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Sulphur Springs Camp in Bend, Texas, is a private campground that provides primitive camping along the Colorado River. If you’ve ever had troubles getting a campsite in Colorado Bend State Park, this is an equal, if not better, alternative. It features all the amazing river scenery, with way more seclusion and privacy. We felt like we had the entire river all to ourselves.

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Our camp set up at Sulphur Springs Camp

However we weren’t alone. We met up with Ryan’s friend and his group of friends. Camping is the best way to meet new folks – you can get away with looking a bit messy and there’s no judgement, and people tend to be more down to earth in the wilderness. We were in Ryan’s new blue GMC Canyon so I didn’t worry too much about rough roads, but the further we went into the park, the rougher they got. With no cell phone service we somehow managed to find our group and nested for the weekend.

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Gathered ’round the campfire.

After an evening of wood fire-cooked potatoes, pork loin, vegetables, s’mores, and passing around a bottle of Jameson, we were ready to call it quits and get tucked into our hammock camping cocoons.

Camping mistake #1: Forgetting to check the weather. I forgot we were an hour and a half north of Austin, and that meant the temperature that evening in mid-April would drop down to the low thirties. I failed to pack the liner for my sleeping bag, which means bad-news bears when sleeping in a hammock. I did not overcome the piercing cold on my back as I attempted to sleep, and resorted to the truck for the night. I convinced Ryan to come along with me, even though he was prepared thanks to his Firebelly trail quilt.

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Sunrise on the Colorado River in Central Texas

We made sure to wake up and catch the sunrise the next morning. Although it was nearly torture getting out of the comfort of our Thylacine sleeping bags and into the brisk thirty-something air temperature, it was well worth it when we walked down the slope to reach the river’s edge to find this! (photo above) The steam rolled atop the shallow, slow-moving river water, and we hopped along rocks to find the picture-perfect spots. As the sun rose everything became vibrant with color and life. Except for me, I needed a cup of coffee first, but what a spectacle to wake up to.

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Suna playing stick with her new friend

Later in the morning the whole camp crew was entertained by Suna frolicking with her new dog playmate, Zoey. We managed to stay warm with a morning campfire, and by the time the sun burst through the tree branches, the rest of camp was packing up to leave. It was Sunday after all, but we arrived a day later than everyone so we planned to go on a walk down the river before leaving.

 

We walked on a trail along the river throughout the remainder of the park. We were in awe the whole time at the fact that we really had the river to ourselves. We saw cliff sides of limestone, cactus sprinkled with wild flowers, and the wide river backdropped with the greenest of greens. We threw sticks in the water for Suna to fetch, and by mid day the temperature had gone up to 75 and sunny.

We went as far as we could go until we reached a fork in the river and the trail ending at a tiny land peninsula, enough room to set up the tripod and take a group photo of us on this perfect day at Sulphur Springs Camp.

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Photography by Ryan Magsino

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