This weekend my family took a trip up to the river house in Concan, TX for a relaxing long weekend. Concan is between 4-5 hours from Houston so we left at 4:30 AM on Friday to get out of Houston before the traffic hit. When I was little we used to go to GarnerState Park every year for vacation and I have so many fond memories of that place.
My grandma’s (Maw-Maw) memory is fading so we wanted to bring the entire family up for the weekend to have (at least) one last family trip there. We were trying to plan it to where everyone could go, but it turns out that only my uncle could go and the rest of the kids (3) were no able to attend with their family. The attendees were me, Maw-Maw, Paw-Paw, Laura (my sister), her kids Hunter and Cole, my Uncle Wendall and his wife Rhonda, plus their two kids, Tiffany and Emily.
We all played in the river (or floated) all day on Friday. I even fell asleep in my float for a little bit. I heart the Frio River! On Saturday the plan was to go to Garner State Park early to hike and see the old stompin’ grounds, but apparently the park limits the number of outsiders on the weekends and cuts off entrance to the park at around 10 AM.
Since we couldn’t get in to the park we just played on our side of the river with the rope swing. The house/cabin is situated on about 5 acres that are right on the river when you go down a hill. We use the “Stairs of Death” because they are directly behind the house but there are a two other sets that can be used too. I just prefer the stairs of death, which are so death defying anymore like they used to be. The kids like to use the name because they are hard to get down but have improved very much since in the last few years.
Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw couldn’t get down the stairs (any set) so they just hung out on the deck. I love this view! I stayed out here for a while reading my book and spying on the turtles sunbathing in the river. EVERY time I have gone up there with the intention of sleeping on this deck, under the stars (bucket list item) the rain has stopped my plans. :/ Usually you look up and you see millions of stars, but it was so cloudy that I decided not to try and sleep outside (with bug spray).
I love this story! On Saturday evening, my uncle took my grandparents to the State Park-you can get in after 6 PM-to see if my Maw-Maw would remember anything. As they were driving through, she would say “Oh, look at that” or “that has changed”. When they got close to their old campground that they always reserved, she said “There’s the two boulders and camp ground 105”. My uncle, aunt, and grandpa all didn’t remember the campground number, but my grandma with Alzheimer’s did.
They got out of the car (no one was staying at the campground) and Maw-Maw looked down on the grass and saw a heart rock. Maw-Maw collects heart rocks each time we go to the river the grandkids look for her a heart rock. This one was a perfect heart.
She also looked up and saw a poke salad plant. Maw-Maw grew up in East Texas during the Depression and Poke Salad was a big deal. She gets SO EXCITED every time she sees it. I once had to smuggle it out of a park in a backpack in PA because she couldn't leave without it. LOL. You can make it with eggs, kind of like spinach.
Anyway, for her to find it at her favorite campground, plus a heart rock, was a big deal. God was smiling down on this trip. I don’t believe that is a coincidence. My uncle was very happy in that moment. This might be the last time they travel up there and the whole family has awesome memories of that place. I’m glad I was part of this trip!
We left after breakfast on Sunday and got home late because of traffic and rain (plus 2 stops). I had a ton of fun on the trip! Great memories.