxed in our chairs before dinner.

For dinner mom and dad ate gumbo and I had my special food. After dinner we sat in our chairs and watched the deer. We saw a lot of deer eating, this was so relaxing and neat watching the deer. An hour later we went in the Minnie for the night.

Thursday December 6, 2007

I woke my mom and dad up about 7:00 a.m. so I could go for a morning walk before breakfast. Mom took me for a walk around the campground. When we returned to the Minnie we had breakfast. After breakfast we went for a hike.

The trails we hiked were Cottonwood, Raccoon Bend, Opossum Loop, Brazos and Sycamore. We hiked 4 miles for about 2 hours. The hiking route we took was. We started at the trailer campsite on Sycamore Trail. We hiked Sycamore Trail until it joined but with the Brazos Trail. We turned onto the Brazos Trail and hiked until we reached the Raccoon Bend Trail. The Raccoon Bend Trail is a small ½ mile trail that goes through creeks and up a hill. The hill is very easy to hike up. Raccoon Bend Trail runs right into Cottonwood Trail. We turned onto the Cottonwood Trail. Cottonwood Trail is a wide trail, which gives enough room for people to hike and ride bicycles side by side if you want to. The trail has trees on both sides to keep you cool while you hike. We hiked Cottonwood Trail to Opossum Loop. The Opossum Loop is a small ½ mile loop. It’s a beautiful trail that goes through the trees. When we returned to Cottonwood Trail we hiked until we reached a bench where we rested. While mom and dad rested on the bench I went exploring in the trees. After we were rested we continued our hike. We hiked a little farther down the Cottonwood Trail back to the Brazos Trail. During the hike down the Cottonwood Trail to Brazos Trail I chased a few deer through the tree, which was fun. When we reached the Brazos Trail we turned on it so we could get back to the campsite. We hiked the Brazos Trail until it joined into the Sycamore Trail. The Sycamore Trail runs right behind the campground. When we returned to the campsite we rested until it was time for lunch.         
After lunch dad read a book and mom solved some word games in her book. While they were doing that I took a nap. When I woke up we took an afternoon hike. The hike was to the office. We hiked over a few small bridges that went over the creek. The trail we hiked runs next to a golf course where I saw some golf carts and I wanted to play but I couldn’t no dogs are allowed on the greens. When we arrived at the office dad went in to see if we could stay an extra night. While he was in the office mom and I walked around the front of the office. We saw a pond with fish and frogs in it. We also saw some Christmas decorations. When dad came out of the office he told us that the park was booked up for Saturday but if there was a cancellation they would let us know. The reason the park was full was because Saturday morning you can have pancakes with Santa Claus and in the evening there is a hayride through the park. I hope mom and dad can go on the hayride and then they can tell me about it because no dogs are allowed. Now it time to go back to the campsite. When we returned to the campsite we had hiked 3 miles and I was very tired. I couldn’t sleep because there were a lot of activities going on. People were showing up for the weekend. We didn’t see as many deer as we did yesterday but it was still fun watching the deer we did see. My parents and I stayed around the campsite for the rest of the day. When we went inside for the evening mom baked some cookies.    

Friday December 7, 2007

I let my mom and dad seep in until 7:20 a.m. We had breakfast and than we went on a hike. The morning hike was about 4 ½ miles and took 3 hours. We hiked the same trails as we did yesterday but the only difference was we hiked a little longer at the end of the hike.

Today during our hike we saw a lot of deer and a squirrel. At the beginning of our hike right by the campsite on the Sycamore Trail we saw a few deer in the trees. Dad let me off leash and chased the deer. Later on when we were hiking the Opossum Loop I saw a squirrel and chased it up a tree. During our hike down Racoon Bend, we saw some vines hanging from the trees. The vines were few thick and looked cool hang from the trees. One was so thin mom sat on it and dad took a picture of her on the vine. When we reached Cottonwood Trail we met a grandmother and her two grandsons riding their bikes. After mom and dad visit with the grandmother we went to the bench on the Cottonwood Trail mom and dad rested on the bench. Today I rested with my parents because it was a little humid. After our rest we saw some more deer and I chased them. I know I can’t catch them but I still have fun. At the end of the hike when we were hiking the Sycamore Trail we didn’t go to the campsite we decided to walk along the Brazos River for awhile. When we returned to the campsite we were tired so we rested a little while. While we were sitting on our chair we were notified that there was a cancellation so we had to go to the office. 

