Escape from Houston
Submitted by Nancy Lozano
I recall after moving from rural West Virginia to the big city of Houston in the early 60s how large my surroundings appeared and how small I felt. As a child and into my adolescent years, our family spent time together outdoors in the mountains taking in the beauty of the seasonal changes. Our move to the concrete jungle proved to be disappointing in this area, but we soon learned of the nearby state parks that might take us back to what we enjoyed prior to this most traumatic move.
Our first encounter with Huntsville State Park indeed opened our eyes once more to the feeling of nature and Godliness. We spent many weekends returning to this particular park for it seemed to be the closest state park to our home. Traveling too long a distance didn't appeal to my Dad! I remember initially renting a pop-up camper and setting up near a screened in shelter with all the amenities needed for the perfect camping experience. My parents soon learned, as we aged, that pitching a tent or “roughing it” was a thrilling and learning experience for us kids. My Dad tried desperately to let us do the camping things on our own and I must say we all fared quite well, for later in life I would once again use what I learned in those days to impress my friends.
Camping, fishing, swimming, canoe trips and hiking became second nature to our city life and we made memories that I hold true and dear to this day. I guess that is why I wanted to work in a state park and get back to what I remember growing up. Every so often I will meet up with my own family in Huntsville or Livingston and spend a few days teaching my grandchildren what I learned as a child and my mind will wonder back to those early days with my parents and siblings and I smile. Now my children and grandchildren visit me here in the Hill Country and spend some time where I work at LBJ State Park. A feeling of contentment and joy rush over me, knowing that they too have experienced the life outdoors!