As with most campouts with Mary, food is a
very important focus, and unlike most times she had bought barbecue from a new
place that was started by one of her neighbors. They had saved me
some baby back ribs, potato salad a green salad and birthday cake.
If you pass through Slocum on your way to paddle the Neches River be sure
to stop at the Boondocks Barbecue. It is great food.
I did get the tent set up before dark on
Friday Evening and early the next morning I took the kayak out for a spin around the lake. There are three artesian
springs feeding Ratcliff Lake. It was formed to power a saw mill
and the remains are still there at the park. Later on in the
morning we needed ice so I took the 17 foot explorer and soloed across the
lake, as the winds had returned, it was a real challenge. That
afternoon was spent taking newbie’s on canoe trips. The evening
meal was grilled
| Tent setup
|| Spin around the lake
steak and baked potatoes, with a tossed salad. At sunset I saw the water ripple like an alligator was swimming, but the other campers said there were no gators. Then later with
the binoculars I discovered that it was a nutria. As we were
sitting around the campfire that evening we heard a
rustling in the brush and they had approached close to the camp. A few of her
friends from Palestine came that evening to paddles a little and cook for her Birthday Bash. Nice to sit around
the campfire and talk to new people enjoying the wonders of Ratcliff Lake.
|Steak & potatoes
Mary and I were the only ones who stayed and
camped Saturday night. We woke up Sunday and had a breakfast of
steak and eggs and decided to paddle the lake. When we got to the
east end we found a winding path through the the grass and trees It was a
beautiful little paddle. When we got back to the camp we
packed up and took one of the prettiest drives in the Davy Crocket National
Forest back to her place, so I could see her improvements. Yet of course there
were a couple of honey-do's involved. She has trained the herd of
longhorns, donkeys and horses to come up to get food out of her hand (see photos below).
It was a great weekend and the paddles were short
enough that I could do them with ease. The woods, great
food, good friends and a chance to get in a canoe.
Life is good.