Cancelled!! - Meridian State Park - Tour Texas!

The park is closed due to the ice and snow.  Looks like we're more hard-core than the state parks.  Sorry guys.

Monthly car-camping adventure touring Texas' State Parks. Bring kids, dogs, and everything that will fit in the car.

Meridian State Park is 70 miles south of Fort Worth on the northern edge of the Hill Country. This is a small and quiet park, and features a fully enclosed lake and hiking trails.

We will be staying in the Shinnery Ridge East Camping Area. These are primitive sites, with no water or electricity at the sites themselves. A water spigot is located in the vicinity of the campsites, and pit toilets are a short walk away.

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It's car camping, so bring your luxury items. Big tent, big bag, and lots of good food. Campfire games and adult beverages are always welcome. Just remember to put your beverage in an alternate container. State parks have a strict 'no public consumption of alcohol' policy.

You can reserve a campsite on Texas Parks and Wildlife's website, however, they will not allow you to reserve a particular primitive site. You'll be asked your preference of site when you check in at the park. Consider sharing a ride and a camping site with another NTO-er.

The first person to check in should post their site number on this meetup page under the comments after checking in, that way we can all get sites near one another.

Bring a canoe or kayak; Lake Meridian is a no wake lake. Fishing poles are a good idea too. No need for a fishing license to fish on this lake.

Firewood gathering is prohibited in all Texas State Parks. Please bring firewood so we may continue our tradition of awesome NTO campfires.

The itinerary for these Tour Texas! adventures is standard:

Friday:
3:00 - 7:00 Early Bird check-in and camp set up
7:00 - 9:00 Dinnertime
9:00 - ? Campfire Fun

Saturday:
7:00 - 9:00 Camp Breakfast
9:00 - 5:00 Latecomer Camp Setup & Park Exploration
5:00 - 7:00 Dinnertime
7:00 - ? Campfire Fun

Sunday:
7:00 - 9:00 Camp Breakfast
9:00 -10:00 Break Camp
10:00 - Conclusion of Meetup, you can explore, hangout, or head home.

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Here is the link to the park page:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/meridian

Here is the link to the park map:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/park_maps/pwd_mp_p4503_021b.pdf

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  • Nicole

    I feel like this group is amazing even if we didn't get to do what was planned! Sometime in 2014 I am wanting to take a trip to Garner State Park and take my daughters (so I have to do that trip when I have them). I have heard it is beautiful, has this group gone yet?

    December 8, 2013

    • Win M.

      Nicole, I was just doing some reading about Garner, and it said that the Park has gotten so popular that summer reservations must be done "a year in advance"! Don't know if that is true, but check it out now if you want to go in the summer!!! Also they said that Check-in can take 3 hours during summer season. For anyone's interest the Park is about 80 miles west of San Antonio.

      December 8, 2013

    • Nicole

      Oh, wow thanks Win, I am notorious for just expecting places will be open, and I have been let down a couple times!! I was looking too by googling all the best swimming holes in the area & Granite Beach Park, Marble Falls also feels like a good place to go with kids, looks like they have all kinds of water obstacle equipment. When I road trip with them I usually try to hit at least 3 places to visit in one trip.

      December 8, 2013

  • Kib R.

    Since we couldn't make it up, my 7yo still wanted to camp. So backyard it is. Will give me a chance to try using my hammock as a bivy with poles.

    3 · December 7, 2013

    • Kib R.

      Uploaded a couple last night and one from this morning to give you better idea of how I did it. Worked fine.

      December 8, 2013

    • Raymond

      That looks like a cross between knight rider and avatar

      December 8, 2013

  • Della M.

    David called and said 730 north to Decatur is completely impassable. I'm still waiting on Scott to get home from Granbury, so we will be leaving in about an hour and heading up I-35 to 287. I anticipate those roads will be fine. Things will get hairy on the farm-to-market and forest service roads. Please continue to post road conditions.

    1 · December 7, 2013

    • Kristin

      Paul did you end up staying?