The hike to the office is about 3 miles. It’s a beautiful hike through the trees and over the creeks that run through the park. During our hike we saw a few deer in the trees we scared them so they snorted at us and ran away. When we reached the office dad went inside to side up for another night. Mom and I walked around the area. After dad was finished in the office mom took some pictures of the Christmas decorations and the pond. When she finished taking pictures we walked across the street from the golf course to take pictures of a few horses we saw. The horses were very friendly they walked right up to the fence to see us. That was cool. After mom took pictures we went back to the campsite to have lunch. On the way back I met a mountain biker. I decided to run with him but I didn’t go too far because I was tired. The mountain biker didn’t mind in fact he really enjoyed it. He took me back to my parents so we could finish our hike.

After lunch dad read his book and mom worked on her word games. I tired to nap but I couldn’t because people were showing up for the weekend. I saw children, their parents and dogs. I was very excited. I would like to meet all the dogs but there’re too many of them. 

Before we went in for the night mom and dad took me for a walk around the campground. I met some boys and they played with me. When we returned to the campsite dad made a campfire. Campfires are so neat. We sat around the campfire about 2 hours and than we went inside for the night. When we went inside mom baked some cookies.      

Saturday December 8, 2007

I woke mom and dad at 7:00 a.m. We ate breakfast and than we went on a hike. We decided to go on an early hike so we could beat the crowd. The children and their parents were having breakfast with Santa Claus. The hike we did was 3 miles long and about 2 hours.

The hiking route we did today was a little different than we did the last two days. Instead of starting at Sycamore Trail we decided to start at Deer Walk Trail. Deer Walk is a trail that starts at the group camping area. You hike down a few steps to reach the actual trail. The trail is very nice on your feet because it has a lot of leaves on it. We hiked Deer Walk Trail to Sycamore Trail. When we got to Sycamore Trail we hiked along the bank of the river to Brazos Trail. When we reached the Brazos Trail we saw a few deer and chased after them. After my little run I returned to my parents so I could continue our hike. We hiked the Sycamore Trail to Cottonwood Trail where the bench is. When we reached the bench we rested awhile. I was glad mom and dad decided to rest because it was very humid. After our rest we hiked to Raccoon Bend Trail. When we got to Raccoon Bend Trail we met a hiker and he played with me. I really enjoyed that. When the hiker left we hiked Raccoon Bend Trail back to Brazos Trail so we could go back to the campsite. We didn’t hike too far or long because dad thought the trails were going to get busy. 

In the afternoon we just took it easy. Dad was right, while we were relaxing in our chair we saw a lot of people going towards the trails. Mom took me over to meet my neighbor. She was a pit bull and she wasn’t very friendly. That was ok mom took me back to our campsite, where I met a couple of dogs. One of the dogs I already met the first day I was here. She was a healer named Sassy. The other dog was a black lab named Lucky. They were very nice and so were their families. After they left my parents took me for a walk around the campground.

After our walk my mom and dad went on the hayride. They left me in the Minnie because dogs weren’t allowed. I was so tired I was happy just to stay in the Minnie so I could sleep. They told me they had a great time. On the hayride they sang Christmas carols. The hayride went to the entrance and around the campgrounds. My parents said it was pretty going through the RV campground because people had decorated their RVs for the occasion. Dad took pictures to show me. When my parents returned to the Minnie I was still sleeping. Before my parents went to bed mom took me for a walk around the campground so I could see the decorations they were fantastic. I think mom and dad are going to run the air condition tonight because it’s pretty humid.      
 

Sunday December 9, 2007

I woke my mom and dad up at 7:00 a.m. to go for a morning walk. Mom took me for a little walk around the campground. When we returned to the Minnie my parents and I ate some breakfast. After breakfast we went for our last walk around the campground before we continued our adventure to Brazos Bend State Park. During the walk we saw families breaking camp and taking their decorations down from the night before. We saw some boy scouts rolling up their sleeping bags and taking down their tents so they could head back home. When we returned to our campsite we sat in our chairs and watched other people breaking camp. We weren’t in any hurry so we didn’t break camp until about 10:00 a.m. because Brazos Bend Park is 50 miles from Stephen F. Austin Park.

