Texas Parks Geocache Challenge - Central Region

jjball (Jenny & Jim) and I decided to try our hand at the Central Texas region of the TXGCC.  We started out about 9:30ish from Snook with pocket queries and passports in hand and headed to the Lake Somerville parks (Birch Creek and Nails Creek). We ran into a couple of cachers on the trail at Nails Creek.

Then we made the trip to each of the following Parks:
Monument Hill / Kreische Brewery - the site of the "Black Bean Incident"
Palmetto - got up close to a doe and her little fawn. I love palmettos!
Lockhart - nice golf course
McKinney Falls - not much water her in these drought conditions. Caught up with nanblocker on this one.
Pedernales Falls  - awesome area. Got there as the sun was low in the sky.

It was getting late and we had more ground to cover, so we had to pass the turn off to the Salt Lick in Dripping Springs - TWICE!  We sure wish we had time to stop in. 

By they time we made the return trip toward Bastrop and Buescher, it was too late and the parks were about to close.  We were able to squeeze in two Earthcaches - Pilot Knob, a Central Texas Volcano and Pedernales Falls.  I love Earthcaches!

NativTxn / Dixie - jjball (1/2 of it) / Lacey
Sunday after church, we headed back out to pick up the remaining two parks, with our two GeoDogs in tow. The winding drive between the two parks was worth the little extra time.  Our Passports are filled out and waiting in the Bastrop post office.  Over 500 miles combined and a really good time.  

Now that the first weekend is over, we'll try another region, but we'll take the camper and go 1/2 way one day, stop, camp, and continue the following day so we have more time to look around.

We saw some beautiful parks, interesting wildlife and flora and even a couple of cachers-in-the-wild.   Between the 3 of us, we dropped off travel bugs, geokrets, pathtags and wooden nickels. Somewhere along the way, Jenny & Jim got their 500th find.  Whoop!

I am going to have to go back and hit some of those parks for camping trips now that I've scouted them out.  More pictures from this adventure can be seen on my Facebook profile.

Thanks to the TPWD for putting together this challenge and again bringing me to places I have yet to make it to.


The weekend of June 18 began Saturday by walking the trails at Birch Creek State Park in the morning to check my cache out there and to confirm coordinates of the cache for the upcoming Texas Parks Geocache Challenge starting on June 25.  Do you know how hard it is to find a cache and NOT be able to sign the log - especially on a blank log?!  My cousin and friends were having their family reunion at the Lake in the same park, so I got to go get some good fried catfish and fixin's for lunch.  That worked out well!  Then there was the Texas Outdoor Family event at Lake Somerville and I helped with the Geocaching portion of it from 1-4 pm.  It was hot, but we had 2 groups that we showed the basics to and we helped them find a few "demo" caches and a couple of real ones.

Sunday was our Vajdak Family Reunion for the lunch meal and we also had a Silent/Live Auction to help raise money for the Reunion account.  It went well!  The food was prepared by my cousins, Pat & Rob Collins, owners of Texas Country Catering and several of my uncles and cousins.  M-M-M!  They know BBQ!!!  We have over 50 items for the silent and live auction part and raised over $1000.  Immediately after we left there, we went  home and unloaded reunion stuff and loaded up the Church Camp gear.  Johnny came over to house and dog-sit and I showed  him where everything was and then we headed out for Buda, TX.

Camp was great, but it's a lot of work.  I run around all day taking pictures of everything and everyone and then upload them to the computer to show random pix before events in the Chapel.  I also write up the words to the songs that will be used in the morning and evening singing times.  When I get a chance, I start uploading the pix to the Camp's Facebook page.  With a few pictures from other staff, we ended up with around 2000 photos!

A typical day at camp:
7:00 am Staff Meeting
7:30 am Flagpole/Personal Morning Devotions
8:00 am Breakfast, then cabin clean up
9:00 am Morning Sing Time
9:30 am Morning Lessons (we went around and did Cabin Inspections during this time)
11:00 am Morning Games
12:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm  A rotation between Chill/Creek Activities/Canteen/Craft (Campers were split into 4 groups)
     Creek time activities were Canoing/Kayaking, Zip Line and Rock Climbing (all on separate days)
3:40 pm Afternoon Games
5:00 pm Free Time
6:00 pm Supper
7:00 pm Evening Sing and Lessons
8:00 pm Snack
8:15 pm Skits
9:00 pm Evening Surprise
10:00 pm Evening Devotions in the Cabins
After that, many staff members stayed up late talking about the day's activities and what's coming up the next day.

This was a great group of around 80 campers.  Over the week, they collectively learned 3867 Bible verses!  We played games, had wonderful food and learned alot.

After the closing ceremony on Saturday, we finished loading up everything and headed to Austin's Mueller Park for the 2010 Austin Geocaching Awards event.  It was windy, but nice in the park.  After that, we drove straight home and CRASHED!  I was glad to see my dog, my showerhead and my own bed.

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