      December 7, 2013

    • Paul

      No I hiked and drove around exploring then headed home about 4

      1 · December 8, 2013

  • Randall O.

    Usually the adventure begins once you've reached your destination. I can't imagine anything that could happen, short of frostbite or you freezing to death that could be as harrowing as driving on ice!

    December 7, 2013

  • David

    Equipment report: I have had these ice cleats for years never used them. These things cost about $5 on eBay. They are a rubber strap that stretches over your shoe. They have a pattern of several metal studs poking out the bottom. They worked great! I walked all around, up slopes, spots with 3 to 4 inch thick ice, and didn't lose traction.

    December 7, 2013

  • Kib R.

    Is anyone that is still going bringing kids? I saw one comment about it before things changed. We are considering going note that our plans changed and we are getting stir crazy and no hiking required.

    December 7, 2013

    • Kib R.

      So my 7yo just said "Then we should go too, so that boy isn't the only one". Guess we are packing up and seeing how far we can get.

      December 7, 2013

    • Raymond

      Sounds like fun

      December 7, 2013

  • Kristin

    I was tempted to join you guys as well even if it was just for the afternoon. But I had a near bad accident when I tried driving on the ice in feb 2011. Not so sure I want to risk it! Be safe everyone.

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Randall O.

    Thanks for the tip Nicole. That's a pretty interesting flower pot convection heater. Here's an alternative- buy a wood stove and come out here and cut firewood for free. I'm heating my home exclusively with free energy!

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • David

    They are saying roads are even worse today, so not sure if we can all get there safely, but I'm going to start driving that way at about 11. Anybody not already having my cell let me know, I'll email it to you.

    December 7, 2013

    • David

      Road at my house is just an ice sheet. If I make it to the main road about 1 mile, should be okay from that point up until the forestry service roads. No idea if those are passable. No major bridges between me and there.

      December 7, 2013

    • Raymond

      Leaving in 30 minutes and my neighborhood is a sheet of ice so will go slow until 35 andvthen 287 post how it goes .

      December 7, 2013

  • Nicole

    Be safe to all you on the road! I feel like next time my power goes out I may try this method of heating that a friend shared with me http://www.realfarmacy.com/how-to-heat-your-room-for-15-cents-a-day/

    1 · December 7, 2013

  • Randall O.

    I'm renaming you the North Texas Polar Bear Group. Maybe you would enjoy coming out for a swim!

    December 6, 2013

  • Della M.

    The Saturday rendezvous point at 1:00-ish for the crazy folks determined to beat the freeze!

    https://maps.google.com/?ll=33.362793,-97.589321&spn=0.000927,0.001874&t=h&z=20

    1 · December 6, 2013

  • Randall O.

    Well at least the park authorities have some sense! You people are CRAZY!

    December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      Craziness is back on. We're going to the LBJ Grasslands tomorrow for camping.

      December 6, 2013

    • David

      Yea, stir crazy, and cabin fever... :)

      December 6, 2013

  • Della M.

    Hey guys, just called the park and they are closed because of the crummy weather. Looks like we're going to have to call this one off. :( That's okay because we will have another chance to freeze our buns off in January at LBJ and Mineral Wells State Park.

    December 6, 2013

    • Raymond

      Can I share your spot +1 :) see you tomorrow

      December 6, 2013

    • David

      Plenty of room for all

      December 6, 2013

  • Craig

    Just talked to the state park reservation people also. Park is closed until Monday. Everyone is receiving refunds. Damn!

    December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      We're going to the LBJ Grasslands tomorrow around 1. If you're still loaded up for camping, you should come.

      December 6, 2013

    • Craig

      Thanks for the offer Della but I am already set up in the back yard. And you thought I was kidding. Got new gear I want to test. Plus if I roll my kayak in the pool, my spa is heated to 104. Am trying for Mineral Wells in January if I can get a spot.

      December 6, 2013

  • john t.

    O.K., chili goes into the freezer, but I'm drinking the cider,on my way to buzzville!!!!

    December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      I was looking forward to the cider...and the chili too.

      December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      Don't drink too much, we're going to the Grasslands tomorrow!

