Monday, May 7, 2012

This Place is a Zoo!

Ducks? Check!

Deer? Check!

Various Flying bugs? Check!

A Doberman puppy? Oh Yeah!

Alligators? Um, yeah...

Raccoons? Ugh, yes.


Wait, Zebras?!

Yep, them, too. Camping this weekend was like an adventure to the local zoo - all the regular wildlife (like the squirrels, and birds, and bunnies) and the annoying camping critters (like the raccoons that invaded the camp around midnight and the kids with too-loud radios) but there were a few new surprises. Like the puppy. And the zebras.

Lots of time in the truck,  but still
not sure how to get out of the truck.

We left out early evening on Thursday and made it to the site around sundown. We had in tow the newest member of our family: may I introduce Diesel Tank. He's our Doberman puppy (about 11 weeks old at this point). Diesel does wonderfully well on road trips- he came from Abilene and we drove to Dallas to pick him up- so he's certainly had road time at this young age. Camping, we realized, was a perfect way to do socialization: he met a Girl Scout troupe, several other dogs, and lots and lots of various critters. I'll post more later about tricks and tips of camping with a young dog (hint: lots of treats).

I went off to work Friday morning in Lafayette with one of my favorite clients. I gotta say, getting dressed in business formal in the middle of a casual campsite gets you lots of curious stares.

RDB and I took several walks around camp- with a puppy, there's plenty of walking to do. We met up with one group of campers that were enamoured with our little tag-a-long. They asked where we were from, and we did the same. "Oh, we're from here in Lake Charles," one of the guys said. "We just like to come out here and pretend we actually went somewhere." Yeah, we liked thier point of view!


Since we got into camp early, we had the chance to watch a lot of the other camping families come into camp and set up. In the site beside us late Friday afternoon, we watched an awesome set up arrive: a beautiful newer model extended cab silver Ford F150 towing a set of kayaks and a clean, streamlined silver Airstream with wrap around windows in front and back. RDB and I just drooled over this get up- its the kind of rig we could see ourselves in somewhere in the *ahem* distant future. We were watching them back into camp... And back in... And back a little bit more... And stop...  *Crunch*

Well, they stopped, but the Airstream didn't. It rolled right into a tree. Busted up the bumper and smashed out the back window. We felt for them, and quickly reminded each other: "parking brake and chocks."

The rest of the weekend, thankfully, was uneventful. We were impressed with how well Diesel adapted to the new outdoor surroundings and sounds, and to his camping "tent" crate in the camper. He was a camping champ by Saturday afternoon: he stood at the door of the pop-up wanting to go inside to his crate (and the air conditioning) to escape the heat and commotion from other dogs and kids. Once inside, he happily chewed on his toys and took a nap while we sat out and enjoyed the fresh air. We are in love with this pup!

We did a bit of exploring around the Westlake/Lake Charles area- and that's when we saw the zebras. Truly random, but hey, it's the country; you will not see this kind of stuff in the city and that's why we love to go camping.

Being out on the marshes was pretty neat this go around.  I realized Thursday night that the croaking of the frogs sounds an awful lot like the beginning of my cell phone's alarmclock.  (Note to self: change that, pronto!)  Saturday night we went out on the docks to watch the super moon rise.  It was this month's full moon coinsiding with the perigee of the moon's orbit.  (Meaning: the moon is really close, and really bright, and really big.)  My pictures don't do it justice - it was like sleeping directly under a 1,000 watt street light all night.  Again, you only get this stuff camping! 

Moonrise over the Marsh.

We camped this weekend in Site 21 at Sam Houston Jones State Park just north of Lake Charles, LA.  This is certainly another one that would go on our 'places to revisit' list.  So far, they've had the best bathhouse of any of the State Parks we've been to: There were 4 shower rooms - each like it's own self contained bathroom.  You can lock yourself in and have lots of room to move around, potty, shower, dress, etc.  The handicap 'rooms' also had handheld shower heads - which could come in great handy if we decided to bathe Diesel while we're out.
Can't wait to go again....

... with the entire family!

For more camping photos, go here.

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