Camping: my first road trip this year…March, 2024

It’s stil pretty early for camping season, at least for me.  I have been caught in blizzards and deep snow before so I tend to stay tucked in during the dark, cold, chilly, damp days of early spring.  My happy place-- Crested Butte is still getting hammered by snow (good for the mountains!).

But when my friend Telea invited me to camp with her & a few of her friends….only 4 hours away from me, I said yes!  Danny & I are still sitting in the room of UNCERTAINTY regarding the house & the move, but if all went right for a few days, I’d could leave & join Telea.  There would be 5 of us in total…two from Texas, one from Nebraska, one from Missouri & me.  Telea invited me to park in her campsite so we could all be close to each other & I wasn’t sure of my timeframe either arriving there or how long I’d stay.

I left home intending to stop at a brewery for lunch in Pittsburg, KS on the way down.  The pizza was good but the selection of beer minimal…at least for this stout lover, so I drank a brown ale.  Otherwise, there wasn’t much to see coming or going (I know a lot of people love to stop & look at old homes, cemeteries, barns, post rock, etc along these Kansas roads…but not me.  I did enjoy a really good audio book though & it was just fantastic to be back in my camper —the 4Runner—again!)

Then I headed to Natural Falls State Park in southern Oklahoma.  I ended up spending two days (they were there for 4) but it was a lot of fun!  The weather was kind of crappy…still that cold spring air & one day of chilly rain.  But the first night I was there, we all enjoyed a yummy dinner together & a super fantastic campfire!

I loved sitting around visiting with these new friends!  

And it was awesome to see Telea again..that welcoming hug was great…so good to see each other in person!  We met a few years ago at a Girl Camper/SOTF event in Texas, but really bonded over the Grand Canyon Float trip.  We also got to camp together back in 2022 with another three women from the float trip.  But last year we talked & texted frequently…2023 was a very difficult year for both of us.  While I was so sick, Telea’s husband was fighting his own battle to survive cancer.  Everyday I’m so grateful for feeling better, but Randy, Tela’s cowboy, lost his fight last fall & it was a devastating loss for her & for those who knew & loved him.

After the campfire burned down & we’d all had some laughs, wonderful conversation & a little bit of wine, we all tucked in to our respective campers.  I stayed warm both nights, in spite of the cold temps overnight.

my little coffee shop

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Then we walked down to the falls.  I think this is the only set of falls in the whole park…its not very big, but it was still pretty.

We walked to the bottom of the fall…they are always more spectacular from that viewpoint & always glad when theres a trail below.

blooming trees!

tiny waterfalls…but love that green that surrounding them!

There are some trails here to hike, but it started pouring while we were out, so we turned around & headed backbummer.

Love this lady & it’s been so great to see her….share laughter, tears, joy & so nice to meet some of her close friends!

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Ready to tuck in for the night!

My last morning was below freezing…felt like 26 degrees.  But, we had a fire & a super yummy breakfast outside.  The food these ladies cook was soooo good!  

Looking forward to crossing paths with these women again someday.  Left after only a couple of days…the weather was worsening & I had a doc at home that needed my signature.  So, I took off in the afternoon, headed straight back to KC & met Danny for pizza & our realtor for our signatures.  The roller coaster of ‘home on the market’ continues.  Right now it’s messing a bit with my travel plans…but as the temps rise, the days get longer & my need ‘to go’ starts screaming….I will find a way!

Happy spring to everyone!

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