      December 6, 2013

  • Paul

    LOL I was just logging on to say that I was coming for tonight only. I guess I can unpack and unload.

    December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      Ya me too. Tomorrow, hopefully some of this crud will melt off the roads.

      December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      We're going to the Grasslands tomorrow around 1 ish, still determining where...but pretty sure it's gonna happen.

      December 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    we'll just have to make January twice as much fun! If I don't speak to y'all before, Merry Christmas!!!

    2 · December 6, 2013

  • Emil

    Thanks for setting this up Della. Looking forward to Mineral Wells!

    1 · December 6, 2013

  • Craig

    With the expected weather and the number who have canceled on going, I thought I'd post that I'll still be there. Still camping, still geocaching and still kayaking. It's going to be painfully cold and miserable. But these are the things I do.

    1 · December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      Way to go Craig! You're my kind of camper. We will go and try to have some fun. I think it's a good opportunity to test our your skill, gear, and fortitude. If nothing else, you can always fall back to the car...

      December 6, 2013

  • David

    Got all my stuff on the truck, warming it up.

    December 6, 2013

    • Della M.

      Good deal. We're still coming. Loading up the truck as well.

      December 6, 2013

  • Paul

    I'm am gonna have to bail also :-( its just to icy to drive that far.

    December 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry guys my dog sitter has canceled. Be safe and have a great time. I was really looking forward to it. See you next trip

    December 6, 2013

  • Kristin

    Please be safe everyone who is going out there today. Drive sloooooowwww

    December 6, 2013

  • Gyula

    Sorry guys,but this time the fireplace win 'gainst the campfire.Have fun,be safe.See you next time.

    December 6, 2013

  • David

    Good news, the ice accumulation is dialed back, doesn't look like it will be anywhere near Meridian at this point: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/graphicast.php?site=FWD&gc=1

    1 · December 5, 2013

    • Paul

      I will text or call Della and Dave once I get on the road. Don't see it before about 3pm though. I hate getting places after dark. :-(

      1 · December 5, 2013

    • David

      Whew, almost didn't get out of my driveway already! It slopes up to the road. Usually if I get out of it, everything else is easy. I almost waited too late! I got a pick-ax an chiseled tire-wide stripes out to the middle of the street to get it out. I re-parked by the road, so no hassle to get out in the morning. It was still soft enough, by morning probably would have been too frozen to make the stripes. All is well now.

      1 · December 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    @ David. I don't know exactly where the rendezvous point is but my rider probably does. I'll see you there.

    @ Della and John. I'll have food and firewater. It will be an adventure!

    1 · December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      Excellent! Drinks, food, fire, friends...Just bought a half-truck load of firewood, so I think we will be set.

      December 5, 2013

    • David

      That's a lot of wood, good deal Della!

      December 5, 2013

  • Miranda

    Sorry, but we're out, too. My Plus One came down with a cold. Cold, wet dogsicles make for unhappy Miranda and teacups alike. Have fun, be safe, and be careful out there.

    December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      Too bad Miranda. But I'd rather have everyone healthy and safe than risk getting pneumonia.

      December 5, 2013

  • john t.

    FYI, I plan on being at camp around 2:00 pm friday afternoon and will have fire going and hard apple cider brewing, yeehaw!!!!!

    1 · December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      Awesome! We will see you there.

      December 5, 2013

  • Della M.

    This event will happen rain or shine, sleet or hail...

    2 · December 1, 2013

    • Raymond

      Stinkbait it is :)

      December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      3:30 pm at La Gran it is!

      December 5, 2013

  • Kristie

    Have we established that we will have plenty of firewood on site for both nights? It will go fast!

    December 1, 2013

    • Raymond

      I am bringing a full propane bottk e and my mr heater big buddy heater for the tent.

      December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      I've got 2 1/2 propane bottles for backup as well.

      December 5, 2013

  • Della M.

    Provisions have been secured. And I have enough for an army.

    Snacks:
    Sausage, cheese, ritz crackers, peanuts in the shell. Tuna. Dark chocolate peanut and almond bars...fritos, puff cheetos, and guacamole. Earl Gray tea.