A family in a tree

Click on photo to see all Brazos Bend State Park Photos

LOCATION: San Felipe, Texas     SITE: Brazos Bend State Park
DATE: 
12/09/07     SPACE: 00     TRIPS: 28     DISTANCE: 58 miles

Sunday December 9, 2007 

We arrived at Brazos Bend State Park at 11:30 a.m. Dad asked if we could get a campsite for the night. The lady at the entrance told him that the park was going to close at 10:00 p.m. for a week because of a control hunt. Dad asked if we could use the park for the day and she said yes. She gave us a map of the park and the hiking trails in the park. Brazos Bend Park is a gorgeous park. The park is very big. Dad drove to the picnic area so we could have a picnic and stretch our legs. At the picnic area there is a lake called Hale. You’re not allowed to swim in the lake or the rest of the lakes around the park because alligators live in the park. There is a trail that goes around the Hale Lake, so we hiked a little of it. We hiked to the fishing pier. The fishing pier is very nice and well maintained. As we hiked around the picnic area mom took pictures. When we returned to the Minnie we had lunch. Mom and dad had sandwiches and I had a little chicken for a snack. After our lunch we decided to go to Sam Houston National Forest to Double Lake Recreational Area. On the way out of the park we saw a little alligator crossing the road. Mom had trouble get the camera out of its case. By the time she got the camera ready it was too late for a picture the alligator was already in the water.

Flo and Mom crossing a bridge

Click on photo to see all Double Lake Recreation Area Photos

LOCATION: New Waverly, Texas     SITE: Double Lake Recreation Area in Sam Houston National Forest
DATE:
12/09/07 – 12/11/07     SPACE: 62    TRIPS: 28     DISTANCE: 132 miles

Double Lake Recreation Area is located in the Sam Houston National Forest. We've been in Sam Houston National Forest before. Last year we visit Ratcliff Recreation Area Double Lake is beautiful with all the pine trees. The hiking trails run through the pine trees. The trails are soft to walk on because of all the pine needles covering. The smells of the pine trees are reminders of be out in nature. Double Lake is a 23 acre lake. The area has many things to offer.

 

Sunday December 9, 2007

We arrived at Double Lake Recreation Area at 3:30 p.m. There is a booth at the main entrance but there wasn’t anyone in the booth. Dad decided to drive in the recreation area to locate a campsite. Once he located a space he drove back to fill out an envelope and pay for the campsite for two nights. After we paid for the campsite we went back to the campsite to set-up camp. Our campsite was located right next to the lake. The hiking trail around the lake is located right behind our campsite. When we finished setting up camp we walked around the camping area. Double Lake is a beautiful recreation area with all the pine trees. After walking to get familiar with the area we returned to the campsite to have some dinner. Dad barbequed hamburgers for mom and himself and I had my special food.

After dinner we decided to sit outside and enjoy nature. We stayed out until the mosquitoes started to sting us and than we went inside. Mom baked some sugar cookies and I slept. While we were relaxing inside the park manager came by. He introduced himself, his name was Craig. He wanted to know if we had paid and how long we were going to be there so he could put a reserve ticket on the space. Dad told him we paid for two nights and he put the money in the box at the entrance. Dad also asked if we decided to stay another night did we have to go all the way to the front entrance. Craig told him no, he could come to the manager’s R.V. and pay there.    

Monday December 10, 2007

I let mom and dad sleep in until 7:15 a.m. When they got out of bed we ate breakfast and than we went on a hike. We hiked 5 miles and for 3 hours. We hiked the trail that goes around the lake to the beach area. The lake trail is a nature trail so there are signs along the trail explaining different plants and animals. We hike the lake trail until we got to the mountain bike trail. The bike trail goes for 8 ½ miles. There are two loops an inner and an outer. We hiked the inner loop. The trail is fantastic. It goes through the trees and the trail’s surface is soft because pine needles and it doesn’t have big rocks. The surface makes it easy on your feet. During the hike we saw some beautiful orange mushrooms and met a mountain biker from Houston. The mountain biker liked dogs so I introduced myself to him. He stopped to play with me at the same time he visit with mom and dad. After the mountain biker left we continued our hike. The mountain biker was the only person we saw during our hike. When we returned to the campsite I was tired and hungry. Mom and dad had some wraps for lunch and I had a little chicken for a snack.

After lunch we rested awhile and than went on another hike. The hike we took was the rest of the bike trail we didn’t do this morning. We hiked 4 ½ miles for 2 hours. We hiked along the park boundaries fence and over the dam. The hike was great. In the middle of the hike mom and dad found a stump to sit on to rest. While they were resting I laid on the ground to rest. During our rest it started to sprinkle a little. I don’t really like the rain to hit me on the head so I was looking for some place to get out of the rain. I know it sounds weird that I don’t like the rain on my head but it’s the truth. When the rain started to come down faster mom and dad found a tree to stand under so I joined them. During the rain storm dad took pictures. In the forest the trees protect you from getting too wet from the rain. The rain didn’t last long after it stopped we continued our hike. We hiked back to the dam to get to the trail that leads back to the campsite. In the lake we saw a white bird and a few ducks. Mom took pictures for the bird and ducks. After was cross over the dam I was really tired so I knew it would take us awhile to get back to the Minnie. When we got back to the campsite we sat in our chairs until it started to rain again. We went inside for the rest of the day.

