Last memorial day weekend we went on a camping trip with a couple of our friends to Garner State Park in Concan,Tx. Its a beautiful and a pretty huge park, like really huge. Honestly, I never knew I would get to see mountains, valleys and river banks in the heart of Texas. The gorgeous frio river runs through the park which was flooded due to the rains but was still beautiful. Speaking of floods, yes we did see the weather forecast before leaving on saturday however there was no indication of a tornado warning at that time. Getting caught in the storm, that too twice! not pretty guys (did get caught on our way back too , more on that later) . So Garner State Park is about 4 and a half hours drive from Houston. We decided to leave saturday late afternoon and halt at town called Uvalde, close to the park (30mins) so that we could make it to the hike tour at the park in the morning at 9.
One thing I love about road trips is passing through these small towns which normally you would never look for on a map and exploring them. I cannot tell you how relieved I was to reach safely through that storm. Also felt a little better after some hot noodle soup at Subway where we stopped for dinner. That day that subway and getting a hot bowl of soup on a stormy night was no less than a fairytale you know where there will be a cottage in the middle of nowhere,there would be thunderstorms and lightning and the stranger/hero will be given shelter and some soup for the night (you get the picture right?). So the next morning was no sunshine with birds chirping around like in the stories, however it did stop raining. My friend Ash & I went to get some coffee and just roamed around a bit exploring the little town till the boys got ready. We did find a local bakery and some hot freshly made donut holes there. And since we were going on hike later, eating those was fine right? well at least that’s what I told myself, ha!
After all the adventure which started even before we reached the park, we finally made it in time for scheduled hike with the park ranger at 9a.m. Unfortunately all the activities including the hikes were cancelled due to the flooding last night. However, we were allowed to camp out and explore the park. We rented out one of the cabins with a fully equipped kitchen, a bedroom, a fireplace and a bathroom. Looked just like the fairytale cottage I mentioned but in modern times.
With all the activities closed for the day, we did go on some hikes close by. Saw the gorgeous river, made lunch ( ramen noodles ), explored the park more. Loved the food truck ‘Garner Grill’ which was also the restaurant of the park (tried the beer battered jalapeno fries there). Came back and tried lighting a fire, which clearly none of us knew how to. Blamed the firewood a little but like after almost 3 hours of not so fruitful attempt the wind started blowing and I guess that helped and we had nice little fire, a stary night , lots of fireflies and some quesadya’s, cheese kebabs, for dinner.
The next morning we had to vacate the cabin by 11 a.m. and so we quickly made some breakfast ( savory scrambled eggs and some egg potato cheese tacos ) and decided to sit by the river and eat. Also managed to make some bbq tea, considering the little fire building experience we had on the previous night. I also made some mushroom veggie pasta for lunch. It was truely a wonderful trip. I would love to go there again when the weather is a little bit better and the park activities ( hiking/ kayaking) are open.
On our way back we did make another stop at Krispy Kreme Donuts. One of my friends is a huge fan! and so we took a little detour near San Antonio to go there. I don’t know how but this trip started and ended with eating donuts and we did not plan it that way at all ! It was as if we were celebrating national donut weekend!
All in all , had fun , will definitely recommend it for a camping desitation in Texas. Also happy and thankful to reach back home safely after hitting the storm again on our way back. we just made it in time before it got worse. Sending thoughts and prayers to those who suffered any kind of losses during this time. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon! Happy to see the sun out this week and praying for some good spring/summer weather down here.
You have a fab week ahead guys!
p.s. All the views and opinions in the post are my own and are not associated with Texas parks & wildlife in any way