Some days things do not go any where close to what is planned, but come out great anyway.
Getting the truck inspected turned out to be a bit of an adventure. The inspector was very thorough but a little unsure of what he was allowed to do. After he was educated that a diesel truck did not get state emissions testing and the county it is registered in is Polk which did not do emissions testing on any engines, he got right to work. He did do a good job on the inspection and of course the truck passed without a whimper.
Back at Comfort Castle the day pack of much experience with me was brought out and some serious consideration was done. This day pack is a large one of over 2000 cubic inches and has hauled some large loads in it’s history. However it is proving to be heavier and larger than has been needed for over a year. A smaller lighter pack with a hydration bladder designed into it seems more like my needs now that HERO HIKES are a thing of the past.
Off to Wal-Mart to check what they have. They had the exact item needed. This saves a trip to San Antonio to “THE TOY STORE”. Here is a picture of it.
It came with a two liter bladder and about 750 cubic inches of storage space. My always with me things have been relocated into it. There is room for a couple of meals of food and a jacket for cool or rainy weather. Being able to have room for several layers of clothing like in the PNW is no longer needed.
Naturally it needs to be broken in properly. On the spur of the moment it was chosen to make a tent camping and hiking adventure to Pedernales Falls State Park. Stuff was thrown together in hurry and off to the Park. Check in went well since the park had four sites occupied and about 80 available to choose from. A nice site was chosen and camp was set up.
Next it was off to photograph the falls area in the late evening light. The new pack breakin was planned for tomorrow. When you go down the cliffs to the river bed, immediately you notice all the carving the river has done to the rocks. The river is several feet low due to the drought of the state. Many carved areas were visible that have never been available in the thirty plus years of my coming here. These natural carvings are very handsome to me. Normally the water would be five to six feet deeper and really raging through here.
To give some size perspective, this photo was shot of the only other folks in the river bed besides me. Normally there is water running across where they are standing.
As the sun crept below the ridges of trees and rock, it was time for me to get out of the river. On the way back to camp, another wild hair hit me and going back to Johnson City and eating at the Country Cupboard became the goal. Back in the past the Country Cupboard was a place of first choice to eat. During the six years that Washington work kept me away, the Country Cupboard went down in a big way. Tonight was the third try it was given this year and it will be the last. The Dairy Queen down the road is a lot better.
By the time supper was finished, it was dark. Now what to do with five hours of cold dark before bed time. It had not occurred to me what to do with all the dark hours this time of the year. OK pack it up and head home. It is only an hour drive back to Comfort Castle. Breaking in the new pack will have to wait.
In closing this day of experiences, we have a beautiful picture taken in the river looking at the far cliffs.