Finally Arriving Home and Leaving Again for Garner State Park

Thursday March 28, 2024

Dear Diary, 

I woke up at 1 AM. I had gone to sleep between 7:30 and 8 PM so I had gotten a good 5 hours of sleep. I felt way better after getting some rest. I wrote my blog until 2 AM then I woke Angel up and woke Kat up. Kat had said last night she would drive us up to the Handy Mart to meet the Uber driver and to wake her up. I folded up the blankets and got our bags ready to go and we headed out. The Uber driver was already there early when we arrived. We said goodbye to Kat and I thanked her for hosting us at the last minute. I was very grateful for all she had done. 

The ride to the airport went good. The Uber was a Tesla and those are some really nice cars. Angel was unusually quiet and it was restful. At the airport everything went smoothly once I figured out how to get to security. While waiting at our gate (the right gate this time) I had a fun conversation with a lady named Alison who had just gotten back from Alaska and Angel played with a little girl sitting next to us. When we got on the plane, it didn’t have very many people on it so we were able to stretch out and take up all three seats in our row. Angel played on her leap pad and I fell asleep before the plane took off. I slept the whole 2 hour flight and it felt good to get more rest. I was still running on lack of sleep and no food other than a few raspberries that I ate at 2 AM. 

When we landed and got off the plane, I went in search of our luggage. There was no one at the baggage claim. Since we were in the south terminal at the Austin airport and it’s really small, there was only one baggage claim area. I asked a security guard standing there about retrieving my luggage that flew in yesterday and he said to go to the check in counter to ask the agent there. We walked over to the check out counter and I asked the agent about our luggage. She said she would come over to baggage claim in 20 minutes to help me. I walked Bits around outside a few minutes so he could use the bathroom, then we waited at baggage claim. After about 45 minutes, I was on the phone with Christopher when a couple of security guards picked up some unclaimed luggage on the baggage carousel. I asked them about my luggage and they said they would check. I hung up the phone and followed them. They opened a door and there was our luggage. Yay!! I hurried out the door with Angel in tow, to catch the shuttle to the main terminal. Just as I was walking up to it, it took off. I almost started crying, the shuttles only run when flights are leaving or arriving and we were the last ones there. I didn’t know if another shuttle would be arriving or if we had missed the last one. I just wanted to be done with airport land and get back to my truck. 

I had plans to go to Garner State park today for 3 days with my friend Rosie. We had made these plans and reserved our spot long before I made the last minute trip to Utah to help out my son Shawn and his family. Rosie and I had originally planned to leave at 11 AM this morning but then I missed my flight yesterday so we pushed it back to noon today. Now, because I had to wait for our luggage we would have to leave even later. 

As I was looking up a number to call about the shuttle, another one arrived. Thank you! We got on and rode it to the main terminal. Then we hurried downstairs to get a shuttle to Park and Zoom when my truck was parked. There was a shuttle there waiting and we hopped on. 

I was so happy when we arrived at my truck. Yay! Yay!! I was so over the airport experience. We loaded up and drove to the exit. Since my truck had been parked a day longer than my reservation was for, they charged me $136. Ok, whatever, just take my money and let me out of here. Money comes and goes and I was grateful I had enough saved up to cover the roughly $650 it cost me in total to miss that flight. At the end of April, I’m going to Idaho to help my sister Trisha after she gets surgery on her ankle. I think I’m going to drive even though it will take longer. I’m so over airports right now. 

Free at last, I headed home. It was almost 10 AM. I called Rosie and told her I would be leaving for Garner State Park even later. She is really easy going (which I am grateful for) and said that wasn’t a problem and that she would probably leave earlier and meet me there. I was fine with that! On the way home, I made 2 stops. The first stop was a grocery store. I bought food for my camping trip along with 4 big 58 oz. bottles of fresh squeezed OJ. I drank one on the drive, I was so hungry from not eating hardly anything for 2 days, but I’d rather not eat than eat something that won’t make me feel good. Not feeling good would just make the situation worse. My next stop was close to home. It was a pet sitting job, feeding dogs and goats. Angel helped me and the mean goat attempted to charge at us but we help up sticks and he backed off. Then later he wanted to get petted and we gave him treats. Bi-polar goat! 😂

When we finally made it home, it was great to see all Christopher and all of the animals. Christopher helped me unload and then reload for my camping trip. I was bringing my fat tire bicycle and had originally planned to take my pop-up camper. Since I was already running late, I changed my mind and decided on a tent. I was also going to take my kayak but Rosie said she checked and the river is running low, so we decided to not kayak. Rosie was bringing tubes we could float on if we wanted to play in the water. 