It drizzled on and off all day but when you’re hiking in the forest you really don’t seem to mind the rain because the trees protect you. I had a great day of hiking.         

Tuesday December 11, 2007

We woke up at 7:15 a.m. and had breakfast. After breakfast we went on a 4 mile hike for 2 ½ hours. Mom and dad decided to hike part of the Lone Star Trail. We hiked the lake trail to the dam where there’s a trail head for both the Mountain Bike Trail and the Lone Star Hiking Trail. The Lone Star Hiking Trail is for hikers only. It’s a beautiful trail that runs for 128 miles through the Sam Houston National Forest. It starts at Lake Conroe to Cleveland. There is a section of the Lone Star Hiking Trail at Double Lake Recreation Area. This section goes through trees and is very nice. We hiked about a mile of the Lone Star Hiking Trail to an old logging road, which we decided to hike. When we started down the logging road I saw a couple of horses going for a walk. I really wanted to say hello but dad didn’t want me to bother the horses or their master. We hiked a mile of the logging road when mom and dad decided to rest on a log. While they were resting I did some exploring in the trees. It’s gorgeous here in Sam Houston National Forest because there are so many beautiful pine trees and very peaceful. When mom and dad finished resting I was ready to head back to the campsite. When we reached the same spot I saw the horses earlier I saw their master. I wanted to introduce myself but dad called me back so I wouldn’t pester him. The Lone Star Hiking Trail is fantastic and very easy to hike. When we got back to the campsite mom and dad broke camp so we could start back to the house.

On the way home we stopped at Navasota to have lunch. After lunch mom and dad took me for a little walk around the campground so I could stretch my legs. It was windy so we didn’t stay too long. I’m very tired after all the hiking we’ve done the last week, so I slept all the way home.

  

December Trip to North Texas 2007

Dad and Flo playing with a dinosaur

Click on photo to see all Dinosaur Valley State Park Photos 

LOCATION: Glen Rose, Texas     SITE: Dinosaur Valley State Park
DATE:
12/26/07 – 12/28/07     SPACE: 17     TRIPS: 29     DISTANCE: 174 miles

Dinosaur Valley State Park is located in northwest of Glen Rose Texas. The park is a 72-acre park and Paluxy River runs through the park. There are many activities to do during your stay at Dinosaur Valley State Park. The activities are camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation. You can see dinosaur tracks in the riverbed and two fiberglass models of a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. There is a 100-acre area for you to take your horses. The other amenities the park has to offer are:


Wednesday December 26, 2007

This is the first time my parents and I have been at Dinosaur Valley State Park. It’s a beautiful park with the Paluxy River running through it. The park has two dinosaur statues and actual dinosaur tracks in the riverbed. I’m very excited because I have never seen dinosaur tracks before. I’m not sure what a dinosaur is. My parents tried to explain them to me but maybe I will understand better when I see the tracks and statues. My parents only have seen dinosaur tracks in a book now they can see them in person.

We arrived at Dinosaur Valley State Park at 2:00 p.m. and dad checked in. While mom and I were waiting for dad we walked and mom took pictures. As we were waiting I met a few people, who were just staying for the day. After dad checked in we went to our campsite. Once we got to the campsite mom and dad set up camp. When they finished we ate lunch. For lunch mom and dad had leftovers from their Christmas dinner. I had a snack.

After lunch we went for a 2 ½ hour hike for 4 miles. We hiked to the dinosaur track site #2. Where there are signs explaining the history of the dinosaur tracks and what people are doing to preserve the tracks. Then we walked down some stairs to get to the Paluxy River. Once you get to the river you have to cross it. In order to get to the other side you have to walk on rocks. Be careful crossing the river because some of the rocks will move and you might fall in the river. The river isn’t that deep but your shoes will get wet. Mom had a little trouble getting across and I didn’t because if I didn’t want to cross on the rocks I could just walk in the water. But I preferred to walk on the rocks because it’s more exciting this way. When you get to the other side you can see the dinosaur tracks. This was real cool. Dad took pictures of the dinosaur tracks. After we looked at the tracks we continued our hike. We hiked about a mile when we met a family of four. The two teenage girls pet me and their mom said hi to me. Their mom asked my parents if you had to cross the river to get to other side and dad told her yes. Their dad was farther down the trail and held out his arms for me. So I took that as a clue and I ran up to him. I surprised him because I almost jumped into his arms. He didn’t care he just laughed and said he asked for it by putting his arms out like that. After the family left we hiked up and down hills. It is so beautiful because there are a lot of trees to keep you cool. The trails are very nice to hike because there’re not any rocks to worry about and they are very well kept up. When we were heading back to the campground I saw a couple of guys hiking so I decided to introduce myself. Mom and dad told them I was friendly and they said they liked dogs. One of the guys was hiking with a guitar and dad asked him if it was hard to hike with the guitar. The guy said not really because it didn’t weigh that much. Mom and dad held me back for a little while so the guys could get ahead of us. We met up with them again when we got to the river crossing. We waited for them to cross over to the other side and then we went across the river. When we got to the other side we hiked to the parking lot and then went to the campsite. When we got back to the campsite it was time for dinner.

