We pulled up to the exit gates for our neighborhood. It slowly rolled back, revealing the road, open before us. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. The weather was...."MOM I AM HUNGRY!" No. No you are not. I gave her the hairy eyeball. We had a stare down. I explained there would be no food until lunch time. No drinks. No forty potty breaks. We would drive. We would stop for lunch. We would drive some more. End of story. She whined. I turned the radio up. Eventually, she gave up. We were just outside San Antonio before anyone said another word about food.
By 3:00 the flat plains of Texas gave way to mountains. I pointed out this mountain and that mountain to two very unimpressed children. I, on the other hand, was thrilled. I had only see mountains on two other occasions. To appease me, Kenny stopped the car in various locations to snap pictures. The last four miles through the mountains took over half an hour.
The children were thrilled when we finally arrived at the cabins. Although, their excitement was short lived when they realized we were the first to arrive. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew were hours behind. Their disappointment did not last long, as they were soon distracted by climbing trees, petting horses, and running through acres of property. Kenny and I were anxious to locate the river, so we piled the kids back into the car, and headed back up the dirt road. About five minutes later we see a pickup truck heading towards us. We flag the guy down.
"How do we get to the river?"
He looks at us. He leans out his truck window. He looks our Suburban over, spitting out of the corner of his mouth. He gives us the directions, leaving us with one piece of parting wisdom, "Well, roads pretty tore up. But you otta make it." We had no idea what he was talking about, since the directions he gave us lead us back onto paved roads. We travelled a few miles before the paved road ended. We continued up the winding mountain road, until we got to a traffic light. Which at first did not seem that odd, being that we are city folk, and quite used to traffic lights. Then we noticed, there was no cross street. And typically traffic lights and dirt roads don't go hand-in-hand. This began to seem odd. Then Kenny noticed the sign.
"Wait here for pilot car."
"What's a Pilot Car?" I looked at Kenny with the typical confused expression I wear.
"Better yet, whose job is it to drive the Pilot Car? And does he get to call himself a Pilot?" Kenny asked back.
We had plenty of time to ponder these very philosophical questions because the pilot car took at least fifteen minutes to show up. And? Was not a car at all. It was Hill Billy Bob. In a pick up. Haulin' ass up the mountain road. Our mountain road escort left us in his dust about three seconds into the drive. After we slid around the second curve, we figured out A. why the first guy had examined the tires on our car and B. why we needed an escort up the mountain.
Ten minutes later, we arrived, jostled, but safely, on the other side of the mountain. The kids, in full princess regalia, splashed in the river for a few minutes before determining it was much too cold and rocky. Besides, as Jill informed me, "Princesses don't do rivers." Oh. Obviously.
We toured the rest of the town in ten seconds flat, seeing sights such as "The Hog Pen." Nothing says good BBQ like a picture of a pig in boots and glasses. Then headed back across the mountain to the cabins to await the arrival of my family.