Mother’s Day Memories ~ South Llano River State Park

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I had full intentions of sharing a new recipe with you. Honest, I did. But between Badger’s birthday party {two weeks early, but schedules, ya know?} and Mother’s Day, it didn’t happen. Instead, I decided to give you a glimpse into this simple thing that I call The Life. I truly can’t imagine living it any other way.

Saturday morning, after we all slept in pretty late {7:15 is late, right?}, and after we piddled around, drinking coffee and gorging on breakfast tacos {bacon, egg, and cheese, this time}, I asked Coach what he had on the agenda. He and the kids had to make a run to town for a little Momma’s Day shopping, but besides that it was pretty open.

So I asked for a special early Momma’s Day adventure. I asked if we could go to the South Llano River State Park and play at the river. It was a beautiful day! Warm weather, full sunshine, and the river was calling my name! At only thirty minutes from our front door, Junction makes a gorgeous afternoon getaway for our little family.

This post may contain affiliate links. Affiliate link disclosure shared below.

Coach and the kids headed to town, and I got busy getting ready for our trip:

  • bathing suits
  • sunscreen
  • towels
  • dry clothes for the trip home
  • water shoes
  • life jackets
  • snacks
  • water bottles


And then there were the picnic essentials:

  • venison tenders
  • wild pork tenders
  • wild pork backstrap
  • cubed squash and onions seasoned with butter and some Good “Stuff” and wrapped in foil
  • lighters
  • paper plates
  • plastic forks
  • tongs
  • paper towels
  • chips
  • and, of course, s’mores supplies


When the crew returned home we loaded up the goods, the lawn chairs, and the kayak and hit the road.

By 5:00 pm we were settled into our own little spot on the South Llano River. Coach paddled up and down the narrow river with his fishing pole in tow. He only caught one bass, but a bad day fishing is better than just about anything else, right?

The kids road down the chute, using their life jackets as tube-substitutes, over and over and over again.

Moose gathered her courage to jump from a rock into the river, and then learned the hard lesson that you gotta lift that booty when you go down the rapids! Ouch! {Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a rock to the rump on the rapids! And then say that five times fast!}

When the river started to get too cold for Buckey, Badger, and Moose, which is nothing a little sunshine can’t cure, we headed up to our picnic table to start the fire for supper.

Coach came in and took over the cooking,

so Badger, Moose, and I hit a little trail. It was a beautifully shaded trail, overshadowed by tall pecan trees and chinquapin oaks. We saw a few deer, and I had the opportunity to teach the girls about some of God’s creations with the educational signs scattered along the way.

We started to head back to our spot when Badger decided to race. This momma doesn’t race, and it’s a straight path back to the picnic table so I let her run. Moose and I stumbled across some armadillos. One of them came within four feet of us. I got to explain to her that their hearing is terrible, and she got to see their long, skinny tails and pointed noses. The rest of the way back she showed me every single armadillo hole on the path. We lost count.

As we reached the picnic area, I heard frantic cries for “Momma!” It turns out there was a fork in the trail, right next to the restroom, and Badger chose the wrong one. As she sobbed in my lap we got to have a nice, long talk about what to do if you ever get lost. It was a hard lesson learned, but one learned with a safe outcome and one that I think will stick with her for quite some time.

The sun began to set.

The fireflies began to flash through the trees like our own personal paparazzi. Our modest, but intensely delicious supper was ready. I forgot to pack a knife for the meat, but where there’s a Coach, there’s a pocket knife, right? We dined like kings and queens from our styrofoam plates by the light of the flashlight from Coach’s phone.

And then it was time for s’mores!

A camping/picnicking essential! If you need s’more inspiration be sure to see Whitney’s creations at Whit’s Wilderness.

When the park ranger pulled up we knew our evening was drawing to a close.

It was time to load everyone up, pack up our gear, and head back home. But I cannot even begin to explain how wonderful and perfect that Mother’s Day adventure was for me.

This little glimpse into the South Llano River State Park is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that I’m not sharing with you today. So much more that I haven’t seen yet myself! I’ve hiked a few of the more rugged trails, and tubed the river within the park, but there’s so much still to explore. I’m thankful that even when we move to Leakey this quiet little gem of a state park will still be within an hour for us. If you’d like to learn more about the South Llano River State Park or you’d like to make reservations to go camping there or scope out all the hiking trails, follow the links!

And then follow your sense of quiet adventure down I-10 to the South Llano River. You’ll be glad you did!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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