Date(s): 9/29 - 9/30/2007
Location: Erwin Park, McKinney, TX
I have run on the mountain bike singletrack at this location several times, and saw several fire rings throughout the park. On a couple
occasions, I have seen sleeping campers while running by early in the morning. I thought this would be a good car-camp site since
it is close by, and allows campfires (since many state and national parks do not allow ground fires).
Most of the sites were taken when we arrived on Saturday evening, so we waited for a pavillion to be vacated. We were lucky enough
that they had already started a fire, and that there was plenty of wood to use. We set up our two 2 person tents - Sage and I slept in my
backpacking tent, and my dad put up his old "two" person tent. My brother also joined us, but just slept outside on a tarp and sleeping bag.
We had the usual camp foods cooked over a fire - hot dogs, marshmallows, smores, hot chocolate. In the morning, I used my
MSR Whisperlite for the first time to cook eggs, bacon, and hash browns. It worked well, but didn't seem
to heat as quickly as my Coleman F1 Powerboost stove. Also,
I'm suprised by the amount of leftover soot on the stove - maybe that's related to using regular Coleman white gas instead of the "high end" MSR white
Sage was pretty pumped by the animal encounters we had while we were here. We brought our fishing pole, and he fished in a nearby pond. He caught
a sunfish (which he was in tears afraid of getting poked while taking it off the hook), 7 bass, and 1 other fish using "fake bait". He also saw lots of
spiders and (AGAIN!) got no chiggers. He also found an armadillo with his grandpa - and it came within about 5 feet of him. While sleeping in the tent,
we both heard a pack of howling coyotes around 3:30 in the morning, and an owl in camp around 4:30 in the morning.
Overall, the experience was a good one - not an ideal place if you want to get away from civilization, as there were cars there till 10:00 or so, and
runners and bikers showed up around 6 am. But, it was nice having a fire, easy access to a bathroom, picnic tables, and close to home!