Long Horn Caverns: Wild+ Caves

Do you struggle trying to explain your love of the outdoors to friends and family? Do you feel them slipping away while answering questions regarding mileage, showers, and the always ominous “how do you poop in the woods?” At this moment, with a creepy look in your eye, whisper, “how do you poop on a toilet?” Come on people; it’s not like deviant bears are waiting for you to drop trou! Read more

Old East Orange, The lost city of Casino’s ?

 

Paddling across the Sabine River, I couldn’t escape the feeling I had forgotten something important. One of those nagging feelings in the back of your mind which sort of makes your stomach turn, but you don’t know why. Shoving this down I looked back at times to check on Lauren paddling 20 or so yards back. I was raised on these waters, what could I have possibly  forgotten? Pushing my paddle under the washed out bank I hoped  if there were a nesting alligator it would choose the paddle over my leg. Read more

Like Father like Son

So how did I start backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, camping, caving, etc.. The short answer, my Dad. As a kid I struggled with Dyslexia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Asthma, add in very poor vision / depth perception, and you can imagine how much fun I had at school. At my lowest points my dad would pack my gear, check me out of class, and take me camping . Say what you will, but I learned more on those trips then I did watching Sesame Street in a Special Education department. Why did the cookie monster never swallow even the smallest morsel of cookie? Was he cursed to fiend for cookies like a crack addict, devour them voraciously, yet never be nourished? A Sesame Street version of Tantalus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalus Read more

A Mexican stand off with Texas Bison.

 

A snake in the tent, a random blizzard, or attracting the undesired attention of a large predatory cat, and yes all of this has happened to me. By its nature Adventure requires random variables which surprise and at times frighten us. I am a meticulous planner, an obsessive details driven, often over-prepared person.  Yet somehow Adventure always finds me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Read more

Swamped

 

As the weekend approached we packed our D.I.Y Campervan setting our sights and bikes upon Louisiana. If you have never visited, you are missing out.  Louisiana  has an attitude and atmosphere  somewhere  between  “no worries,” “southern hospitality”, gambling, and kissing an alligator while buying hard liquor and ammo from a gas station. We wont even discuss Mardi Gras,  a party, I will not admit attending …wink….wink… Read more

tree hugger.

 

Charlie, Zach, and Ray, had never been camping, yet for some insane reason  they excepted our invitation to car camp and hike Boykin Springs.  Ray quickly caught on to the axe wielding lumbar jack bit, as Zac set up tents, and Charlie as our little sister somehow managed to watch as we worked. Around the campfire Lauren and I shared the history of Boykin Springs from the lumber boom to the C.C.C restoration project my grandfather had worked in planting trees. I told one of my many how not to hike stories in which I was stuck in a giant briar patch during sleeting rain with only a compass and an off scale map. Sometime around 9:30pm I emerged upon a dirt road looking as though I had lost a Mortal Combat death match with 1000 crazy ninja cats. Read more

Once more into the Thicket

 

 

I am a planner: food prep, the right gear, and long range forecast in relation to altitude,  distances,  and accessibility to water are in my opinion what keeps me from having to use the rescue me” button of shame on my Spot beacon. For all my planning and preparation I often overlook the important details.  Thus I was wearing a pair of boots  I couldn’t remember buying.  As I mocked Ben for wearing  old basketball shoes. Little did I know upon my feet were a pair of meat grinders ready to enact karma from the ankle down. Read more

To each their own.

To me there is something magical in a small campfire surrounded by a few friends under a star filled sky. Oh how many times I have pitched grand plans into a group of friends who excitedly made pacts and  commitments, yet cancel by Monday. Is it me, do I over plan, do I push for too many miles? Perhaps it’s the two hour free style harmonica solo’s? Is it  bad breath, or poor camping hygiene, I assumed it was normal to wear a single pair of underwear for a week of back-country hiking. Joking, sort of. Read more