This year I had the most “Texan” New Year ever! It all started because the group had two different ideas of what we should do for the new year. The first idea was to go see Brian Houser, a.k.a. The Beerman. The second idea was to go to Blue, Oklahoma and camp out in a friend’s family cabin on the Blue River. To appease everyone, we went to Beerman on Friday and had intended to go to Blue on Saturday. Unfortunately, Craig, the friend with the cabin, got sick. He couldn’t go out on Saturday, so we went camping in Glen Rose, Texas instead. Then Sunday, Craig was feeling better, so a few of us cruised on up to Blue. Blue is The Middle of NOWHERE. There is almost no cell phone service in Blue. The roads are made of dirt. They don’t build bridges, they build low water crossings. The water in the cabin comes directly from the river. The Middle of Nowhere.
I am tempted to use the word Redneck or White Trash to describe my weekend, but I would hate to offend anyone, but, well…that’s what it was….the most redneck New Year a bunch of city kids could possibly have! Here is a rundown of our activities by day…
Piled 10 people in two cars and drove 40 minutes to Denton to see Brian Houser perform country music.
(this was the least redneck day)
Piled 9 people, 4 tents, 4 coolers, and a roll of toilet paper in 2 cars.
Drove 1.5 hours to Glen Rose, Texas and camped along the Brazos River.
Had hotdogs for dinner and mutilated the baked potatoes we tried to cook in the firepit.
We tried to keep out the city slickers, but we still had bagels and cream cheese for breakfast.
The group split up and three of us went to meet up with Craig to go to Blue.
Got to the last gas station before Blue. We tried to throw away some trash and went to look for a trash can. Outside the store were two men leaning against a truck. Seeing us look for a trash can one of them spoke up:
“Lookin’ for a trash can?”
“We have to keep ’em inside.”
“Yeah, people keeped stealin’ ’em so we had to move ’em inside.”
“oh, uh, ok. That sucks.”
Stealing trash cans????
Then we headed down a two lane road and turned off at a dirt road.
Next we arrived at Granny and Grandad’s (Craig’s grandparent’s house). We ran inside to say hello quickly and then went out to a field to shoot guns before the sun went down. Craig had gotten a new gun for Christmas and he wanted to try it out.
After 30 minutes or so, the sun was almost gone and we went inside to visit with Granny and Grandad. Granny fed us home made salsa and HOME MADE KALHUA! She makes kalhua, which then becomes a white russian or Granny’s Chocolate Milk. The BEST and STRONGEST chocolate milk you will ever taste.
After a swift kick from the chocolate milk we continue on the dirt road, and turned off at a smaller dirt road. We crossed the low water crossing and soon arrived at the cabin which rests just 50 feet from the Blue River.
After we settled in, Craig decided we needed to go Gigging. Gigging consists of riding in a fishing boat and using a long pole with a large three pronged fork at the end to spear fish. Yes. Seriously. We didn’t catch anything, so went went back to the dock and tied up the boat. We ate dinner, drank and played games then went to bed.
In the morning I heard a rushing sound from the river. We knew it was supposed to rain, but not hard so we weren’t worried. There was some joking talk about snow days and how waiting to see if the river flooded was good enough for us, but none of us thought it would.
Low and behold, the river rose about 10 feet. The boat that was tied to the dock was missing and we had a sneaky suspicision the low water crossing had flooded. Craig and Greg checked it out before Eric or I had even woken up. Yes. It was flooded. We were stuck.
Around 11 we went to check it out. The guys had thought to put markers (skeet) in the road to see how high the water got or if it was going down. It was not going down. It rose a few more feet that day. There was 150ft of water and a large downed tree between us and the other side of the road. Well, what can you do? Shoot guns! So we turned around and and went to a clearing, and began shooting. I learned to shoot that day…sort of. They had me shoot 4 different guns. The coolest was definitely Eric’s grandfather’s old gun. It looked like something out of an old western and came with a holster! It had no safety, but you had to cock it every time you shot. Amazingly it is apparently still shooting straight, although I did not hit a thing with it. So there I am walking around with a holster on…tre’ fun!
After the arsenal had been significantly tested, we went back to the cabin for lunch. This is when we realized our water supply was mud brown. The water supply pulled directly from the river and had been flooded. Yum. The toilet was particularly pretty.
Around this time we decided to devise a way to get across the low water crossing. We went into the cabin’s cellar and found some old blow up boats and attempted to blow them up. With about 1/2 a pound of duct tape we were semi successful.
We piled them on top of my car and headed back to the crossing.
Then Greg and Craig set off to cross the over in the little boats. Craig got in and was sitting in about one inch of water when he realized his teeny boat was letting in a teensy bit of water. Then he screamed like a girl! “It’s taking on water!! It’s taking one water! Ahh!!” Greg and I laughed our asses off and then told him to get out. We taped up the hole and sent him and Greg on their way! Paddling across the road! What world had I entered! It was like a 4th dimension of redneckhood or something!
Once they got to the other side, they walked back to Craig’s grandparents’ house to get food and water.
A couple hours later, we met them back at the crossing to get them back across. One of the boats was too deflated to use. What an ordeal! First, Greg paddled across with a load of food. Then he took a rope back across.
Then Craig took the rope and Greg came back across. Then Craig pulled the boat back. Then Craig came across.
Then we had to move the tree in the road. Eric got in the boat and paddled (with a very interesting technique) out to the tree. He tied the rope (a huge 1″ thick rope) to the tree and the guys tied the other end to my tow hitch and I pulled the tree out of the way with my beatiful, wonderful, yellow Xterra!
The water was receding at this point so we decided to come back and check it again in a few hours, because Craig’s grandparents said it was supposed to rain all night and we might want to leave later that night rather than chance getting stuck again.
Then we had the most amazing dinner–because Craig’s Granny ROCKS–She had given us pasta, homemade tomato sauce, bread, butter, fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, and the pieces de resistance’, HOMEMADE sausage from a pig they had bought half of–they bought half of a pig!!!–and half a bottle of Granny’s Chocolate Milk!! YUMMY!
So we did it up for dinner and then around 10 Craig and Greg went to check on the crossing. I went to take a nap, and about 20 minutes later I got up and suggested to Eric that we go check on them. They had been gone a long time. He said they were fine, don’t worry…So I went back to my nap. About 20 minutes after that, the door opens, and in walks to very wet guys.
When they had turned around from the crossing, they had gotten stuck in the mud. Halfway up the tires. They called a neighbor, and the neighbor who owns a Dooley said he would get them out at 8am. Unbelievable! Everything that could possibly happen did!
So we met the neighbor at Craig’s SUV at 8am, and out of this HUGE truck comes a cowboy dressed in a long, black leather cowboy trench coat, and beige felt cowboy hat,. He even had the smallest handlebar mustache!
It was the perfect way to end the weekend…rescued by a cowboy!
Finally, everything fell into place, and we crossed the crossing which still had a couple of inches of water on it. We made it safely out, said our goodbyes, and thanks to Granny, and headed home.
What a way to start the new year!!!