Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recipe: Backpacking Pancakes

Easy Backpacking Pancakes

I have been on the lookout for new recipes to try on our trips.  One of these recipes was for easy pancakes, which I tried during our trip to Pedernales Falls State Park.  I usually just eat instant oatmeal for breakfast, but I decided there might be something even better out there.

Tasted and approved at Pedernales Falls State Park
A finished backpacking pancake.  Tasted and approved

Original Ingredients

  • 1 cup biscuit mix
  • 1 Tbsp. dry milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. margarine squeeze
Serves: Approximately 6

Our Ingredients

  • 1 cup biscuit mix
  • 1 Tbsp. dry milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or 1 Tbsp. ghee
Serves: Approximately 6

At Home

Before heading out, mix all of the dry ingredients into a quart size zip lock bag (a larger size bag might not be a bad idea either). Then mix everything in the bag well by squeezing and mashing.
Original dry ingredients:  biscuit mix, dry milk, and sugar.
Our dry ingredients:  biscuit mix, dry milk, and protein powder.

Pancake mix and butter packed and ready to hit the trail
Pancake mix and butter packed and ready to hit the trail

On the Trail

When preparing your mix for breakfast, start by adding ghee, margarine, or melted butter to the zip lock bag.  Next, add warm water.  Warm water will make blending your mix easier.  Then squish your bag until you remove any visible clumps or lumps.  If there are still clumps, add water as needed to get consistent mix.

finished backpacking pancake mixed
Backpacking pancakes all mixed up and ready to be cooked

Once mixed, you can either just pour the pancake mix into your pan or cut a corner of the bag and squeeze the mix out.  Cook until the side down becomes golden brown or about 1 minute in a hot pan.  Then flip your pancake and cook until golden brown or around another minute.

Final Thoughts

I ended up not using sugar because the biscuit mix already quite a bit already.  Plus, I felt like the protein mix would add sweetness if it was needed and would keep me fuller longer.  Moreover, I am not sure this would actually feed 6 people without anything else (like bacon), more likely 3 to 4 people.  Furthermore, I always carry 1.5 ounces of honey for sweetening oatmeal or coffee.  Honey works great for pancakes, which reduces the need to add another item, syrup.  Finally, the pancake mix takes up a surprisingly large amount of room when compared to other foods.   Without reducing it down to 1 to 2 person serving size, I don’t think it’s a very good backpacking recipe.

If you've ever made pancakes on the trail, what was your method and mix?  Keep up to date on all our adventures and post by following us on Facebook.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Start a Fire with a 9-Volt Battery (Video)

A Quick way to Start a Fire Using a 9-Volt Battery and Steel Wool (Video)

Starting a fire in an emergency situation can save lives.  That is why it is so important to know how to start a fire using multiple methods in less than ideal weather.  When you are cold or wet and the wind is strong, fire starting will keep you warm and dry out your clothes. 

This will start a fire in most conditions
Jack starting fire with a 9-volt battery and steel wool. This will start a fire in most conditions 

There are multiple ways to start a fire in any situation, my go to method is a mini lighter; however, there are many other great ways to start fires.  Today, Jack has prepared a video on using a standard 9-volt battery and a handful of steel wool.  Make sure to check out all of Team Adventures With BeeGee Videos on our YouTube Channel.
   

Transcript

Jack:  Hey guys its Jack with Adventures With BeeGee and the other day I was talking to my buddy about starting fires. He didn't know that you could a fire with 9-volt battery and steel wool. 

Jack: So hopefully I'm going to be able to start [a fire] and do a demonstration for you guys tonight. So all you have to do is get yourself a piece of steel wool and just a regular 9-volt battery.  Then, all you gotta do is touch the battery to the steel wool like so and blow.  Get yourself some kindling. 

Jack: There you guys have it. 9-Volt battery and steel wool, any kind will do to start a fire. If you guys know how to do it better or I left something out, let us know

If you have any tips or tricks on using 9-volts and steel wool let us know.  We would also love to hear how you start your emergency fires.  Keep up to date on all our adventures and post by following us on Facebook.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Trip Report: Pedernales Falls Day 3

Trip Report: Backpacking Pedernales Falls Day 3

It’s time for the 3rd and final day of our recent trip to Pedernales Falls State Park.  If you missed out on the past fun, make sure you check out Day 1 and Day 2 of the trip. 

