We had a great Thanksgiving holiday this year. Once again, we enjoyed a good Thanksgiving meal with family followed by a camping trip for three nights on our own. I must admit that the buffet lunch at the hotel was quite the hit with our group, as it was really good with all kinds of food, not just the traditional turkey and dressing. In fact, it was so good and worked out so well for us that I suspect we may look at going there again in future years, especially when we have such a small family group to feed. This year, I will just cook for Christmas, and that seems to be a good plan for us at this time.
We also visited Copper Breaks State Park, a new camping destination for us over Thanksgiving, and it was actually a nice, little known state park within a reasonable drive for us. We learned the hard way this year that getting a campsite at the more popular state parks during the Thanksgiving holiday is pretty much impossible unless you reserve a spot early on, so we just opted for a lesser known park. The main campground was only about half full, and we had a really nice time there with a few other families who were all from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. The weather mostly cooperated, and Saturday and Sunday were actually great weather days to be out and about in that area with nice warm temps during the day.
As you enter the park, some members of the official state longhorn herd reside in an area on the left side of the road. On our second ride back up to see if we could spot one, we finally got to see this one. Those horns are… well… long!
We especially enjoyed hiking and biking on one of the trails and found it to be one of the nicest hiking trails of any state park that we have visited so far. This was a good thing, since I had to walk off lots of calories from the Thanksgiving buffet.
There are two pretty lakes in the park, with the main one being accessible by the park road. While the lake is still a bit low at this time, it is still suitable for fishing, which is supposedly pretty good. We will keep hoping and praying for more rain in this whole area to end this nasty drought, for sure.
I am a sucker for pretty sunsets, and we saw some beautiful sunsets here, even while just sitting at our campsite in the evenings. The picnic tables also had nice “teepee” covers over them in the Comanche camping area, which was appropriate since this area is known for its Comanche and Kiowa Indian history and is very near the spot where Cynthia Ann Parker was finally recaptured from the Comanches. In fact, there is a nice little free museum inside the park headquarters to catch up on the pertinent history of the area, too.
Quanah, a small town about 12 miles north of the park, has a nice grocery and hardware store, along with a few restaurants, too. I’m sure this park is visited more often during the warmer weather months, but for us, it was great to just get away to a uncrowded park, enjoy some hiking and cycling, visit with some nice couples and families, cook out, and sit under the stars by a warm campfire at night. A couple of times, I thought about all of the Black Friday madness going on back at home and just had to smile that we were having such a great time away from all the crowds and stress. I found myself counting my blessings throughout the entire holiday weekend and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, including listening to many coyotes howling at night just after sunset, something we have not heard quite like that in any previous camping trips. It was just amazing to hear them, too.
One particular advantage that we have found in camping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the fact that there are no large groups camping at that time, such as boy scout/girl scout groups. On our last trip to another state park, we actually camped with a very large group of scouts and another big group of people on a reunion trip together. That particular group of about 25 men met in the site next to ours in the evenings on two consecutive nights for their dinner and even set up a full sound system for their nightly program, too. The entire camp could hear their program, but it was especially loud for us, since we were right next to them. It was a good group on a memorial trip to honor a deceased friend, but they definitely overstepped camp etiquette and ruined the evenings for everyone else. So after such a fiasco on our previous trip, it was very nice to have a nice, quiet experience this time out.
Now it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit and get moving on holiday festivities and preparations once again. Fortunately, I have a couple of slow weeks to get some decorating and shopping done before things start gearing up a bit more just prior to Christmas.