Me, Mr. B. and Wyatt (one of his Webelos II running buddies), go tonight for what will be my second-to-last camping trip before they move on into Boy Scouts, which does not encourage, let alone require, parents to go camping with them. So two more nights on the ground (albeit with an air mattress) and I’m done with it.
Forecast is for a warmish night, and (my bet) another loss for the Longhorns to lowly Florida Whatever, which I will be listening to on the radio. This time the boys and I are coming full-circle, back to the first camping spot they did when they were Tiger Cub scouts a few years ago: McKinney Falls State Park. Picturesque, especially the pretty falls area—except for the periodic roar of the commercial jets taking off from nearby Austin International Airport.
UPDATE: As one of the other older fathers said: I don’t know which hurts worse, my back or my butt. I do know this was my last camping trip sleeping on the ground. The worst part, actually, was getting up and down and spending time on my knees getting everything set up and then torn down. But they had fun. Glad, too, that the Longhorns won.
Mr. B’s Webelos II Cub Scout den is building a catapult this morning on some rural land northwest of the rancho.
Presumably a good deal smaller (and less dangerous) than this Roman ballista. I hope so, anyhow.
It’s part of their engineering achievement dealie for their Arrow of Light.
Don’t ask me what the AoL means. I was in Boy Scouts but never finished Cubs, if they even had AoLs back in my personal Dark Ages.
This is the made-in-China, two-person tent Mr. B. and I used on his Cub Scout camping trip last month. Quite a change from my Boy Scout days in the 50s when we only had WWII-surplus pup tents assembled from shelter halves. They almost always leaked. Lots cheaper now, too. The surroundings are the campsite at Inks Lake State Park, one of the Highland Lakes in the hills west of Austin.
Mr. B. and I leave tomorrow, after his youth basketball game at noon, for his Cub Scout Pack’s overnight camping at Inks Lake State Park. Weather looks good, so far, seventies daytime and fifties at night, just cool enough to make sleeping easy. I should have plenty of time to photograph this spring’s glorious crop of wildflowers. One more year of cubs and he will be a Boy Scout, when parents are discouraged from attending such trips. The older scouts manage themselves and the younger ones.
UPDATE: Back Sunday afternoon: I’m sore as can be, mainly from getting in and out of the little 7X7 dome tent. But sleeping was good, thanks to the air mattress and the temperature. Just cool enough. Mr. B. contrived to get his shoes wet in the first few hours, but Mrs. C. fortunately had sent along a pair of crocks. So he got by.
Did not photograph a single bluebonnet, but the wide fields of them were incredible on 71 from Oak Hill to 281 north and again through Marble Falls to Burnet, also on 29 west from Burnet to Park Road 4 and the park road crop was glorious, a few feet high marching right up to the edge of the road. Coming back on 29 east to Austin I meant to stop for pictures, but it started raining, which discouraged me.
The Owl Box on Ustream. Live feed of a wild mother Barn Owl sitting her eggs, courtesy of Den 6, Pack 2, Capitol of Texas District, Cub Scouts of America. Yep, Mr. B.’s outfit.
Alas, the extended freeze warnings for the weekend across much of Texas have eliminated the Cub Scout’s planned Saturday overnight on the Battleship Texas. It wasn’t the Cub Scouts who canceled, it was the folks who run the battleship. They’re worried about their water lines freezing and so will be cutting them off and they didn’t want the kids to have to bring their own water, apparently. Mr. B. and I are disappointed. Maybe next year.
We’re having fun this year making Mr. B.’s fourth racer for the scouts’ Pinewood Derby on Sunday. He wanted to go for a win, again, so we followed the speed rules: dimensions, etc. Then we made the axle holes too big, so the wheels are loose, and completely fouled up the camo decal. He was planning to go for wacky next year, but we already seem to be headed in that direction by default.
For all that, it’s been fun, specially with him doing more of the work this time. He’s finally old enough to hold a power drill steady and help saw the block of pine down to its speediest narrow shape. He practiced first, a bit shy at the noise the drill makes, but otherwise game. He’s growing up. He also decided we’ll take the car in Saturday for impounding, then go to his basketball game at the J on Sunday before catching the last hour of the derby and see what the car’s been doing against the competition. If the wheels stay on.