Guadalupe River Camping
Location: Guadalupe River State Park (Spring Branch, Texas)
Date: January 30 - January 31, 1998
Weather: Partly cloudy, 60-70 degrees turning to thunderstorms
Activities: Camping, birding, photography
Submitted by: Shannon Moore
Returning to the first park in which we ever camped overnight, Justin and I arrived at Guadalupe River State Park around noon. Since the tent-only camping area was closed for improvement, we obtained site #46 in the RV/tent camping area. Having never camped in that area of the park, we were pleasantly surprised to find a spacious site with excellent birding opportunities. We set out some mixed birdseed (peanut kernels, black oil sunflower seeds, millet, striped sunflower seed) and watched as a half dozen tufted titmice and a western scrub jay descended upon our site. Justin noticed a large flock of American robins flying overhead, as well as several perched in the tree above our picnic table. Needless to say, we spent several hours engrossed in observing and photographing the birds!
Dark clouds built on the horizon as evening approached. After hours of pleasant, rain-free relaxation, Justin and I realized the forecasted 60% chance of thunderstorms were on their way. Having forgotten to secure the ice chest before retiring to the tent, we caught a determined raccoon scavenging through it for goodies around 11 PM. Thankfully, the masked bandit had only found our cache of birdseed when we caught him in the beam of our flashlight. A couple bungee cords later, the ice chest was secured for the night. Our visitor did return sometime later to make a second stealthy raid, but quickly gave up for easier fare.
Rolls of thunder reverberating off the park's limestone bluffs awoke us at 4 AM. First a drizzle and then a raging shower, the rhythm of the rain against our tent soon lulled us back to sleep. Peering outside at 8 AM on Saturday, during a brief lull in the rains, we saw small rivers of mud and water everywhere. Our boots, which spent the night outside beneath the tent's rainfly, were now resting in a five inch deep mud puddle. Hearty outdoorspeople though we are, we decided to break camp and head home.
We had a terrific time during our stay in the park, and left with no regrets. The wind and rain, like the sun and stars, make the outdoors worth sharing with those you love.
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