We went inside to have dinner. Mom and dad had pizza for dinner and I had my special food. After dinner we decided to stay inside because it was cold and we were tired. After mom rested a little while, she baked some cookies for dessert.           

Thursday December 27, 2007

We slept in until 7:30 a.m.Mom and dad didn’t want to get out bed because it was cold. When they finally got up out of bed it was in the 30’s. We ate breakfast and then went for a hike. The hike was 7 ½ miles and took 4 hours. On the way to the trailhead we saw deer in a meadow across from the parking lot we walked yesterday. Once we got to the trailhead we hiked to the river. Today you had to be extra careful crossing the river because there was ice on some of the rocks. We were almost across the river, when I stopped on the rocks and dad put one of his feet on a rock and it went into the river. He ended up with both feet in the water to keep his balance. Mom was made it all the way across the river without getting her feet wet. But we made it across the river to the white trail that goes around the park boundaries. The trail went through the primitive camping area, where we saw a tent. I thought that person had to be crazy to be in a tent because it was so cold. I hope the camper had a heater. We continued hiking down the trail until it met up with the orange trail. Then we hiked the orange trail to the green trail. Once we got to the green trail my parents saw a bench and decided to rest. During my parents rest I went exploring in the trees. After I finished exploring we hiked down the green trail to get down to the river. So how we didn’t end up at the river we ended up at the observation point. The scenery is gorgeous and dad took pictures. You can see the beautiful trees and you can even see people crossing the river. That was cool to watch them. My parents decided to take another trail from the observation point that they thought would join up with the green trail to get back to the other side. I really liked this trail because there were some challenges. It took us along a ridge until it ran out then us had to climb down the hill. This is great! There were leaves all over the trail you had to walk on and they felt good on my tired feet. Also there were trees to help you get down the hill. Once we were at the bottom we were on the wrong side of the park boundaries fence so we had to find a way to get on the other side. We hiked along the fence until dad found an opening. It looked like other people had the same problem we did. We had to crawl under the fence and that was fun. When you got on the right side of the fence there is a huge pasture with high grass in it. We had to choose either to cross the pasture or walk along the fence. We decided to walk across the pasture. I liked this choose because I could run through the tall grass and at some places it was so high I could hardly see of it. When we reached the other side once again we were on the wrong side of the fence. This time it was more of a challenge to find an opening. While we were walking along the fence looking for an opening we saw the blue trail we were looking for. Dad couldn’t find an opening so he made one for us. He had to hold the fence up so mom and I could get through. Mom said I did great knowing exactly what to do. After we were on the blue trail we went to the river crossing but because of all the rain we had this year the river’s current had been so strong that there wasn’t a place to cross without getting wet. So we decided to hike to a crossing we had walked over yesterday. When we arrived at the crossing we saw a family on the other side so we waited for them to cross. The family had two little girls and their parents had to carry them across. Mom took pictures of them crossing I thought this was great because it gave me a chance to rest and also it gave me a chance to meet more people. They were crossing the river to see the dinosaur tracks. When they were finished it was our turn. Dad and I went first over the crossing we made it without getting wet. Now it was mom’s turn, she almost made it all the way until she decide to put her foot on a rock close to her than her foot got wet. Dad and I thought that was funny because she didn’t have to do that she just needed to step a little bigger and she would have made it all the way without getting wet. After we crossed the river we hiked down to the dinosaur statues.

The dinosaurs were hugh!!! Dad and I stood under the dinosaurs and mom took pictures. While mom was taking pictures dad read the signs. One sign explained how the dinosaurs were made. The other two signs explained what kind of dinosaurs the statues are and a little about each one. After mom was finish taking pictures we walked back to the campsite. I was getting tired and so were mom and dad.

