Family Campout

Not much on my mind lately. Actually, plenty of thoughts, but nothing I can tie words around. It was good, then, that my two teens at home planned a camping trip. They’ve been really into rock climbing lately, and wanted to try it outside the gym. Little brother pointed out that the rest of us would be bored and sweaty if we went to a rock outcrop for the weekend. It had to be someplace with water, but still enough that Mom wouldn’t freak. I’m still a beach babe at heart, but the idea of children and moving water in the same frame scares the daylights out of me anymore. Texas’ rivers and their accident rates have cured me of ever nonchalantly taking the kids to play at the waterhole again. The kids are well aware that I will play at the river when we have a Newfoundland dog at my side. Not before.

They chose well. We ended up at Inks Lake, which is part of the flood control system on the Colorado River. Not  THE Colorado River, which runs through the Grand Canyon into Lakes Mead and Havasu. This Colorado is the largest river within the state of Texas and winds all around and through Austin. Situated between two dams, Inks Lake is deep and fairly devoid of current. Boaters and bikinis abound. It was perfect for me; I even went out and floated on noodles for over an hour with my teens, watching jetskis and tubers until we turned into shivering, blue prunes.

I’m often torn between wanting to participate in the fun and photograph it. This time I chose to participate more. We have only a dozen photos of the whole weekend. But more memories are made in the water than on the shore, and that’s where I need to be.  Quite frankly, lives are rarely changed by photographers. The game is where the players are.

This was the reason for the trip. The spot Dave chose to jump had no way to get back up. At least that’s what the other jumpers said. He found a way back up once he was in the water, using only strong hands and little tiny outcrops, on the surface at the bottom left of the photo. Don’t ever tell a teenage boy it can’t be done….

Even though the rest of us didn’t rock climb between cliff jumps, we weren’t bored. Hiking, biking, and playing hide ‘n’ seek in the varied landscape kept us busy, too.

Each evening, these guys quietly chatted amongst themselves, and backed up by the harmony of frogs and cicadas, provided sweet music to cap off the day.

Because we were all exhausted and ready for sleep.


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