Breaking Camp

Once again, I was glad to be awake, having spent close to 12 hours in darkness.  BeeGee and I woke up before Jack again and I decided BeeGee should wake him up again. So, we stealthily tried to unzip Jack’s tent and before he could wake up to stop us, BeeGee bolted in to wake him up him successfully.

She is ready to continue adventuring Pedernales Falls State Park
BeeGee waiting patiently.  She is ready to continue adventuring.  

After that, we had a quick breakfast of oatmeal while breaking camp.  I was a little sore that morning from sleeping awkwardly trying to keep BeeGee warm.  Jack also mentioned he was sore from all the miles the day before.  If BeeGee was sore, she didn’t show it.  Once we broke camp, we began the 2-mile walk back to the Wolf Mountain Trailhead.  We then drove to the wildlife viewing area.

Wildlife Viewing Area

We made a quick stop at the wildlife view area to see what was out.  I’ve heard the viewing area here is a good place for birding. Birding is pretty big in south Texas and I’ve been interested in trying, so I decided it would be worth it to have a look at the birds here.  One of the first things we saw was a small sign saying no pets, so Jack and BeeGee stayed in the car while I went inside. 

Try birding at Pedernales Falls State Park
Just inside the fence of the Wildlife Viewing area.

I quietly approached the fenced in area as another sign stated.  Once inside, you see what I would describe as a garden with multiple benches and 2 small buildings.  I first entered the building on the right and there at least 3 different types of bird and a squirrel.  I exited and went to the other building, but there was only another squirrel and no birds present. 

An interesting bird I spotted.  If anyone knows the species I'd love to know
An interesting bird I spotted.  If anyone knows the species I'd love to know

Pedernales Falls Trail System

After about 15 minutes looking at the wildlife, I got back in the car and we headed for the Pedernales Falls Trail system.  This is the main attraction of the area and provides an interesting view of the rocky Pedernales River. 

Taken from the observation platform
Overlooking the Rocky portion of the Pedernales River

We parked and headed along the trail towards the river.  We first reached a brick observation area that provided an excellent view of the extremely rocky area.  We then went left (west/up river), which took us down into the rocky river area.  BeeGee loved the rocks.  She was scrambling around and jumping all over the place.  She was pumped to the point of being almost unstoppable. 

The hole is at least 10 feet above the Pedernales River
It looks like that rock was pushed into that hole.  The hole is at least 10 feet above the Pedernales River

We walked around the river and its rough terrain for close to 30 minutes and then decided to try to take the trail further up river.  While the map states there is a trail that heads that direction; the trail quickly disappeared.  Plus, we couldn't find any trail markers to help guide us along.  After 5 minutes of wandering around, we decided to head back the other direction to the down river portion of the trail. 

The water of the Pedernales River is quick flowing through all the rocks
BeeGee and I pose for a picture.  The water is quick flowing through all the rocks

The down river section of the trail quickly led us away from the river (still parallel) and on to an old 4x4 track.  Around 20 minutes of walking, and no views of the river, we reached a sign that said we were heading for the swimming area of the day use park.  This didn't sound appealing, so we decided it was time to head back to the car and finish up our trip.

Final Thoughts

Pedernales Falls State Park is a great place to visit with stunning views.  I recommend everyone make some time to check out the waterfalls and the Pedernales River.  However, true backpacking here is difficult because many of the trail systems do not connect.  Furthermore, the park is located in the hill country, but it still has a front country feel to it.  Finally, not all sections of the trail are marked well, so be prepared to backtrack and navigate yourself.

What is your favorite part of Pedernales Falls State Park? If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Trip Report: Pedernales Falls Day 2

Day 2 Backpacking Pedernales Falls State Park

If you just started reading, this is the second day our backpacking trip in Pedernales Falls State Park.  Make you sure you catch up by reading Day 1's trip report. 

Getting energy for a long day of hiking.
Jack eating breakfast at Pedernales Falls State Park.  Getting energy for a long day of hiking.

Breaking Camp

After spending close to 12 hours in the dark (it was a cloudy, moonless night), I was ready to get up and do something.  I let BeeGee out of our tent so she could make sure Jack was actually awake.  She accomplished this by sticking her nose into the side of the tent and power sniffing.  After everyone was awake, we cooked a breakfast of pancakes and Tactical Bacon.  Finally, we broke down our tents, packed our bags, and headed out for adventure. 

staying at the primitive camping area
Our Campsite for 2 nights at Pedernales Falls State Park


Wolf Mountain Trail

We quickly made our way back to the fork and started our trip up to Wolf Mountain.  The trail remained wide, graveled, and easy for the most part.  Moreover, the trail is a big loop, so you end where you started.  Not too far into the walk, there was a vault toilet for the primitive campsites. If you ever stay in the area, make sure to use the vault toilet. 

