Leakey, Texas. Alto Frio – an encampment along the Frio River.

The air was dry, and the grass was yellow by the road and green by the river. I hadn’t been to a camp since my teenage years, but I knew to expect uncomfortable twin beds and roaming bugs. What I forgot was that food produced by camp staff is never good. Edible…only barely.

I spent last week outside adventuring and sustaining myself with chips, cookies, Sour Patch Kids, and water.

And that, my friends, is not a joke.

We ziplined the day we arrived. As someone who’s ziplined across a 400-foot drop, you’d think this one which was bound to be smaller would have been easier. The zipline was—getting to the ledge you jump off wasn’t. I had to climb straight up a tree by way of little metal handles that had been shoved into the bark.

You see, I’m not afraid of heights—I’m afraid of falling.

I made it up despite my lack of upper body strength. It was fun, but don’t think I could climb that tree again.

11(It’s…uh…a lot bigger in person.)

We also had a Nerf gun war. Did I mercilessly get all the little munchkins out of the game? Yes, because I’ve got to win at something in life. Especially since later that day we challenged some of the teen staffers to a volleyball game and were horribly defeated.

While canoeing in the Frio my brother decided to start a splash war, which resulted in all of us being soaked by the time we got back to shore. I asked the lifeguard if that happened often. He said, “No, this has never actually happened before.”

Swimming in the pool was sketchier than the Frio because while the river had fishes (and snakes) the pool had weird slime on the floor. And after exploring the deep end with goggles for two seconds I stayed in the shallow parts the rest of the week.

There was also this little ginger boy at the pool who swam around with green goggles who came up to us (complete strangers to him) and wiggle his fingers, dive under the water, lightly attack our ankles, and then come up saying “nibble, nibble.”

My instigator of a brother turned it into a game. The boy was named the nibbler and my brother would send him after us. Annoying when he came for you, but it was absolutely hilarious to watch other people try to run away from him in water.

The river was nice and lined with round rocks—the kind that are perfect for skipping across the water. Those same rocks are strangely painful to walk on.

It was a good time away from the city, my job, and cell phone service. Plus, I like to think I got a light tan from being outdoors all week.

On another note, last Tuesday right before we went to do the Nerf gun war one of my brothers got a call from his wife. She was in labor and he had to book it four and a half hours to the hospital. So, I have a new nephew in the world, which makes my immediate family total to 17. It’s really hard for us to go out to eat.