Monday, October 19, 2009

Camping at Garner State Park

This past weekend we took our Boy Scouts out to Garner State Park. For those of you who don’t know where it is, the park is located on highway 83 between Uvalde and Leaky Texas. The Frio River runs through the park (crystal clear water) and there are mountains to hike; ranging from very steep to moderate.

With that said, Saturday after we all ate lunch and talked about scout stuff we decided to hike the mountain next to our camp. Holy crap what a hike! You had to be part mountain goat to get up the flipping thing! Unbeknownst to all of us, we were right next to the steepest mountain to climb. My legs are still sore from the climb up and descent back to base camp.

This particular mountain top has a pile of rocks approximately 12 feet high and around 25 foot diameter. I guess the rule is if you make it up you toss a rock on the pile; needless to say there have been some folks up there over time. The view down over the hill country was almost beyond description but I’ll try.

The northern edge had the view looking over the park and the meandering Frio a good 1700 feet high, according to the map we have. There were hawks soaring on the thermals, eye level to us but at our height, searching for the hapless mouse or any other target of opportunity. The eastern edge overlooked a beautiful valley down below with various greens and shades of brown intermingled making up our wonderful Texas hill country. We could here chickens on a farm down there and we all thought how lucky those folks were to have a place like that to wake up to everyday.

While we were up there we exchanged some pleasantries with a fellow up there, Frank, with his son Chaitlin (sp) (we learned his name is an American Indian name for hawk) who had made it to the top before us. As we conversed I had a suspicion he was from Germany and it turns out he immigrated from K-Town Germany to Dallas 13 years ago and has since moved down to Bulverde. In his words, he is one o the apparent few immigrants that actually love the United States!

He told us his story o how he came here, learned the language, invented a machine that deep cleans air conditioning coils and patented it, brought his family over only to have an unscrupulous wife embezzle his company for five years and ruining his business. Most impressive of this man is the fact he did not cave in to self-pity but rather lifted himself up and rebuild his life for himself and his children. Ran, the other assistant scout master Jake, and myself had an excellent conversation up on that mountain top that day and I feel as if I have made another friend (an often over looked commodity but one I still cherish with all those I call friend).

We all hiked back down the mountain, including frank and Chaitlin, and continued a great conversation about many things. I found it interesting to actually hear from someone that came from a region rife with socialism to say he let that type of control only to see it happening here. We all agreed that our hope is the public will open its eyes before our country succumbs to that fate.

Eventually the two left and we, the scouts and adults, prepared and ate dinner and settled in around a beautiful camp fire. Thanks to all the recent rain the fire ban was lifted allowing campers to have fires, YAY! We did some scout training then told some funny stories and shared ‘smores; bringing a nice campout to a close.

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