At the bathroom area, the trail forks again and we decided to hike on the Pedernales River side of the trail, which headed towards Jones Spring.  The area is pretty uniform with small canyons, oak trees, and juniper trees, but is still amazing to look at nonetheless.  Jones Spring was a nice stop.  The spring is fairly large and feeds a medium sized pool of water and a small creek.  We stopped to filter some water, and have a quick drink. 

Stop to have a quick drink of filtered water
Jones Spring on Wolf Mountain Trail at Pedernales State Park


Across from Jones Spring was an archaeological site.  There is an old stone settler’s house and a rock wall.  The site is approximately from the 1870’s and most likely established there because of the reliability of Jones Spring.  Continuing on we traveled around the south side of Tobacco Mountain.  The trail in this area got a little narrower in this section and felt more like backcountry.  There weren't any high views here, but the forest itself was very relaxing. 

Across from Jones Spring Courtesy of Happy Trails
The stone settler's house.  Across from Jones Spring Courtesy of Happy Trails 


After another mile or so of hiking, we made it to the fork around Wolf Mountain.  Unfortunately, there is no way to reach the Peak of Wolf Mountain, which I was a little disappointed about.  Nevertheless, we decided to take the eastern path.  This turned out to be the right choice as it provided a nice view down into the Pedernales River Valley.  Shortly after this, we were back at the fork for the primitive campsites, and continued back towards the trailhead looking for the Ranch Road Trail.

on the Wolf Mountain Trail at Pedernales Falls State Park
Through the Trees, the Pedernales River from Wolf Mountain


Ranch Road Trail

We eventually found what appeared to be split off the trail on our way back to the trailhead.  While, I’m not actually sure this was Road Trail, it took us through one of my favorite areas in the park.  The trail appeared to parallel the Wolf Mountain Trail, but took us much closer to the bluffs and the Pedernales River.

Watching the water flow below.
BeeGee looking over the edge of a bluff.  Watching the water flow below.


The Trail was narrow like singletrack and felt like we were much deeper into the backcountry than we truly were.  We passed numerous small waterfalls, cliffs, and pools of water on this short trail.  Around lunch time we found a series of small waterfalls and deiced this was a great spot to take a break.  We had lunch, filtered, water, and watched the quick flowing water.

BeeGee is clearly not impressed by what Jack is offering
The small stream and waterfalls where we decided to stop for lunch.  BeeGee is clearly not impressed by what Jack is offering


Whichever trail we ended up on merged back with the Wolf Mountain Trail just before the trailhead and parking lot.  The hope was that it would end up somewhere near the Twin Nature Trail because that’s what the park map showed.

Just below the area we ate lunch
A pool filled by a waterfall.  Just below the area we ate lunch


Twin Nature Trail

With no easy way to walk to the Twin Nature Trail, we were forced to drive over to the trailhead.  Twin Nature Trail only half a mile, but it is narrow, rocky, and steep.  Plus, there are multiple large rock outcroppings, which making walking difficult.  Even with all of that, this was another one of my favorite areas. 

 Narrow and rocky on twin nature trail
The path down to Twin Falls.  Narrow and rocky on Twin Nature Trail


The trail takes you down to an observation deck to view 2 waterfalls, pools of water, and a fairly green area considering its winter.  Only one of the falls can be completely seen from the observation deck.  After having a look at the falls for a bit, the trail looped us back to the trailhead.  From there, we continued on to our final trail for the day, the 5.5-Mile Loop Trail.

At the Twin Falls observation deck.
The only visible waterfall from the observation deck.  At the Twin Falls observation deck.


5.5-Mile Loop Trail

Once again, there was no way to walk from the Twin Nature Trail to the 5.5-Mile Loop Trail.  So, we had another short drive to the trailhead.  There were a lot of people starting the trail with us, mostly families with young kids.  Shortly into the hike, we reached Trammell’s Crossing, which is a low water crossing.  We took our shoes and socks off in preparation of walking through the water.  The water was about calf deep, cold, and over a slick surface.  BeeGee made it across with no issues, but Jack and I thought it was a rough experience.  The families stuck around to watch us cross, but decided it wasn’t worth it and headed back. 

