For us, August is the hottest, and least desirable month to go camping, and at Pedernales State Park it is their wettest month of the year: Hot and rainy, so why go camping? Because we’re Covid-bored, and our 10th Wedding Anniversary is in August, and we’re still amped about the purchase of our new converted cargo trailer which was recently finally completely built out for us. On our maiden voyage it was literally just a shell we threw a mattress in, and we still had a great time! We also had our new Electric Bikes on board this time, and we were excited about trying them out on the hilly terrain.
Our GPS chose a really dangerous road for trailers to go down to get to the main park entrance. Don’t take Yeager road. Any other option will work. We had to exit the truck and walk into the HQ building to check in, which we didn’t like just due to delta variant issues. We had Spot 9, which had nice tree coverage, space, and privacy for us. Lots 7, 8, 9, and 11 looked nice also, but pay attention to which site you pick, because some had no shade, or much of a view at all.
It wasn’t difficult backing in, but our trailer is only 12 ft. It seemed kind of tight to me for longer trailers, but they were making it look rather easy. They did have to park their trucks sideways at the entrance of their site to prevent the tail of their trucks from sticking out into the street.
Day 1 was the hot, sweaty set-up we figured it would be, though we really caught a break the whole time we were there, as temps in Texas can hit the high 90s, or 100s this time of year, and we had some overcast days and temps that didn’t get higher than 91. Our initial campsite set-up was followed up by a fun ride on our e-bikes, and then a night of sleeplessness with thunder and lightening throughout the night as the backdrop to Anniversary sex, and keeping ourselves occupied with offline ipad apps and articles we had previously downloaded.
Oddly, there was no rain all night, but it started up heavily the morning of day 2. By the time we exited the trailer close to noon, the fabric atop our trusty pop-up canopy was bulging excessively in one corner. When we tried to resolve this, the whole thing bent and collapsed. We had to junk it. It had been very good to us, and was the last relic of our tent-camping years. That thing knew more about me than my kids.
I was raising my eyebrows, and silently laughing when Erika told me she could hang this huge brown tarp we had brought through the trees so we could use it for our campsite canopy. It just didn’t seem feasible looking at it. Girl Scout proved me wrong. She threw a ball of string over the tall branches, worked at a knot on the string going through the tarp, and before I knew it we were hoisting up a giant tarp that kept us dry, and shaded for the rest of the trip.
The rain that day kept us in the trailer for a while, where Erika kept me entertained by showing me how to play Rummy. This turned out to be a really fun diversion for us the whole trip when we retreated to the trailer during the hottest hours of each day, or just before going to sleep for the night. Erika almost always beat me, but I didn’t mind, as she played topless as we took turns nipping on the Jim Beam bottle. Erika made some great-tasting thick-layered sandwiches for lunch each day, which we usually ate in the trailer.
Day 3 we decided to try out some of the park trails on our E-bikes. We tried both the Warfle, and Trammel Crossing trails, and although Erika fared better than I on them, we both agreed it wasn’t the type of riding we like, and wasn’t too good for the bikes. On any regular bike you have to muscle your way up the inclines; not so on an e-bike, and I couldn’t get use to this. If you try to naturally peddle your way up an incline on an e-bike, it will give out on you. You have to use the electric pedal assist, and it works beautifully.
Erika understood this and was maneuvering quite effortlessly up and down the gravelly, rocky inclines. My previous experience was on a mountain bike, so it took me a bit to adjust to how to take advantage of the E-bikes best attribute – It’s electric stupid; work smarter, not harder, and use the bike’s pedal assist feature. Neither of us liked the brake wear and tear needed to go down these particular trails.
We drove around later to scope out other possible trails we could try, and almost got our truck stuck in the wet clay surrounding the equestrian trails. 4 Wheel Drive got us out of that, although if anyone saw us there, it probably looked like we were doing donuts for fun. We did determine the trail to Pedernales Falls overlook would be easy enough on our bikes.
That night was what camping was all about to us. It started off at sunset where I’m guessing it was Saharan dust high up in the sky that was causing the whole sky, and our campsite to glow a gorgeous violet pinkish haze I’d never seen before. We fired up the pit and grilled sausage, corn on the cob, chicken breasts, potatoes, jalapeno poppers, and something new Erika wanted to try on the grill – carrots.
We put 4 whole carrots on the grill over direct-heat, turning them every few minutes for 10 minutes to get grill marks on them. Then Erika buttered tin foil with garlic herb butter, and wrapped the carrots in it, and put them off to the side over indirect heat for about 45 minutes, and everything came up roses. It was a King’s gluttonous dinner. The carrots had the consistency of a lush sweet potato.
We were blessed with a clear night sky that night, and could see all of the stars through the clearing at the top of the trees that surrounded us, including meteors throughout the night falling from the Perseids meteor shower. We got a lot of wishes in as we hung out and drunk beer by our campfire listening to Van Morrison all night.
That night was the first time we had a really good night’s sleep in our trailer. We found a way to minimize the humidity inside by purchasing a small humidifier, cracking the windows slightly, and pointing a fan up towards the ac unit vents that was helping distribute the outside and inside air a little better throughout trailer. We woke up and had a slow and easy Day 4, as we were a little hung over from the day before. We drove into Johnson City about 20 miles away and picked up a few supplies.
On our last day, we rode our E-bikes a long way out on the paved roads of the park, riding from our campsite to view the Swimming Area of the park, and then headed all the way to the trail that leads to the Pedernales Falls overlook spot. The bikes rode effortlessly up and down the hilly roads, and the trail to the overlook was easy as well, and what a view when you get there! We then rode back to the campsite, cooled down, napped, and grilled skirt steak that night for dinner to close out our trip.
The Park was very pretty. Lots of wildlife abounds. We had deer, squirrels, and foxes in and around our site. The park hosts were very nice. They managed the fire and ice supplies from their parked trailers a short ride from the campsites. The bathrooms were nice. I’ve been in cleaner, but I’ve seen a lot worse. There was a private shower/bathroom, in addition to Men and Womens bathrooms. There were a lot of families, kids, and dogs around, but they didn’t bother us. We had enough space and privacy. The park seemed like a nice place for kids, as they were riding bikes, and running, and biking up and down the streets at night, and clearly enjoying the swimming and inter-tubing in the river.