Pedernales Falls State Park Romp

Over the weekend, the three youngest kids, [Kathy->] and I met up with [Chris->], [Becky->], and [Mom McMains->] for a long afternoon at Pedernales Falls State Park. We enjoyed a picnic overlooking the falls, nibbling from each other’s collections of goodies and catching up on the goings-on in each others lives. Floating through the falls looked as if it would both be an immense amount of fun and also quite likely fatal, so we contented ourselves with drinking in the view from a distance.

Once sated, we did a quick hunt for a geocache and then set off for the swimming area. As we paddled around, the swiftness and force of the water assured us that we had made the right decision in not jumping into the falls upstream. After enjoying the water for a while, it occurred to me that there was ample raw material to try rock stacking, something I’d been keen to try for a while. My initial efforts were gratifying:

Sean Stacking Rocks

I quickly learned a few things by experience:

  1. Heavy rocks are actually easier to balance, because the minute shaking of your hands doesn’t affect them as much.
  2. Heavy rocks hurt when they fall on you.

Kathy picked up on the idea, and being the overachiever she is, quickly took it to a level I’d not even approached, creating 6′ tall stacks over in the sand. She assembled a small crowd of onlookers rather quickly:

Kathy Stacking Rocks

Great stuff. As I wandered around later, I noticed a few rock stacks that other people had created and saw one fellow trying his hand while perched on a giant rock in the middle of the river. It was fun to see people enjoying that so much!

As a final bit of fun, Chris pulled out a couple of bottles of Coke and some packages of Mentos so that we could reproduce the now-classic “science experiment.” Note: we used regular sugary coke instead of the diet variety that some folks insist is required. It worked just fine, though I’d be interested to do a controlled experiment sometime to see if one produces higher blasts than the other. You can see the video over on YouTube.