The only way to get to the 5-Mile Loop Trail
Crossing the Pedernales River at Trammell's Crossing.  The only way to get to the 5-Mile Loop Trail


After the crossing, we had a large climb for Texas and ended up in an area covered by grass, prickly pear cactus, and mesquite trees.  The trail itself wasn’t all too entertaining and ended up being confusing.  There are a lot of old ranch roads that split off the main path.  Thankfully, there are multiple signs pointing the way that were put in place by a Boy Scout project.

The 5-Mile Loop Trail is pretty easy at first.
BeeGee and Jack walking down the trail.  The 5-Mile Loop Trail is pretty easy at first.

After making it to what appeared to be the highest point in the area, we headed down a step down hill, and the trail became a lot rougher with limestone rocks everywhere.  The downhill led us to the park’s boundary, which was marked by a barbed wire fence.  A quick look at the map made us realize we missed the most important part of this trail, the scenic overlook. 

We backtracked and made our way to the scenic overlook area.  The area is in no way labeled and is incredibly easy to miss.  So, make sure you are on the lookout when you reach a high flat area.  The scenic overlook provides a wide view of the Texas hill country with multiple Texas Mountains in the view.  We sat on a wood bench for around 15 minutes and enjoyed the view.  I would have liked to stay longer, but the sun was getting low and the wind was chilly.

You can see the Texas Hill country and Texas Mountains.
The scenic overlook at 5-Mile Loop Trail.  You can see the Texas Hill country and Texas Mountains.


The next section of trail, along the boundary fence, has some more settler sites.  As we were walking along, I noticed a wooden pole and a small trail that traveled into the woods.  We headed in and found a settler’s cemetery.  We saw about 3 easily identifiable graves, but there are supposed to be around 12 total.  In addition, none of the headstones were legible.  Past the cemetery, there are plenty of rock walls in the area.  In the area of a fork, an old wood corral can be seen from the trail.  In that same area, there is also a settler’s chimney.  We didn’t see it, but if I had known about it, I definitely would have searched for it. 

Just off the trail on 5-Mile Loop
One of the graves in the Settler's Cemetery.  Just off the trail on 5-Mile Loop

At the fork, you can take the main path back towards the trailhead or continue on a 1-mile spur for a longer walk.  The fork isn’t well labeled and we walked the spur by accident.  If you are looking for a longer hike, I would take the spur, but other than that, there isn’t much to see.

Back to Camp

After we finished the 5.5-Mile Loop Trail, we drove back over to the Wolf Mountain Trailhead.  We did the 2-mile walk to the primitive camp area in the dark, which wasn’t too hard as the trail is wide and smooth.  We found our campsite from the night before wasn’t occupied and we pitched camp there again.  We boiled water for our dinners and headed off to bed for another long night of darkness. 

Since it was a little chillier that night, I put BeeGee’s jacket on to help her stay warm.  However, it didn’t seem to help enough.  I frequently wake up to make sure BeeGee is still covered up by her blanket and at one point I noticed she was shivering a little.  I called her over so she would get cuddle close and unzipping my sleeping bag.  I covered her up with my sleeping bag and ended up awkwardly sleeping with my upper body on my sleeping pad and my lower body on her pad.  Thankfully, it worked and we both slept toasty after that point although awkwardly.

Make sure to keep reading for our final day during our trip to Pedernales Falls State Park.  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Trip Report: Pedernales Falls Day 1

Day 1 of Pedernales Falls State Park

In December, the majority of the team (BeeGee, Jack, and Jarrett) met up for an easy backpacking trip at Pedernales Falls State Park.  It was a great trip and the weather remained mostly nice.  There was no rain and the weather never got too cold.    

Finally at the park. Courtesy of Where the Trails Are
The Pedernales Falls State Park Entrance Sign. Courtesy of Where the Trails Are

Pedernales Falls Background

Location: 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636
Admission: $5 admission and $20 campsites
Elevation: 900 to 1090 ft.
Weather:  Cloudy, 40 to 60 F
Difficulty: Moderate

Pedernales Falls State Park is over 5,000 acres and the scenic Pedernales River runs through the park.  Pedernales Falls is near Johnson City.  The park itself was purchased in 1970 and opened as a state park in 1971.  The trails are mostly old 4x4 tracks that were used by the previous owners to transverse the ranch.  The nice thing about the wide trails was they frequently paralleled small canyons created by the abundant creeks in the area.  The vegetation is mostly oak, elm, cypress, and cedar (juniper) trees. 

