Fort Parker State Park

I added a new blog page for state parks last week. Just thought it’d be easier to keep track of which parks I still have to mark off the list. There was a physical list but I lost it … twice. An online list seems to be the better way to go. Check out “Texas State Parks Checklist” in the menu above or click here to see which parks we’ve been to and which ones are still on our to-visit list. The page also has links to the blog for that park (if there is one).

The husband ended up having to stay home and work so I hit Fort Parker State Park by myself… the downside of being married to a lawyer. I don’t mind the hiking and camping by myself but the solo driving isn’t exactly my favorite.

I tried out some permethrin for the first time on this trip. I sprayed my clothes and tent in the garage and left it there to dry since it is toxic to cats in its liquid form. No neurotoxins for my kitties! It seemed to work pretty well, I think. I didn’t see any ticks but there were some mosquitoes that mostly stayed away. They would land on my clothes and then fly away. It worked better on my socks and shirts than on my pants but I think that was my fault. The video I watched showed a woman spraying clothes hanging on a line but when I tried this with the pants most of the liquid beaded up and rolled off. I think the wicking material of the pants didn’t give the permethrin long enough to soak in and bond with the fabric. Next time I will try laying the pants flat and then flipping them over. Lesson learned!

I brought along all my rain gear but somehow managed to miss the rain at home AND at the park. It rained in both places while I was driving somewhere in the middle. I was partially bummed that I didn’t get to test out my rain gear but also happy that I didn’t have to test out my rain gear. I got there in the late afternoon and set up my camp. I had the whole primitive area to myself which was nice. I took off and hiked the 5ish mile Baines Creek Trail and saw the CCC-built dam across the Navasota River. Other than being followed by a bee for a mile, it was a nice hike. I think it was trying to make sure I wasn’t going to go near their new home. Bees without a hive are super scary… and loud. It looked like they were moving in to a hollow part of a tree. I got a blurry picture as I flew by trying not to scream like a girl. On the way back to camp I stopped by and took some pictures in the old Springfield Cemetery. Very cool.

The next day, I tried out another first and rented a kayak. I’ve paddled in canoes before but never a kayak and never by myself. I have mixed feelings about water. I was dead set on being a marine biologist when I was little and then took a marine biology class in 5th grade and found out what was in the water. No thanks! I had big plans to paddle across the lake and make my way up the river to the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site but my navigation skills on water are apparently not as awesome as they are on land. I mistook the entrance to the river as a little cove and passed it up. Oops. I still got to cruise up and down the river a bit but because I wasted so much time just trying to find the river and doubling back, I didn’t get nearly as far as I’d planned. It was still a lot of fun and I’d love to take the guys back with me one day to make the full trip on the river.

After I got back, I went in my tent to change and looked up to see this:

bird nesting material on top of a tent

This is the top of the tent under the rainfly. I was pretty confused. I thought maybe there was some crazy wind while I was gone or something. I had the two top air vents open so it seemed possible. I should’ve figured it out but I didn’t. It turned out the be the cutest annoying thing that’s ever happened ever:

Just call me Snow White. Seriously, a pair of cute little bunnies escorted me to the bathroom in the morning and a fawn tried to have a dance party around the fire pit while I was making my coffee. Anyway, I felt like a jerk but I knocked everything down four or five times before it gave up. It obviously couldn’t be a permanent nest and I didn’t want it to waste its time so I gently shooed it away all afternoon. After all the kayaking and the shooing, I decided to use my spaghetti noodle arms to relax with a book the rest of the day. I had a pretty good time even though I was by myself. I’d say that’s a pretty good sign for my AT attempt. :)

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