Angel was excited to be home and changed into her warm weather clothes. Little Bit ran around yipping, he was also excited to be home and see his animal friends. I hugged Christopher and thanked him for his help. Then I headed out again. 

The drive to Garner State Park is 4 1/2 hours from my house. I was tired but I figured if I couldn’t stay awake I would pull over and take a power nap. The drive through hill country was beautiful. I love hill country. I took the back roads most of the way and avoided all the interstate traffic. It actually took me less time taking the back roads. About 10 miles before the state park, I pulled into a gas station to fill up my tank and buy ice and water. As I was standing at the gas pump, Rosie pulled up. We were there at the same time and it was great to see her. She bought a few things and she followed me to the park. We got checked in at a kiosk since the park office

Rosie had been to this state park before, so I followed her in and we located our campsite. We parked our vehicles and decided on a place to set up a tent. Then we slowly got our camp set up. The park manager came by to check on us and tell us some of the park rules. He was a friendly guy named Joe. We got our tents set up and I realized I hadn’t brought a sleeping mat with me. I started walking with Bits on a leash in search of the park store to see if they had a sleeping mat. I had looked at the map but was still confused about where it was. I hadn’t gone far when I saw Joe greeting some new campers that had arrived. I walked over to him and asked where the park store was located. He told me how to get there and I decided it was far enough I would ride my bicycle there. I walked back to camp and got on my bicycle. Little Bit hadn’t ever walked on a leash next to me while I was on the bicycle before. I wasn’t sure how he would do, but he did great. He trotted along right next to me and it was a fun ride to the store. 

At the store I looked around for a sleeping pad. That store had pretty much anything you could possibly need. The lady running the store came up to me and told me dogs weren’t allowed in. Then she petted Bits and said he was so cute. She told me she had a little chihuahua out in the car and went out to get it. She came back in and her chihuahua was the tiniest dog I’d ever seen. It was 2 1/2 lbs. and it made 8 lb. Bits look huge. We petted each others dogs and talked for a while. I had located the sleeping mats but they were little and not what I wanted. I asked if she had any camping cots and she went to check. She came back a few minutes later and said they didn’t have any. I thought about going ahead and buying one of those little sleeping mats but I knew I would keep falling off of it in my sleep and it would be a hassle. I had a blanket I could lay down and that would be good enough. 

When I got back to camp, Rosie had gotten more stuff set up. I was hungry and made myself a salad with lettuce and my homemade tahini dressing. I talked to Christopher while I ate and he said Angel had curled up on the couch and fallen asleep around 7 PM. I figured she would be tired. She had been awake since 2 AM. I had at least had a 2 hour nap on the plane but she’s been awake the whole time. 

When I got off the phone, Rosie and I walked over to the Frio river with Bits. We waded in the crystal clear water and I thought it was going to be colder than it was. It was cold but not like the fresh snow melt rivers in Idaho that I grew up with. The water felt really good and I decided I was going to plunge my whole body in it. I felt grungy, I had been wearing the same clothes I had wore yesterday, I had slept in them all night and was still wearing them. I stripped down to my bra and underwear, they were both black and looks like a bathing suit, and waded out to the middle. I kept thinking about plunging in but not doing it, finally I just did it. It actually felt great! I swam around a little and bathed my filthy body. It felt good to wash away all the airport grime. Rosie did not plunge in but did wade out pretty far. We had a fun conversation about her dating life which led to a conversation about being a light in the world. 

We continued that conversation on the walk back to camp and throughout the rest of the night. Our tents were set up next to each other and we each got into our sleeping bags and talked through our tents until around 9:30 PM. I wrote my blog for a while and fell asleep at around 10:30 PM. 

Thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my life. I dearly appreciate you. 



P.S. This blog post was inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

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