When we returned to the Minnie we went inside because it was still cold outside. Before we went inside dad saw a stream of water at our campsite. He found out where the water was coming from. Dad found out that it got so cold last night that the water in hose froze up and broke part of the connecter he had put on the water faucet to make an extension. So he disconnects the hose and turned off the water. He was glad we were in the Minnie because we still had water we could use.

For the rest of the day we stayed in the Minnie. Mom worked on her word book and dad read a book. I slept on mom’s seat in the cab of the Minnie. While I was napping the sun came through the windshield and this feels so good. I really like lying in the sun. I needed to get rested up because tomorrow we’re going to Cleburne State Park.
  
Friday December 28, 2007

We woke up at 7:45 a.m. Mom took me for a little walk around the campgrounds. While we were walking I saw my neighbor, my neighbor was a young black lab. I wanted to visit with the dog but mom said I couldn’t because the dog’s masters were sleeping and she didn’t want me to bother them. That was ok because I was still tired from our hike yesterday. When we returned to the Minnie dad was up and we had breakfast. After breakfast we went for a short hike. This is the last hike here at Dinosaur Valley State Park we’re going to Cleburne State Park. Our hike was 2 miles for an hour. We didn’t hike too far because my parents didn’t want to get wet by crossing over the river. We hiked along the river to the dinosaur tracks crossing and around the campground. The temperature today is in the 40’s so it was 10 degrees warm. When we returned to the Minnie mom and dad broke camp so we could go to Cleburne State Park.  


                  

Flo waiting for mom and dad

Click on photo to see all Cleburne State Park Photos 

LOCATION: Cleburne, Texas     SITE: Cleburne State Park
DATE: 12/28/07 – 12/30/07     SPACE: 21    TRIPS: 29     DISTANCE: 25 miles

Cleburne State Park is located 25 miles southwest of Dinosaur Valley State Park. It’s a beautiful park with a small lake. Cleburne State Park has activities for everyone. The hikers and mountain bikers have 5 ½ miles of hiking and biking trails around the park. The fishermen have Cedar Lake to fish off the banks for crappie, bass, catfish, blue gill and red ear sunfish. The only boats allowed on Cedar Lake cannot create wakes. Cedar Lake has a bench for swimmers. Cleburne State Park has many trees to keep you cool while you hike, bike, picnic or just sitting at the campground. The trees that Cleburne has are juniper (cedar), oak, elm mesquite, redbud, cottonwood, sycamore, ash and sumac. There is a lot of wildlife to observe and photograph such as white-tailed deer, turkey, duck, armadillo, squirrel, skunk, bobcat, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, opossum, coyote, and many species of birds. Cleburne State Park provides many amenities.

Friday December 28, 2007

We arrived at Cleburne State Park at 11:00 a.m. Dad checked in at the park headquarters. The lady at the office assigned dad a site in a small circle that only had one other RV but they were going to leave later today. So we were going to be alone in the circle. After dad parked the Minnie my parents set up camp. When they finished we went on a hike. It was very close to lunch mom and dad decided to just take a short hike. We hiked 2 ½ miles. We hiked Coyote Run and Whispering Meadow trails. Coyote Run Trail is a 2 mile round-trip nature trail we hiked a mile of it. It’s an easy trail to hike because it doesn’t have any rocks and doesn’t go up and down hills. Whispering Meadow Trail is a 1.7 mile round-trip trail we hiked a mile of it. This trail is a little tougher because there are rocks and hills. Both trails are gorgeous with all the trees. After we hike we had to walk along the main road to get back to the campground. When returned to the campground we had lunch. Mom and dad had soup and I had a snack. We stayed in the Minnie for the rest of the day because it was too cold to sit outside. Once in awhile mom and dad would take me for walk around the campground.

