Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Once more, with Hoodlums.

All work and no play makes Merriwether something something
-Note found on my computer by Misseswether

There comes a time when a desk-bound adventurer says "I'm outta here!" and heads off into the woods. If his insanity has progressed far enough he takes his wife and kids along.

Misseswether, along.

Luckily, Misseswether had help in soothing the wanderlust in my soul. Somewhere around 50 or so helpers, actually: The Texas Hoodlums!

Hoodlums. They are good people!

After months of planning it was time for the Hoodlums Spring Thing 2010. Four days camping in the Texas Hill Country with friends, family, food, guitars, ghost stories, shooting stars, assorted non-biting insects, dirt, ten million wild flowers and one inflatable sheep. It doesn't get any better than that!

Mambowether with wild flowers.

Wild flowers without Mambowether (not nearly as pretty).

Blue bonnets. Wow!

More flowers. It was a record year for wild flowers up in the Hill Country!

My job this year at the Spring Thing was to teach edible plant classes. Unlike previous years, this time there were more wild edibles than just a few cacti. The people were laughing at me because for the first hour of each plant class we stood in one spot as I talked about dozens of edible plants within reach of my excessively long arms!

Me teaching about the very rare "Thing" tree.

As usual, Miniwether amused herself with whatever multi-legged creature she could catch.

Later on they started racing caterpillars.

Another multi-legged critter. Yes, it's a black widow spider. Miniwether was very careful with it.

A scorpion. They are the best thing ever for practical jokes!! Tasty, too.

Mambowether preferred the donkey (also surprisingly tasty).

Minwether and the donkey. Not shown: Shrek.

Still not shown: Shrek (no comments Jennifer!).

Clark and family were there as was Wildcat and his two daughters.
Clarks (including my soon to be Godson!!) and Wildcat.

The Wethercamp. Note the potty-tent. It was for girls only...eight girls plus the occasional friend of Mini/Mambo/Clarkettes/WildKittens. Even though I never used it (it's good to be a man) it was my job to empty it and clean it. This had to be done several times a day. Yes, it was a disgusting job, but it got the Wethergirls out into the woods with me!

When I wasn't teaching, cleaning toilets, or taking pictures of wild flowers I was able to attend some of the other classes offered by fellow Hoodlums.

Fire making class. Apparently thermite is not considered a primitive method of making fire.

SUCCESS! I have now made fire by rubbing two sticks together!!

She made fire, too. (note: that's not Misseswether. Misseswether wears dresses and high heels even in the woods).

Leatherworking class.

Rope-making class.

Foraging class with Savage Knives (on right).

Hood gear for sale.

Misseswether attended a first aid class because...well, she's married to me. When not digging in the dirt, picking flowers, re-enacting scenes from "Lord of the Flies" or playing with critters, Miniwether and Mambowether squeezed in some fishing. which is something they love.

Going fishing (but didn't catch any fish).

...and back to digging. Mambo loves shovels!

Miniwether prefers flowers...ah, who am I kidding. She has a handful of grasshoppers in this picture.

Homeschooling in the woods.

Suppertime!! It's hard to see, but there were about six Dutch Ovens used in making this meal, along with numerous campfire delicacies.

What's a campfire without ghost stories? Ron Hood enthralled the kids with tales of bigfoot, cannibal mutants, and vampires!

And yet the girls slept peacefully. Considering the first night a windstorm tried to shred our tent and the second night coyotes howled until sunrise I'm a little amazed by who deeply they slept. I guess when you are running around outdoors all day long with a pack of other kids sleeping becomes very easy.

Though some did have rougher nights than others...

Alas, after three nights in the woods Sunday came. We had planned to stay until Monday, but all the other families with young kids left on Sunday. Faced with the prospect of having to entertain our kids ourselves, we chose to pack up and go home, too.

So now it's two days later. Everything has been unpacked but due to our dryer breaking down, the camping clothes have yet to be washed. Still, that okay. I don't mind the smell of smoke and adventure that still lingers on them.

And now a few more flower pictures...


Ripe thistle.

Unopened thistle.

Blanket flowers.

Adventure! Excitement! Waiting for the Hoodlums Fall Thing!!


BigDaddyTX said...

One of my favorite Simpsons' quotes. Looks beautiful out there, I was hoping to make it but this just wasn't the weekend for me. I also probably need to try to be more active on their boards.. had a good time with the people from there that came when ZS went and they were right, it would have been a much better time of the year to be there.

Mike_H said...

Looks like another fine adventure.

I'm heading out into the greater woods of PA next month. I was wondering, could I get recipe/instructions for your famous stick bread?