    Breakfast:
    Burritos (good any time of day) with your choice of:
    Chorizo, breakfast sausage, bacon, potato, egg, refried beans, tomato, onion, and guacamole.
    Pancakes, butter, & syrup. Oatmeal. Instant coffee and splenda. Hot chocolate (with milk!). Grapefruit juice.

    Lunch:
    Velveeta and Cheese Shells with (or without) tuna. Peanut Butter and jelly. Orange Gatorade.

    Dinner:
    Baked russet potatoes with cheese, sour cream, bacon, onion, and butter. Could add chili if desired. Corn on the cob.

    Dessert:
    Warm chocolate pudding over crushed nilla wafers. Could be terrible, I've never tried it.

    December 4, 2013

    • David

      @John, I already loaded some firewood on my truck, and put it in a big garbage bag to try to keep it dry until can get to camp. I'll try to load some more on there tonight. Bringing my tent heater, I expect I'll be plenty warm and cozy except maybe on the trail hikes.

      December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      mmmm, sounds good! I'm going to secure some firewood this evening. There's a fellow in White Settlement that seems to have a square deal on wood. 2 foot by 4 foot for $30. http://dallas.craigsl...­

      December 5, 2013

  • Win M.

    Della, sorry to be a poop, but I am going to "bail" on this one. I can't see my +1 surviving the weather, even though I have a 0 degree bag. Be cautious with the group, Hypothermia is a real risk at the forecasted temps of 12 degrees, and wet! I have winter camped at 30+ and snowing, and there is a big difference from 12 and freezing rain! Be careful please!!! By the way, I have a reservation starting Friday under 'Win Marks or Irwin Marks', I forget which. One person is hammock'ing on Friday nite in my site.

    December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      That's okay Win. There is a difference between toughing it out and being completely miserable. We will see you at the next one. Thanks again for the pin you made.

      December 5, 2013

  • Randall O.

    You are my kind of folk- anyone who camps in this kind of weather is OK by me! I would join you but my Christmas party is this weekend. I look forward to sharing a campfire with you crazy people.

    December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      You're our brand of crazy, Randall. Come out in January to Mineral Wells. It's during the Stock Show, so we're bound to have more crazy weather then too.

      December 5, 2013

  • Joseph

    I've decided to keep my boys off the road on Friday, doesn't look safe. Thanks for bringing some good advice on board, Win. Also folks, trees can be a danger in ice storms. For those still attending... have a good party, come home safe.

    December 5, 2013

    • Della M.

      Hey, that's alright Joseph. I think if I had kiddos, I probably do the same. We will catch you at the next one.

      December 5, 2013

  • Kib R.

    I have a site reserved for this, but due to my broken ankle, decided best to not try camping yet. Does anyone want to take over my reservation before I cancel it?

    December 4, 2013

    • Della M.

      Sorry to hear about your ankle! Is this a recent injury? I do hope you recover quickly.

      December 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    David, I'll have a rider with me but if you want to convoy I'm in for that!

    December 4, 2013

  • David

    My load is getting lighter...I have now determined not to bring: mosquito repellent, snorkel & flippers, suntan lotion, ice-cream maker....

    3 · December 2, 2013

    • Kristie

      Raymond, Ive been on cold trips like this- you may need the cooler to keep certain food and drinks NOT frozen!

      December 4, 2013

    • Win M.

      Raymond, you'll need the insulated coolers to keep the stuff from freezing! ;-)

      December 4, 2013

  • Kristin

    Due to sone family obligations that have come up I can't go this weekend after all. But I will certainly attend severak of the campouts posted for the spring! I will catch some of you at the white elephant gift exchange this thursday!

    December 3, 2013

  • john t.

    Looks like this will be a great intro to camping in adverse conditions: big fire+warm chili+warm clothes=conquering the climate

    1 · December 1, 2013

    • Della M.

      Yowza. Poor dude bled out I guess.