The Long Drive

To start almost any adventure, BeeGee and I have long drives to start all our trips.  The drive from south Texas to the hill country is over 5 hours.  Upon nearing the hill country, we made a quick detour to pick up Jack.  After this, it was more driving to finally get to Pedernales Falls State Park. 

She is on the look out for adventure.
BeeGee waiting for the long drive to be over.  She is on the look out for adventure.

The Hike In

We finally arrived, parked at the primitive camping trailhead, and set off to find a good place for our campsite.  The trail for primitive camping is also the Wolf Mountain Trail.  It was pretty close to dark when we started our 2-mile trek to the campsite area, but the trail was mostly smooth and easy to walk even in low light.

The trails were wide and easy for the most part.
BeeGee and Jack walking to the primitive camping area. The trails were wide and easy for the most part.


One of the first sites we came across was a large Oak tree and a small placard.  The sign presented general information about oak trees and how they grow in the hill country.  The oak tree itself looked a little out of place, but the placard was an interesting read.  Further along, we crossed 3 small streams, Bee Creek, Mescal Creek, and Tobacco Creek.  It was a little chilly out, so BeeGee was less interested in lying in the water than normal.

Make sure you stop by to learn a little more about oaks in the area.
The Large Oak Tree and Placard.  Make sure you stop by to learn a little more about oaks in the area.


We arrived at a fork in the trail where left went to the campsites and right continued on the Wolf Mountain Trail.  One of the most memorable aspects when reaching the primitive camping area is the ominous sign warning of flash floods below the bluffs.  While it was fairly dark by this time and it was easy to tell where the bluff was, I couldn't help but feel a little nervous about setting up my tent in the flood plain.

Most creeks in the area look fairly similar.
The first creek we crossed was Bee Creek.  Most creeks in the area look fairly similar. 


At Camp

We found a pretty good campsite tucked back in a few trees to offer a little privacy.  Then we went straight into making dinner, which was just boiling water and adding it to dehydrated meals.  While our meals were reconstituting, we set the rest of our campsite in the dark and sat down for our dinner.  After our quick meal and a little chatting, we headed to bed.

She is wrapped up in a fleece blanket to keep warm on a chilly night.
BeeGee getting ready for bed.  She is wrapped up in a fleece blanket to keep warm on a chilly night.


The entire primitive camping area was sparsely populated and it was almost completely silent.  This probably had a lot to do with the sun going down so early and it was a very dark night.  That is one of the biggest issues with winter camping, you can get up to 12 hours a day of darkness.

Stay tuned for days 2 and 3 of our trip to Pedernales Falls State Park.  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Most Popular Post of 2014

Adventures With BeeGee’s Most Popular Post of the Year

We are back and I hope everyone had some great holidays with friends and family.  I know we did! furthermore, we were able to do a few adventures with the extra free time and trip reports will be posted soon.

Adventures With BeeGee has only been around for about 6 months, but we have published over 50 posts so far.  As number of post continues to grow, it can be difficult see everything or remember which post you would like to come back to later.  So, have a look at the year’s best articles or bookmark it so you can have a look later. 

The popularity was decided by our readers based on total number of page views of each post.  Your page views determined the top 5 most popular post that are being shared today.  And of course, the winner is saved for last.

Number 5: Our First Trip to Goodwater Loop

This post is over our first attempt at Goodwater Loop in Georgetown, Texas.  Jack and I tried to mountain bike the entire Goodwater loop on a warm day in August.  Our trip didn’t turn out like we planned.  Have a look so you see how the trip turned out. 

An amazing hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking trail
The Trailhead for Goodwater Loop.  An amazing hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking trail 


Number 4: A Fredericksburg Get Away

In late October, I took Linda on a wine tour trip for her birthday weekend during a Fredericksburg get away.  There are many great sites to see, restaurants to eat at, and wines to taste in the Texas hill country town of Fredericksburg.  So have look at Linda’s trip report of our experience. 

Linda in front of the Farm Haus Bistro gift shop
Linda in front of the Farm Haus Bistro gift shop

Number 3: K3 PortaPower USB Charger

If you are looking for a portable USB gadget charger, have a look at Dustin’s review of the K3 PortaPower 6600 Due’.  The charger is rugged and can charge 2 devices at once.  Dustin has taken it on multiple adventures and the charger can easily survive a backpacking or biking trip. 

