Humming Engines, Slamming Doors & Muffled Voices: Our Trip to Seminole Canyon State Park, Texas
Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock, Texas, USA
I enjoy RV’ing because every trip provides me with the opportunity to create cherished memories. Some of my best memories are born during seemingly insignificant events. My experience at Seminole Canyon State Park unexpectedly and wonderfully provided me with just such an event.
November 2004 was our month of hodgepodge travels. It included a short three day RV trip to Fort Davis, Texas and an eagerly anticipated week long trip to Boston, Massachusetts (by airplane). Our reason for the Fort Davis trip was to deliver and set-up our RV at a family hunting lease. We had three days to complete our Fort Davis trip in order to return home in time to make our scheduled flight out to Boston. Because of this, I wanted to get the Fort Davis trip behind us.
When traveling by RV, Fort Davis is approximately ten-hours from our home. We have made the same trip a few times before. On one of our earlier trips, we stayed at Davis Mountains State Park in Fort Davis. It is among our favorites of the many beautiful Texas state parks. When less hurried, we travel as far as Del Rio, Texas spending our first night there. But on this trip, we wanted to travel as far as we could before stopping. We ended up approximately 35 miles out of Del Rio at Seminole Canyon State Park near Comstock, Texas.
When we arrived at the park, the office was closed. We were on our own in finding the campground area and in choosing our camp-site. We followed the well driven road from the office to the campground. With less than half of the approximately 25 camp-sites occupied, we chose a site in an area where the surrounding sites were empty. We were pleased with the quiet, isolated location of our temporary home.
After setting up the RV, we enjoyed the remainder of the daylight hours by admiring the views surrounding the campground. Because we were in a rocky elevated area, we could see for miles. We saw several deer and jack-rabbits scampering about down below in the mesquite and cactus covered desert-like plains. We leisurely walked around the campground inspecting our new neighborhood. After visiting with some of the other campers, we called it a night. We planned on making an early start the next day and we wanted to be well rested.
Around midnight, we were suddenly jolted out of our peaceful sleep by what sounded like an onslaught of invaders. An uninvited steady stream of headlights delicately swayed across our bedroom window dimly lighting up the room and creating an unwelcoming glow. The once quiet night was inundated with humming engines, slamming doors and multitudes of muffled voices. Intermittent pounding sounds sharply resonated in the night air. Dazed and confused we peered out of our bedroom window. To our amazement, in the dim lantern lit night, we saw that all of the empty campsites had turned into small tent cities. We found ourselves right smack in the middle of a boy-scout camp-out.
Within an hour or so, after our new neighbors settled in, the desert night returned to its normal blissful silence. We were able to find humor in the situation and easily fell back asleep.
That morning we awoke rested and eager to get going. When we ventured outside, we were surprised by the transformation. All of the surrounding campsites were filled with multi-colored tents and various camping paraphernalia. Wrung-out troop leaders and a small number of boy-scouts groggily meandered aimlessly about the campground. Weary from their long night’s ordeal, many of the boy-scouts remained soundly asleep in their tents.
As we prepared our breakfast outside, the troop leaders got their camp fires going. Soon, the air was filled with the delicious aroma of campfire coffee, bacon, eggs and toast. The early morning rhythm of camp-life had begun.
As we ate breakfast by our campfire, we enjoyed watching the antics of the now fully awake and very lively troop. The entertainment they unknowingly provided more than made up for their late night intrusion. Their youthful enthusiasm was contagious.
After we finished eating, several of the troop leaders came over to our camp-site and apologized for their late night arrival. They explained that they had car problems and got a late start. We assured them that they did not bother us and that we enjoyed their company. In interesting detail, they described the uniqueness of Seminole Canyon State Park and its popularity with boy-scout troops. They told us about the ancient pictographs and the spectacular canyons. Their information was so intriguing that I felt disheartened because we could not stay. I became even more disheartened when the troop leaders invited us to be their guests on a special guided-tour of the park and the surrounding area. I found myself wanting to stay, but I knew we had to go.
As we drove out of the park, we felt rejuvenated. The boy-scout’s infectious exuberance for life rekindled our own enthusiasm for the many life adventures that secretly waited ahead. They helped create an everlasting memory from what began as a seemingly insignificant trip.