42 Things I Noticed at Guadalupe State Park

It has been a while since my last solo adventure at Guadalupe State Park. I had spent a night with friends in freezing temperatures back in December, but that’s neither here nor there.  As always, I noticed a few things…

handwriting
#1 Needs Improvement
  1. I wrote this list down on paper and thought about posting scans of the pages. I looked at my terrible handwriting and thought better of it.
  2. I think I like taking Blanco Road up to the park instead of 281, fewer lights and a more relaxed drive.
  3. Also more jackasses tailgating you on the slower parts, but what can you do?
  4. Had to take a site with electricity due to the water-only campsites being worked on, oh well.
  5. Nothing like that OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T BREAK feeling when putting up tent poles.
  6. Of course the sun comes out after I set up the tent and go hiking.
  7. Sound that I don’t miss: Vehicles.
  8. Yes, I have my phone on me, for pictures. With the ringer muted and my smartwatch on, I don’t have to worry about missing calls.
  9. There aren’t many people here, which is nice.
  10. Since I don’t go outdoors as often as I should, I find myself constantly wondering what all the noises are.
  11. Lots of butterflies about, even managed to photograph a few.
  12. More work in the park being done near the river, not sure what’s going on there.
  13. Beginning of hike: Feels good! One hour later: Whew!  Nearing camp on the hike back: OMG ARE WE THERE YET?
  14. Got spooked by a large bird taking off from the branches above me, nothing like that WOOSH of big wings flapping.
  15. As I neared camp, I wondered if maybe I should have packed sandwiches instead of canned food.

    butterfly
    #11 Butterfly!
  16. Surprised I haven’t burned off my eyebrows from lighting my camp stove yet.
  17. It’s nice to have camping cooking equipment instead of borrowing from the kitchen.
  18. Upon further review, hot food for lunch hit the spot!
  19. Slightly disappointed that I still have a cell signal, but at the same time it’s good to know it’s there.
  20. I’d been going nuts trying to find one of my flashlights only to find I had left it in my tent when I folded it up back in April.
  21. Note to self: Take the picture first before trying to move in closer. Armadillos spook easily.
  22. Also: Don’t only pack food things that contribute to heartburn. Off to H-E-B.
  23. Yes, I always have to say ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ whenever I light my lantern.
  24. Had a story idea pop in my head mid-afternnon. It had an unfortunate ending until a more optimistic one came to me during dinner. Don’t write when hangry if you want happy endings.
  25. If you like them, they’re ‘critters,’ if you don’t, they’re ‘varmints.’
  26. They had better not be any awoo-ing while I’m trying to sleep tonight.
  27. Heard a bunch of what I hope were fireworks at around 8:24pm.
  28. This being Texas, gunfire isn’t necessarily unusual, though.
  29. Shop towels aren’t bad for washing dishes.
  30. Always gotta find that one dark spot in camp for, how can I put it, ‘taking care of business’ without having to walk to the men’s room 😀
  31. Got spooked by a pair of raccoons fighting in a nearby tree.
  32. I had put up my food and know to not feed the wildlife, so to the victor, go no spoils.
  33. I’m not saying I’m paranoid about raccoons, but I’m making damn sure the Excelsior (my Honda CR-v) is locked whenever I’m not nearby.
  34. Almost fell into temptation during the trip to H-E-B, but avoided stopping at the Whataburger across the street for dinner.
  35. Thing I forgot: Radio.
  36. Idea: Replace the ‘nut-buster’ tripod chair I use in the tent with a small beanbag.
  37. Nice to know the animal I’ve been hearing for the last half hour was just an armadillo
  38. Armadillos are noisy!

    cooking
    #17 A perfect fit!
  39. My battery pack can charge my phone all the way…now that I have a smaller phone!
  40. The overnight weather was perfect, cool without being too cold.
  41. I chose poorly at breakfast; sometimes a McDonald’s McGriddle isn’t worth the lousy service.
  42. Going to pass by my old office on the drive home, going to be hard to not flip the bird at the building as I pass.
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67 Things I Noticed Duing Wild Nights 2017

Wild Nights 2017 took place a few weekends ago, and I had a great time there with friends.  We also took a stop at the Choctaw Casino Resort – Durant on the way home.  Let it ride!

