Growing up in the natural state, I’ve always had a certain affinity for camping. When my children were young, we even camped in the backyard at times (i.e. urban camping), when it seemed likely to become more of a hassle than it would be fun, to travel far from home base. (Do you have any idea how hard it is to practice ‘Leave No Trace’ with baby diapers…?)
My sons (bottom left and striped shorts in the middle) urban camping in our backyard with their buddies (circa 1997).
Amazingly, camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – i.e. my friend (who went on the trip), told another friend (who didn’t go), that she and her husband were going, and the other friends’ response was simply, “I’m so sorry…”. That just means that you meed to be a little more creative at times, when travelling with friends, and that’s how we ended up on a couples’ cabin camping trip at the Canyon of the Eagles Resort, in the Texas Hill Country.
The resort offers the added benefit (for pet owners, like us) of being pet friendly, so of course I chose to take our kittens too. Cat camping – oh the adventure! They’re so funny anyway, so of course I took pictures of it all – to try to savor the memories as best I could, and in doing so, I couldn’t help but imagine what was going through their minds. You can read an exposé of their Wild experience on my blog titled The Great Kitten Camping Adventure.
Lovely hanging baskets and native plants lined the walkway of the entrance – from the street to the reservation desk and store (below).
This vine covered arbor (below) lead from the cabin area to where the walking/cycling trails began.
Our cabin (below) with the white rocking chairs facing the direction the eagles flew around the lake.
The cabins all had either one or two queen sized beds with a down comforter and pillows. Below is a picture of ours.
The lavatory area in our room (pictured below) contained all the standard things – a sink (with hot and cold running water), a hair dryer, a coffee maker, an ice bucket, and some extra towels.
The full sized shower/tub was located in a separate room, along with a standard flushing toilet, just to the right of the sink area previously shown. Again, just all the standard items, but it sure beat the alternative of doing without a shower and having to do your ‘business’ in the woods!
One of my (and the kittens’) favorite parts of our cabin was the near floor to ceiling sized windows and cushioned window seat (pictured below). They loved to sit or lie on the window seat having a stare down contest with the squirrels, and I enjoyed watching the sun rise in the morning while sipping a cup of coffee in bed.
The pool (below) was centrally located between the cabins, and was very unobtrusively blended with the surrounding scenery.
The resort’s Overlook Restaurant (pictured below) is a full service restaurant and has a lovely panoramic view from inside.
Native plants , like the giant Aloe Vera (pictured below) can be seen all around the property and on all the routes and trails.
Live music is provided as entertainment on some nights outside the Overlook Restaurant. On those evenings, the lights surrounding the resturant are lit up and provide a magical glow. That, mixed with the sound of the music, the aroma of a wood fire being burned in the nearby fire pit, people watching, as people mix and mingling or just relax in adirondack chairs, gives this area (below) an even more naturally rejuvenating sense about it than exists just as you see it in its naturally serene and calming state of existence.
Not long after having settled into our cabin, our friends invited us over to theirs, because they had a great view from their porch of a bunch of brown eagles flying over the lake hunting for their supper.
The Canyon of the Eagles is actually known for several variety of eagles, including the American Bald Eagle, however, this late in the year, the bald eagles have moved on, but the brown eagles (pictured below) were still very visable. None of us were real bird watchers, but it was still interesting to see eagles flying around in their naturally wild state right from our cabins.
My husband (pictured below), looking like he’s ‘all business’ as he loads the magazines (i.e. the thingy you put bullets in) and prepares the guns we were shooting, which is a good thing- since gun handling IS serious business. That said, shooting the guns was one of their favorite parts of the whole trip, for both of the guys.
One of my favorite parts was us just trying to find the gun range: We went the wrong way at first because the brochure we had said not to use Google maps and to go about 7 miles down the road before the sign. We did that, and the street numbers were all headed in the right direction, but there was no sign. After having gone more than 7 miles, and taking a few side roads that looked to have potential of a sign, we finally raised the white flag and stopped to ask. It was the guy’s answer that was priceless. Realize that there is ONLY ONE gun range in this small town area. When asked if he knew where it was, he said, “Well, the one I know about… is 14 miles that other way.”
When we finally made it there, I enjoyed shooting the guns as well. I’m not exactly a sharp shooter yet, but I enjoy working on my accuracy, and hey, I feel like I looked pretty darn bad to the bone (in the picture below), so that counts, right?
We did actually do some campfire cooking while on the trip (Here is my recipe for a delicious Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole that is perfect for these kinds of trips.), but with the Overlook Restaurant so conveniently located, we also took advantage of the opportunity to dine there a couple of times too. We had brunch there one morning, and dinner the last night of the trip. Below is my entree at dinner – Chicken Fried Wild Boar with a Jalapeno gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. The sauce was quite spicy, which I like, and the wild boar was not gamey tasting at all. I enjoyed it and definitely would order it again!
If you’ve never been camping (and maybe even wondered why any sane person would), you might consider a cabin camping trip (or ‘Glamping’ – i.e. Glamorous Camping) like ours. To me, whether you sleep in a tent, a trailor, or a cabin, it makes not that much difference. With the right people, and the right scenario, I truly believe it can all be fun, but then again, I’ve also been camping all my life. For those who haven’t (or have and didn’t enjoy it), cabin camping might just be your cup of tea and a great ‘happy medium’ for sharing bonding experiences (like camping) and helping everyone remain sane. At least think about it…
Our friends (pictured below) say they’re glad they did!