Headed Down South to the Land of the Pines

That line’s from Wagon Wheel and it’s about North Carolina, but it’s been on my mind here in Texas, oddly.

We’re only passing through Texas to do a bunch of paperwork and appointments (more on that later), so I can’t give a full GDTRFB report. (That’s Going down the Road Feeling Bad as it’s written on bootleg concert tapes, for you non-Deadheads.)

But I can tell you that so far we’ve seen ranches with huge fences (they’re big into fences here), grandiose entry gates, and ostentatious ranch houses. Everything is, in fact, big.

The Ray Roberts Lake area we stayed in when I visited with Karen has the most spectacular sunsets, plus plenty of deer and coyotes and sandburs.

Banjo and I would get down the trail each morning partway, and then she’d smell where the coyotes had been prowling the night before (I think they prowl; do they prowl?) and her hackles would rise, she’d tuck her tail, and she’d beeline it straight back to the campsite, all casually as if not to let on that we were TOTALLY SURROUNDED.

I never saw them.

That was up near Ft. Worth; now we’re a little southeast, in the Sam Houston National Forest at a place called Cagle Recreational Area.

There are tons of trails around here that we’ll try to check out between errand days. I already know though that you have to carry a stick in front of you in the woods at all times to break the walls of spider webs across the paths.

Seriously, one after another, spiderweb, spiderweb, spiderweb.

We’re in a sandy area with huge pine trees and palmettos and Spanish moss. To me it feels like parts of the South, and I guess Texas is southern U.S. I just didn’t expect it to feel familiar at all.

This pileated woodpecker hung around long enough to tell me, “Duh.”

You guys stay safe!

10 thoughts to “Headed Down South to the Land of the Pines”

  1. Oh Shelly, I so enjoy your blog! Since we’re tucking in & trying to ride out Covid, reading about your adventures gives us the chance to enjoy camping vicariously! Stay safe & don’t drink the water!!!😘

    1. Thanks so much, Kathie! It really helps me to hear that someone’s reading this. I enjoy writing, but I feel increasingly weird about sending that email. Thank you for the feedback. You guys stay safe! (And don’t go into Longbranch saloon for lunch – no one wears masks there!)

  2. wow! Those are some mega spider webs! At least you can see them and hopefully duck your way past them!

  3. Of course I am reading these!! It’s my education in botany, entemolocy, geology, meteorology, transportation and dog psychology. Keep writing so I stay sane in this lockdown. I am not sure how much longer I can spend my days walking around Home Depot. Enjoy your experience, I know I do.

    1. Marie, I’ve thought to call you a million times. We need a weekly phone call to replace our old lunch out. I’ll email you to set it up! You’re not allowed to go crazy.

  4. Spiders build their webs where their snack food hangs out 🙂 – as you’re whomping on those webs with that big stick, thank the spiders for munching on buglets that otherwise might be munching on you 🙂
    Summer camp trail rides: the lead rider gets the longest fly crop because part of their job is knocking down spiderwebs.

    1. I was the worst at riding in front because even with a crop I couldn’t get the webs as tall as my tall coach behind me. 🙄