      December 3, 2013

    • David

      Yea...so now I'm leaving my kayak at home, and watching Lake Meridian very closely for dorsal fins....yikes!

      December 3, 2013

  • Win M.

    Attention....Atencion....Achtung!!! I now have a tent spot open for Saturday nite only. Please let me know if you want to use it.

    December 2, 2013

  • Joseph

    Will try to come Friday, depending on weather - son has a game Saturday.

    December 2, 2013

  • Kristie

    Craig,
    It looks like there are only two geocaches in the park and one of them is disabled/missing. What do you guys think about asking if they will let our group replace it? I have the ammo box and some goodies, everyone else can bring something of their liking to drop in as well....ya??

    December 1, 2013

    • Craig

      The one that's missing (GC405wv) is a State park Cache. It can only be replaced by state park personnel as it has certain guidelines in compliance with the State Park Geocache Challenge. Ie; a question one must answer and a special pinned stamp-both which must go on the challenge paperwork each cacher turns into the Texas office to claim the find.

      December 1, 2013

    • Craig

      Yet there are still two caches in the park. A second state park cache (GC3XJY8) and a multi cache (GCNPHV) shown on the map to be on the road near the park at HWY 6 and FR 22. At that location is an historical marker. In order to find the second cache within the park, one must find a date on the marker, then add the date to the coordinates to find the cache. I'll grab the date on the way to the park.

      December 1, 2013

  • Nicole

    That really stinks about the weather, I was counting on it being mild like some days are in winter. I'm terrified of freezing my bootie off so unfortunately I feel I have to cancel and try the next camp trip.

    December 1, 2013

    • Kristie

      In this kind of weather- wet and really cold, I've had good luck with thermals under a good pair of ski pants. Those are water resistant, cut the wind completely out and way big enough to wear anything I want under with! Careful with all that cotton, if it gets wet, it could take all weekend to dry!

      December 1, 2013

    • David

      @Nicole, yea, that is a good outer layer, but maybe have a rainsuit to block moister. Some longjohns baselayer and regular clothes under that coverall and you'll be toasty. top it off with some HotHands in your inner pockets if needed. But be careful not to get too warm. Perspiration collecting in your clothes will chill you later, so like the advocates of layers are saying...be ready to adjust. Texas temps could swing by 40 degrees or more both up and down in a day...although I thing 10 - 20 degree swings are the max so far predicted for that weekend.

      1 · December 1, 2013

  • Nancy

    My new years resolution is to make several of these trips. Looking forward to it.

    2 · November 30, 2013

  • Raymond

    Looks like it is going to be cold nights camping next weekend looks like I need a portable heater all day not just for sleeping

    November 30, 2013

  • Kristin

    Are these sites accessible by car or do have to hike our stuff in? Just wanted to be sure.

    November 27, 2013

    • Miranda

      Clarification: you can pull right up to your camp site, then move your vehicle to the parking lot.

      November 30, 2013

    • Raymond

      Based on the weather forecast we are going to sleep in the car <30 at night and not much better by day

      November 30, 2013

  • Brad

    I am sorry to say that I can no longer attend next weekend. Have a great time! Look forward to joining you on another outage soon. Brad

    November 29, 2013

  • Nicole

    Ladies, I feel like bringing a couple craft projects I'm working on for c-mas presents to my parents. Just wanted to put that out there in case any of you have crafts to do too. It feels relaxing to me to craft in nature if I have any extra time.

    November 20, 2013

    • Nicole

      David, I feel bad for not thinking about guys doing crafts too! That is so awesome you learned crochet & knitting, I learned crochet from my mom, but forgot it as well. I will be decoupaging a poem for my parents, but not sure what it's going to look like yet.

      November 27, 2013

    • David

      I'm not so much into decorative crafts, but I love learning useful skills.

      1 · November 28, 2013

  • john t.

    Does a big pot of chili sound worthy of this outing?

    1 · November 13, 2013

    • Raymond

      What about seitan chile?

      November 27, 2013

    • Nicole

      It would feel so exciting to try some seitan chili sometime. I have never had it before.

      November 27, 2013

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