Easily charging a Samsung Galaxy 5
The K3 PortaPower in action.  Easily charging a Samsung Galaxy 5


Number 2: Emergency Repair Kit

If you don’t have a kit to repair gear in the field or are looking to add items to your kit, I shared what I am carrying in my lightweight emergency repair kit.  I’ve gathered most of the items from my experience in the Army and from the advice from other experienced hikers.  Make sure you put a repair kit together today just in case that sleeping pad goes flat because who wants to sleep on the cold ground.    

A lightweight emergency repair kit.
Maintain your gear in the field.  A lightweight emergency repair kit.


Number 1: Our Trip to Santa’s Ranch

Our most popular post this year was a trip to a drive through festival of lights near San Marcos, Texas.  My parents, Linda, BeeGee, and I loaded up in a car and drive through all the Christmas lights of Santa’s Ranch.  Another bonus, it was the first time I put my helmet camera to use.  Santa’s Ranch is a great place to visit during the Holidays so have a look at the trip report and check out the videos.

There are a lot of Christmas Lights to see
The entrance to Santa's Ranch.  There are a lot of Christmas Lights to see


If you had a favorite post of 2014, which one was it?  We would love to know your thoughts. If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Trip Report: Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights (Videos)

Riding the Santa Express Through the Festival of Lights (Videos)

On December 18, 2014, Linda and I visited Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights.  The night was rainy, which made riding in the Santa Express a little uncomfortable, but we still had fun.  I used the helmet camera again and I think the video is better this time.  The Festival of Lights is very similar to a previous trip to Santa’s Ranch

The Festival of Lights Entrance
The Festival of Lights Entrance


Festival of Lights Background

The City of Hidalgo, along with a community of volunteers and local sponsors, has been hosting the Festival of Lights for 24 years as of 2014.  There are multiple ways to tour the lights.  You can drive your own vehicle by following the directional signs or ride a trolley at city hall. The Festival of Lights starts at 704 E. Texano Dr., Hidalgo, TX.  Furthermore, the Festival of Lights is the largest light festival in Texas with over 3 million lights this year divided up among 8 locations.  The event runs from December 1st to the 31st starting 6:00 PM.

The Express will take us all over Hidalgo for the tour
Santa's Express Warming Up

The price to tour the lights in your own car is free! However, if you want to ride the trolley and receive a dinner with musical entertainment that deal is available for $12.  To get tickets, call (956) 843-5311.  Finally, there are carnival rides, photos with Santa, and Mexican artisans at city hall for even more fun.

A little empty at the time because of the rain.
The Carnival available during the festival.  A little empty at the time because of the rain.

Dinner

The dinner starts at 5:30 PM, but we found a parking space (don’t worry someone will direct you into a parking lot) around 5:00 because we didn't want to be late.  We walked over to the city hall porch where there were multiple tables lined up for eating.  Our dinner was a choice of coffee, tea, or water, brisket, green beans, corn, mash potatoes, a roll, and a piece of cake.

The Lights

After dinner, we walked over to the trolley pick up location, but because it was raining, they were running three trams instead of the trolley aka Santa's Express.  We missed those first three trams, so the staff moved us over to a covered area for a 30 minute wait.  However, they decided to fire up the Santa Express shortly after that, and we hopped right on.

The Penguins

The start of the tour took us past Eskimo and multiple penguins.  Cars are backed up in this area because it is the start of the tour and the entrance to the parking lot.  We then moved on to an area with Mexican themed designs, like a Mayan Pyramid.


Train Station

After a bit, we made it to Santa’s Train Station in Old Hidalgo.  The theme comes from the actual Hidalgo train station (it’s no longer in use though).  At the corner, there is a fire truck and a fire dog, followed by Santa’s Candy Workshop.


Christmas Around the World

One of the final locations on our tour is the Christmas Around the World section.  There are multiple world recognized buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  After this it was a short ride back to city hall where we exited Santa’s Express.  The weather resulted in the live music being moved under a small tent, which was overcrowded.  So, we decided to head home for the night.


In Other News

In other news, Team Adventures With BeeGee will be taking the Christmas holiday and New Year’s off, so unfortunately there will be no new post until after that time.  However, there will be more post after that time and we look forward to you checking them out.  Until then, happy holidays and have a good New Year’s. 

What has been your favorite Christmas light even this year?  If you like the blog, go ahead and follow us on Facebook.

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