May 2, 2014
Location: Ink’s Lake State Park, near Burnet, TX
People: Ian, Court, Greg, Cat, CV, Biff, and Sam
Weather: day – low 80s, night – low 50s; clear
We went out to Ink’s Lake on Friday afternoon and Greg and Cat met us there. We intended to do some of the Pecan Flats trail, but we ended up actually not even leaving the campsite. We didn’t have too much time out there and had to leave relatively early the next morning, but we had a blast nonetheless. Our campsite was great and backed by a large granite outcropping that made it feel kind of like an amphitheater.
This was our first time to use several pieces of gear, including our Coleman tent and our MSR Windpro II backpacking stove. I bought a Thermarest Z Lite sleeping pad (thru hiking standard) to use and we borrowed another sleeping pad (self-inflating) and two sleeping bags from my mom. One sleeping bag was the old, heavy Coleman that I grew up camping with and the other was a newer Northface mummy bag. I also snagged a free groundsheet (painter’s plastic) from the construction workers at my office.
It became quite apparent that CV was not having a great time. He stayed in the tent or in his bed by the fire for the majority of the night. But we were glad we at least let him experience it. Biff and Sam had a blast. It was also Cat’s first overnight and she had a great time. We brought sausages from Whole Foods and cooked them over the open fire for sausage wraps and we all imbibed a little too much and partied into the night around the campfire.
It got down to the low 50s at night and I woke up around 3am for a restroom trip, upon which, I saw the Milky Way for the first time in real life. It was stunning. I was using my Thermarest and the mummy bag, while Court had the self-inflating and Coleman combo. She definitely had the better night sleep. I think the mummy was too confining for me, as I’m not used to staying in one position all night. It was warm though. We slept with the rain fly off and could see some of the stars through our roof.
The next morning we woke up with the sun and cooked breakfast on the Windpro II. This was the first real test of this stove and it worked great. We made coffee and breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs, cheese, and the leftover sausage from dinner. We just brought a pot and pan from home and it worked great. I can’t wait to finish out our kitchen gear and make some backpacking meals on the trail.
We had to break down camp right after breakfast and get back to town, but we are definitely going to come back at some point and do the Pecan Flats trail system, which is around 7 miles total. This trip was very successful, despite no hiking, and we all had a really good time.