May 31, 2012

Mark Your Calendar!

Are You A Happy Glamper

This weekend marks the first celebration of National Glamping Weekend - a coordinated movement for those of us who like to embrace the wilder side of life but wouldn't be caught dead without our hair dryer and 1000 thread-count sheets to hit the road.

National Glamping Weekend is June 2 & 3

Growing up, our family did a lot of camping and most of my memories were happy ones. I loved getting out and exploring, eating by campfire and the quality family-time that camping offered. I wasn't so crazy about the port-a-potties, lack of air conditioning (we camped in the summer) and not-so-comfy cots.

When I started to read about Europe's glamping and the new movement to the U.S., I knew this was for me. In the next few days I will be writing more about my personal experience in converting a motor home into a glamper and the whole new world glamping has opened up for me. If I can do it anyone can! 

Happy Glamping My Friends!

May 03, 2012

Fragrant Louisiana Memories


Oh yes, the magnolias are in bloom in Central Texas. An odd place to see these fabulous flowering trees.

I am more familiar with their velvety bloom as they lazily adorned the magnificent trees that lined our streets in small town Louisiana.  They rose proudly and, as their plate-sized blooms would slowly glide to the ground, they were snatched up quickly to compliment  many a summer supper tables with their fragrant decor. Just the hint of their fragrant aroma carries me back to childhood memories of picking one for my momma's Sunday morning bouquet. A little to garish and gaudy, but my mother never let on that it wasn't the most beautiful gift ever as she wrapped the woody stem in a dampened hanky and glided down the church isle with that sweetness floating all around her.


A fond and fragrant memory

May 01, 2012

Mother Nature: The Ultimate Decorator

Last year was a tough one for outdoor lovers in Texas. The drought hit early and it hard. Even the wildflower rainbow typically gracing the beautiful Texas Hill Country was too parched to peak.

But this year they are back as bold and beautiful as ever. One of the fabulous treats in my springtime camping adventures has been enjoying the ever-changing palette gracing the campgrounds.

We spotted our first Texas bluebonnet at Inks Lake State Park in February...Soon after this shot Taz ate the flower. I'm not sure but I think that might be illegal in Texas.









By March, Taz had miles of bluebonnets to smell.

On a glamping trip to Guadalupe River State Park in April, the wildflowers were unbelievable. I'm so grateful I started taking the time to enjoy all of the art that our environment has to offer. There is no more beautiful gallery of color and motion.

Guadalupe River State Park springtime hike.
These lovely ladies were captured on a hiking trail in Southwest Austin, Texas
Can't forget to give a a shout out to some other wildflower fans - all from the Guadalupe River State Park.
There are still a lot of fabulous flowers gracing the campgrounds just waiting to be enjoyed. Happy May Day!

April 25, 2012

iPhone is My Co-Pilot


iPhone promoted free applications in honor of Earth Day last weekend and several of them are definitely worth a download for campers / glampers.  The most exciting one for camping is "Oh Ranger".  This fabulous little application provides you with a quick reference to campgrounds around the country and includes a comprehensive summary of perks specific to each park.   

Screen shot of the front page and one of the search option pages

 It's a great resource whether you are already on the road are just planning a trip.   This is a great application and definitely a five star rating across the board.

Here's a view of a park summary
A shout out to Ford for sponsoring this application.  Many of our parks around the country are challenged with budget constraints and it is nice to see Ford stepping up to the plate to support our parks in this way.  This is a great application to plan your family summer camping vacation with tools to assist in mapping the route, planning what to do when you get to the destination and even plotting your next adventure down the road.
More applications to come...

April 19, 2012

Glamping Review of Inks Lake State Park

Inks Lake State Park


Campsites -

  

Nice campsites with great views of the lake and spaced out for privacy.   

Ease in Access-

Relatively easy to park a motorhome (although I did hit a tree on my second trip there).  Trails are close to the camping area.

Hiking-

Lots of great trails with various degrees of difficulty.  Everything from rock climbing to a casual park road stroll.

Swimming-

Roped area for lake swimming but most of the action is at Devil's Hole where spectators float in the water and watch divers jump from rock cliffs into the water. If you hike to the higher ground above the lake, there are clear water streams and waterfalls - truly beautiful.

Devil's Hole

Bathrooms/Showers-

There are bathroom/shower houses throughout the park. They are kept in pristine condition. If you need more privacy, several of the areas have private locked showers vs. the dorm style.  In the winter the bathrooms are heated.

Park Personnel-

Some of the best employees ever. They work hard and truly seem to love working at the park. 

Fellow Glampers-

Friendly environment with a good mix of happy glampers - everything from the fancy super coaches to the college students in tents. Lots of nice folks always ready to lend a hand if needed.

Activities-

In addition to the general activities (hiking, swimming, etc.), you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats. There is a great park store with food, fishing stuff and camping supplies - a lifesaver for those of us who forget at least two critical items we need. They also have cabins for rent if you don't have a camper or tent. 

Overall-

Just an all around great place to spend a weekend or more. I'm tempted to say something bad about the place just because it is already hard to get a spot there but I can't.

Link to Directions

Link to Inks Lake area

 3630 Park Road 4 West
Burnet TX 78611
512/793-2223