  1. DSC00512PREP/THURSDAY Taking a 14″ grill along, which is adding a layer of ‘fun’ to prepping for the trip
  2. Not having many Con Talk listeners means I’m not too worried about a resident of Wilburton, Oklahoma hearing me and WolfBoy talk noise about their town.
  3. Always have to make one last trip to the store!
  4. Good idea: Use Telegram to communicate. Bad idea: Virtually no cell service at convention.
  5. Leaving my rings at home.  Not wearing them only bothers me when I walk out of the restroom.
  6. Thing I left at home: condiments and tortillas >.<
  7. When they say chicken strip dinner at Braum’s, they ain’t joking!
  8. What’s with the pudding cup, though?
  9. Picked up tortillas and BBQ sauce at the Waxahachie HEB, crisis averted!
  10. We drove 400+ miles across Texas to eat at Pizza Hut in Oklahoma on Thursday night. 😀
  11. Gas lantern providing light.  AM/FM radio providing weather and entertainment. Hooray for old technology!
  12. Super-bright LED lanterns should come with deflectors.
  13. If you’re setting up a tent at 1AM with a super-bright LED lantern, you suck.
  14. FRIDAY I’m genuinely a little disappointed that I can get a cell signal out here, but that’s what airplane mode is for.
  15. It’s driving me nuts that I get notifications on my phone, but I can’t actually SEE the thing I’m being notified about.
  16. Glad to get snapshots of a few fursuiters…a shame my friend whose fursuit fan I fixed wasn’t one of them.
  17. The criteria for being a guest at a furcon now seems to be: Be somewhat popular!
  18. People playing Nintendo Switch in the mess hall…REALLY?
  19. Hearing hacking and coughing throughout the camp, glad we’re outside
  20. Electrical cords running into tents make me sad.
  21. McDonald’s for breakfast on Friday, we’re really roughing it!
  22. They seem to be a little behind in getting situated, no crafting/panel tents were set up until Friday afternoon.
  23. We went hiking and everybody stopped when cell service resumed.
  24. Nothing like BBQ hamburgers for lunch and dinner!
  25. Fancy people have to melt the chocolate and the marshmallow for fancy s’mores.
  26. Maybe too fancy: I don’t think graham crackers should have grill marks.
  27. WolfBoy does not care how much your beef jerky costs.
  28. Nothing like being overprepared for the storm Friday night.
  29. The campfire area was closed off on Friday night.  Aw.
  30. On the plus side: NO MIDNIGHT AWOO.

    IMG_2164
    #31: Storm’s a-brewin’
  31. SATURDAY Storm didn’t come until early today, but we were ready for it!
  32. There is a special place in hell for people that have a crowing rooster as their alarm…and abandon their phones
  33. We don’t care for quiche so it was off to Mickey D’s again.
  34. Are there really that many people wanting quiche and crepes for breakfast at a camping trip??
  35. PROTIP: If you haven’t figured this out already about Wild Nights: Bring food.
  36. I’d forgotten how polite small town grocery store people can be.  NO, I DON’T NEED HELP WITH…oh
  37. My hometown doesn’t even have a grocery store anymore, so yeah.
  38. I ran a stop light in town.  Sorry.
  39. “Your poncho is pink.” “It was red when it was folded up.”
  40. Not to be mean to the artists, but once the rain starts, maybe rearrange the tables so people can sit in the mess hall and eat
  41. Random conversation I could have done without: “What is your name?” “Eduardo Soliz.” *long pause* “WHY?” “You look like some Asian guy.”  HUH?
  42. Nothing says ‘oblivious to my surroundings’ quite like people blocking the whole sidewalk that is SURROUNDED BY MUD.  MOVE IT.
  43. LOL at the weather radio saying ‘Arkansaa.’
  44. Waiting in the bathroom for the storm to pass.
  45. About to storm like crazy but DAMMIT WE BOUGHT FAJITAS AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FAJITAS.
  46. And s’mores, of course
  47. “Okay, guys, here’s the plan to get in the car, we’re going to…” *BOOM* RUN LIKE CRAZY!
  48. What do you do when the camping con gets rained out? Sleep in a bunkhouse!
  49. SUNDAY Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold. Crap it’s cold.
  50. I know it annoyed some people, but the 90s car alarm repeatedly going off in the morning was hilarious to me.
  51. Note to self: Buy a cheap shower head for the small bathroom shower.
  52. And maybe some soap holders.
  53. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that hardly any of this has to do with the con itself.
  54. PROTIP: Get your heads out of your phones or you might miss something cool like a truck doing a Dukes of Hazzard over a hill in the opposite lane.
  55. I think they meant to do that.
  56. The business that gave us the Fudge Cheese Butter sign appears to be no more, aww
  57. AFTERWARDS/CASINO Funny that ‘Try Everything’ comes on over the PA as we’re entering the casino.  THEY KNOW.
  58. I had to at least try the slots that had bears on them…no better luck, though.
  59. We had to eat ‘Krispy Krunchy Chicken’ after seeing the name. Tasty!

    IMG_2175
    #61 Not-so-sore loser
  60. Parrot Beach Bar and Grill at the Choctaw Casino Resort was good, shame it’s going to become Just Another Mexican Restaurant in a month or so.
  61. No luck at the casino, guess it’s back to work on Tuesday.
  62. If you’re dropping money into the slots at 9AM you might need help.
  63. Yes, that includes me.
  64. I wonder which table at breakfast is ours…OH, it’s the one with the T-Rex hand puppet.
  65. When  you have a hand puppet on your table, some rando will inevitably ask why it is there.
  66. After the fact, I have a box of hot cocoa and two things of Jiffy Pop left. Stupid weather.
  67. While the con itself wasn’t much to speak of, we had a great time!