Saturday December 29, 2007

I let my mom and dad sleep until 7:45 a.m. because it was another cold night. I’m ready to get up now. When mom and dad finally got out of bed we had breakfast. Then we went on a hike. We hiked 6 ½ miles for 3 hours. We started at Fossil Ridge Trail which starts at our campground. There is a very steep hill at the beginning of the trail. I didn’t mind the hill at all but it took a while for mom and dad to climb it, by the time they got to the top they were breathing heavy. They didn’t mind that because that’s part of hiking and it’s good for your heart. After mom and dad rested we continued our hike. This trail runs along the park boundaries fence. There is a road along side of the fence the road is private property. The road is owned by Texas Lime Company. Fossil Ridge Trail is a beautiful trail with trees surrounding it. While we were hiking the trail I heard a deer snorting at us I stopped exploring to find the deer but I never did see it. So I continued to explore. We hiked the Fossil Rim Trail to Cedar Lake Dam. When we got to the dam we hiked over it to the spillway. Cedar Lake is small but very nice. Mom took pictures of the lake and the surroundings. After she finished we headed to the spillway. Once we got to the spillway we meet a few men. They were climbing down the spillway on the other side. I was excited maybe my mom and dad will let me play with them. I was on leash but when dad found out we had to climb down the spillway he let loose of me. You have to be careful climb down because the ledges are very narrow and if you don’t put your feet in the right place you could fall. Mom and dad hiked down the spillway slow and very careful. I didn’t have any problems because I have four paws to help me down the wall of the spillway. When we could to the bottom I introduced myself to the men. Mom and dad talked to them for awhile. We found out they were workers and they were there to pick up trash on the trails. Once you’re at the bottom of the spillway you have to climb up the other side. This wasn’t as hard because you can hold on to the little ledges if you have to. I really enjoyed this part of the hike because the spillway made it a challenge and I never climbed down and up a spillway wall before. We hiked the Spillway Trail until we got to Coyote Run Trail. We hike Coyote Run Trail until we reached the main road. Coyote Run has signs along the trail to identify the plants you see along the trail. The hike was great because of everything you can see while you hike. Every time you hike you can see different things. I’m tired so I think I will head back to the Minnie. We walked the main road to get us back to the Minnie. While we were hiking more people were showing up. In our circle we are no longer by ourselves. Across from us there was a little boy and wanted to know if I bite. Dad told him no. But I was too tired to say hi. I went inside the Minnie so I can rest and watch people showing up.

Sunday December 30, 2007

We woke up at 7:45 a.m. Mom took me for a walk around the campground. When we got back to the Minnie we had breakfast. After breakfast mom and dad started to get ready to go home. We've had a great time at Cleburne State Park and we met some people but now it's time to go home. We’re not going straight home, dad said he’s going to stop at a couple of places. The places we stopped at were a Corp of Engineer Park off of Lake Whitney and Belton.

Last year mom and dad had stopped at the Corp Park on the way back from one of their trips. Dad wanted to go back to see if the park has changed any in a year. When we got there we found out that it had changed. The Corp was developing it with a camping area right off the lake. The area when it’s finish will have hookups for RVs. That will be neat than maybe will come back and camp with our boat. The park already has a boat ramp so it would be easy to put the boat in the lake. You have to be careful putting the boat in because there are sand barges. It looks like once the park is finish it will be very nice. Now it’s time to head towards Belton.

The last time we were in Belton the lake was closed because of the rain. Today the water is down and the lake is open. Lake Belton is always a pretty lake. Lake Belton is also a Corp of Engineer Lake. So you won’t get too many boats on it at one time. The reason we came to Belton was to check up on our land we bought. Mom and dad wanted to see how much development was going on. Belton is still growing but it’s not growing like Austin. When we were in Belton we stopped and had lunch. After lunch we went home. I’m so tired that I slept all the way home.    

 

December Fun Times 2007

 

A motel at Coco Beach

Click on photo to see all Florida Trip Photos

I’ve been very busy camping and hiking this month I need a little vacation from my parents. I'm going to visit my Aunt Louise and my two cousins for a week. Maybe I can get some rest while I’m visit. I'm going let my mom write about their adventure to Florida. Here is my parents’ adventure.

LOCATION: Merritt and Tampa, Florida    DATE: 12/15/07 – 12/20/07     DISTANCE: 1188 miles

Saturday December 15, 2007

Every year at this time Larry and I usually go snow skiing but this year we decided to go to Florida. Larry and I are water skiers and we sold our boat in February. Larry’s been looking for a new boat ever since. Larry finally found the right boat for us. The only problem is it is located in Tampa Florida. So we dropped Flo off at her Aunt Louise’s house and now we going to drive to Tampa Florida for the boat. A few months ago our friends Paul and Roberta Coates moved to Merritt Island so we decided while we were going to be in Florida we would stop by and visit with them.

We left Austin Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. to start our adventure. The first day Larry drove to Pensacola. We have never been in Pensacola before so we decided to stay over night there. We heard that the beaches are gorgeous in Pensacola. The sand on the beaches is supposed to be white.

Sunday December 16, 2007

We woke up in the morning and had breakfast. Then Larry drove to the beaches. It was windy and cold so we wore jackets while we were walking on the beaches. The beaches in Pensacola are very beautiful with the white sand and beaches are very well maintained. We stopped at a couple of beaches. One of the beaches we walk had houses, motels, shops, condominiums and picnic area. The picnic area had barbeque grills and each grill has a container to put your used charcoal in. While we were walking the beaches Larry collected seashells. We took pictures of the ocean and the beaches. We drove around Pensacola for about 2 hours.

