Thursday, March 04, 2010

Meat on a Stick Time - Part 2!

We came, we saw, we camped, and cooked meat on a stick! Last Sunday, we wrapped up a four-day camping trip to Pedernales Falls State Park and due to my many obligations, I am just now finding time to write about it.

My brother TJ Bustem, nephew Andy Tallant, coworker “Big” John Graham, his son “Texas Slim”, and buddy “Texas Shorty” arrived at the quiet and mostly empty park Thursday about 2pm and began the process of setting up our tents and gear. I began worry about rain on this trip a full month before we arrived and I must say; we couldn’t have dialed in better weather, even if we had that ability.

The day before we left, I defrosted Elk and Axis deer back-strap my friend Brian White brought me and soaked it in milk overnight. Draining the milk and washing it, I put it in a one-gallon freezer bag and added Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. Thursday evening, we skewered the tasty meats and held them over an open fire.
It was delicious! It was more than delicious, it was heavenly delicious.
The milk removed the normal gamey taste and appeared to tenderize the meat also, as it almost fell off the skewers. There we were, hunkered down, each of us as pioneers of old, cooking meat on a stick. Our two 10-year old “Texans” were getting both a taste of outdoor cooking by their own doing and the secure fellowship of men who actually care about their future development.

The Baytown Hiking Fellowship was enjoying its first campout. As stated in the previous Blog, our fellowship was founded last year to honor the memory of my son, Sgt. Nick Marshall and to promote fellowship and personal development. We all agreed we will have many more hikes and campouts, in the future.
I was determined to attempt a number of methods and new equipment on this trip, as possible for my own development and one of these is a knife/magnesium striker device, for lighting fires. In preparation for the first fire, I made cotton balls soaked in melted Vaseline, a fire-starting trick I saw on the Internet, but widely used by the Boy Scouts, hunters and hikers.

We gathered around the fire-pit and I pulled 2 cotton balls out, placed them in the pit and struck the magnesium rod with the edge of the knife blade. Like magic (and to my utter amazement), the cotton balls ignited and just like that, we had the beginnings of our campfire. My only regret is, we failed to video it.

Friday and Saturday we hiked as a group and Geocached. We were blessed with sunny days, but the nights hovered in the mid-30’s, which was fine, albeit cold. I opted to sleep in my tent with no heater, as did Andy and TJ Bustem and although my sleeping bag kept me comfy, my face was cold as ice and my only option was to wrap a fleece blanket around my head each night.

Once again, geocaching is a high tech treasure hunting game using a GPS device to locate “caches”. Pedernales Falls has close to 30 approved caches hidden within its borders and our first objective was to locate a number of them on the 4-mile loop trail. However, the Pedernales River had the only crossing flooded, so we went off to find other caches, eventually locating nine.

By Saturday, our two pint-sized Texans were weary of the slow-pace us seasoned campers were keeping, so Andy took them off to Pedernales Falls for four hours of hiking while TJ Bustem, Big John, and I hiked part of the Wolf Mountain Trail and located more caches. At the Pedernales Popcorn cache we found our first Travel Bug, which is a cool-looking dog-tag thingy and this one was attached to a travel boot ornament. The idea of a travel bug is the person who “grabs” it, carries it to a distant cache according to the wishes of the original owner and all of this is recorded later on
This Bug is going to be placed Saturday, March 6th on the Goose Creek Trail, helping it on its way to the Appalachian Trail.

Raccoons, accosted our camp as always, but we kept a clean site, so they got very little besides a couple of my favorite Los Toritos bean, cheese and jalapeno tamales and a can of bean dip. Jackrabbits, deer, and even a fox passed through our site as we sat by the fire and who knows what else while we slept.

It was a weary bunch of trail-broke happy campers who rolled up their gear Sunday morning. At this point all of us could have stayed on without reserve, but commitments and our folks at home beckoned. As we drove out of the park, all were making plans for the next adventure.


Anonymous said...

Bert, you scared me! When I saw "meat-on-a-stick" I immediately thought of what my son, Ben (who is in the Army) had last year before he left Korea - dog-on-a-stick!! Gross! Have a great day! Anita

*Well, the dogs ran too fast. We had to settle for deer meat. ;) *BB

Anonymous said...

Bert, Inspiring blog! I am going to look into GeoCaching. I could smell the campfire as I read. Sounds like a great idea to get the boys together. Thanks for sharing the adventure. -Garry

*You are most welcome. I have a number of videos posted on youtube also under the user name: baytownbert2 *BB

Anonymous said...

Man that is good stuff. BAM

*If anyone should know, you should, working with the Boy Scouts and all! LOL *BB

Anonymous said...

Made me tired and hungry both. JF

*Well then, I've accomplished my mission! *BB

Anonymous said...


*All the important ones do, Ken. LOL *BB

帥哥聰明姐 said...

haha~ funny! thank you for your share~ ........................................

Natalie said...

ALMOST makes me want to go camping...I'll cook over a fire, hike, etc., but a tent and a sleeping bag when it's that chilly...probably NOT happening :)

BrYaN W. said...

Must be nice some of us have to work for a living, just a joking maybe a lil jealous. I told ya bout the axis! Ain't nothing like it! Glad yal enjoyed it. BrYaN

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