Thursday, January 22, 2009

Camping for Geeks

My wife loves to camp. She loves tents and cook stoves, sleeping bags and camp fires. Myself: not so much.

Zack takes after my wife in loving the outdoors. Given his preference he'd spend most of his time outside with the dogs. My preference is to spend time in front of the TV or the computer. Yes Virginia, I'm a couch potato.

Recently I received some bad news. I'm in the beginning stages of hypertension which is also known as high blood pressure. This means changes to diet and activity levels. Given my desire for a sedentary lifestyle in familiar surroundings it seemed logical the best way to break out of the rut would be to get me out of the familiar surroundings into something a bit more privative without the luxuries of home. But I really don't like camping.

But there are things I enjoy that are camping like. I love sunsets and lakes, I like people watching and I enjoy setting by campfires. I felt there might be a compromise, a camping trailer!

So, off to Craig's list we went to find a nice used RV trailer that would pull comfortably behind our truck. What we found was a Jayco 29 footer that we three years old. In my opinion, the best deals are to be found in an economic downturn. Folks are tightening up and looking to get rid of luxury items.

The couple selling the trailer had kept it up well. The inside was immaculate. The outside was in good shape as well showing only a little wear during its three years of existence.

The camper has a queen size bed up front, a nicely appointed kitchen with a three burner range and oven, microwave oven, refrigerator with freezer, two cable TV connections, a full on bottom single on top bunk bed, a bathtub with shower and vanity sink and, best of all, a toilet. The couch and dining table also make into a bed. All told it could sleep 8 in relative comfort. The side also slide out so when you have the trailer set up the thing is fairly spacious.

So we purchased the trailing with a quick loan from our local credit union. Credit is still easy to come by if you have a good credit score. The process, in my opinion, is almost too easy.

So, deeper in debt but with a happy family we look for a good first location in order to loose our camper virginity. We had several folks recommend Inks Lake and so off to Burnett Texas we went. For anyone interested in Texas State parks, I recommend checking out the Park Finder. There really are parks a short distance from just about anyone in Texas.

Inks lake is very nice. It is one of Texas' a constant level lake kept that way by siphoning off water from lakes further up river. I wonder which politically savvy resident managed to pull that one off.

The facilities were clean and well kept. The park store had lots of goodies and allowed you to rent canoes and paddle boats. The trails were fun and the sunsets were just this side of heaven. This was my first camping experience and it was great.

Zack enjoyed it as well. Below is a picture of Zack blissfully fishing.