After we left Pensacola Larry drove to Merritt Island. When we arrived at Merritt Island it was 5:30 p.m. Larry drove around the island and than we decided to go to Coco Beach for the evening. We checked in a quaint motel name Luna Sea. After we checked in we drove around Coco Beach. When it got dark we returned to the motel and called it a night.

Monday December 17, 2007 - Tuesday December 18, 2007

In the morning we drove to the beaches. The beaches are beautiful, the sand isn’t as white as in Pensacola but the sand is still very nice. The beaches are located behind the motels on the main strip of Coco Beach. We walked down a walkway to get to the beach. The walkway has vines and trees growing over it. It was gorgeous walking down the walkway. Once we got to the beach, we walked on the beach, collected seashells and took pictures.

We arrived at Merritt Island about 9:00 a.m. and Larry drove to Paul and Roberta’s house. Larry parked right in front of their house and gave them a call to see if they were around. Paul answered the phone and he was surprise we were right outside of his house. We spent the next two days with Paul and Roberta. They showed us the island and the surrounding area. There are beautiful water front homes with docks. Paul and Roberta’s home is gorgeous but it’s not waterfront. They said they couldn’t afford waterfront. While we were visiting Paul and Roberta took us to a restaurant right on the ocean. We ate inside because it was too cold to eat outside. After lunch Larry took some pictures of the boats docked on the pier and the pelicans on the boats.We had a great time with Paul and Roberta. It was fantastic to see JB and he was happy to see us.

Tuesday December 18, 2007

We left Paul and Roberta about 2:00 p.m. to head towards Tampa. By the time we got to Tampa the boat dealer was close, so we have to wait for tomorrow to pick up the boat. We checked into a motel close to the boat dealer. We walked across the street to grab a bite to eat and than we turned in for the night.  

Wednesday December 19, 2007

We woke up at 8:00 a.m. and had some breakfast. During breakfast we met a man, who rode a motorcycle all the way from New Braunfels, Texas. We were amazed because the weather wasn’t too friendly for a motorcycle. The weather has been cold and wet. We visit with him for a little while than we went to get the boat. We were a little early but the dealer was already open. We met with one of the owners to buy the boat. Before we closed the deal we took the boat for a test drive. We didn’t have to go too far because the dealer was located on a private lake. The test drive didn’t last long because the air was cold. Larry was very impress with the boat so we bought it. The boat we bought is a 2000 Mastercraft 205.

After we closed the deal we headed back home. We weren’t in any hurry to get back so Larry drove to Baton Rouge and called it a day. By stopping at Baton Rouge it will make tomorrow an easier day of driving. During the drive to Baton Rouge we had to stop occasionally because it was raining so hard you could see in front of you. Once we were in Baton Rouge we called it a day.      

Thursday December 20, 2007

We woke up about 7:00 a.m. and had breakfast before we continued our adventure. We were hoping to get through Houston before it got too busy. We made it through Houston about 1:00 p.m. After we left Houston we decided to swing by Louise’s house to pick up Flo. We arrived at Round Rock about 4:30 p.m. We surprised Louise because she was going to bring Flo home on Christmas Eve but she was happy we decided to come home early. We also surprised her because she thought we were going snow skiing in Colorado and we didn’t tell her we changed our mind. She was very excited for us when we told her we went to Florida for our Christmas present. We visit with Louise for awhile and than went home.

I was very excited to see mom and dad. I always have a great time with Rusty and Regal but I am happy to go home.I'm glad mom and dad came home early now it gives me time to rest before Christmas.

Flo and Mom opening presents together  

Click on photo to see all Christmas 2007 Photos


LOCATION: Austin, Texas     SITE: My House     DATE: 12/24/07 to 12/25/07

Every year my Aunt Louise comes out to celebrate Christmas with my parents and me. Aunt Louise shows up on Christmas Eve to open our Christmas presents. When Aunt Louise first arrives I run out the door to greet her. Than we go inside so my parents and Aunt Louise can visit before dinner. After dinner, we open our presents. It takes about two hours to open all the presents. When we finish opening the presents we call Grandma in Tucson to wish her a merry Christmas. After the phone call Aunt Louise goes home to Rusty and Regal so they can open presents, too. On Christmas Aunt Louise comes out to celebrate Christmas dinner with us. Mom makes a delicious dinner. She cooks turkey, dressing, mash potatoes and gravy, homemade noodles and puts a relish tray together. Aunt Louise brings a pie for dessert. I like the holidays because I get turkey to eat and a lot of presents.