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2012.06.04 Brazos Bend Camping Trip - In Their Own Words

posted Jun 4, 2012, 5:38 PM by Don Gilman   [ updated Oct 11, 2015, 9:30 PM by David Fackler ]
The Brazos Bend trip was something unusual for Troop 1300. We are a backpacking troop accustomed to trekking long distances with merely the necessities on our back and our friends by our side to accompany us. However, Brazos Bend did not provide us an opportunity to take our usual route into the primitive wilderness. Its primitive camping sites were twenty feet away from its bathrooms, which turned out to be a blessing during the weekend. We were surrounded by other campers which is a strange sensation when you are used to the closest neighbor being over a mile away on a regular Troop 1300 campout. Undaunted by these irregularities, we settled in our usual way. We parked as far away from our camping spot as possible and left the cars with everything we needed on our back. After a short hike to our campsite, we set up our campsite on the muddy ground without a single complaint from the scouts. 

The next day, we set out on a day hike, determined to get some hiking done on this campout. Boy, did we get some hiking done. That morning alone, we hiked over ten miles around the park, examining the wildlife and taking in the scenery. It surprised many of us how many alligators we witnessed and how close they were to the hiking trails. They were almost close enough to reach out an touch, but, fearing for our safety, we respected their habitats and stayed well over an arm's length away. After the morning hike and seeing a plethora of alligators, cranes, hawks, turtles, and various other wildlife, we paused for lunch then set off for another ten mile hike around the other half of the park then went back to the campsite. Surprisingly, there was also a playground down the road from our campsite. Having time to waste during the afternoon, we played tag with a group of younger kids from other campsites and interacted with other campers in a way that was totally different from our usual campout experiences. 

That night, we visited the park's observatory and looked through telescopes at different planets and stars across the universe. The view was perfect from on top of the observatory and the night was stunning with its array of celestial bodies. In the end, we came back home a little disappointed that we had strayed from our troop's tradition of backpacking every campout, but we came back pleased by the marvels of nature we had witnessed and the moments with friends and others we had experienced.