We’ve been camping and traveling as cheaply as possible, all part of my attempt to test out the $66/day budget for a family of four, I wrote about here.

Texas. I used to live here, although much further north in a little town outside Dallas called Wylie. I can do small town Texas, but this was really small. Welcome to Berclair, Texas, population 253.


We were looking for somewhere to camp, maybe a little bit of woods where we wouldn’t be bothering anyone. So we started driving down a side street, leaving the highway behind.


Farms. Abandoned homes. More farms.


I mean no one lives here right? We could just pop the tent up right? But no, that would be bad if someone did mind, especially if that someone came knocking with a rifle in one hand and a strong dislike of outsiders in the other (our plates say Washington state after all). Besides, what have we become? Drifters? No. We’d find a bit of woods, hike out and camp. It took us a while but we found the perfect place.


Except that this place wanted to kill us. I was in flip-flops and even the grass was filled with thorns. Fire ants covered the ground. We walked around a bit, getting more and more creeped out.


Are these nests? What are these? It’s hard to explain, but there was this loud buzzing noise like there was a 20 foot tall bee hive nearby but we couldn’t tell where it was coming from.


And these things, it was so Blair-Witch-project-esque.


Then my son spotted the bones. They were everywhere.


Scattered across this quarter-mile stretch of wood were the remains of animals, I’m guessing mostly horses, but who knows.


Okay that’s weird. So are there like lions in Texas? I thought it was mostly small animals. Maybe coyotes are dragging them around? Cole doesn’t care, he finds the only patch of dirt without fire ants and proceeds to cover himself with it.


Then up a little further are two abandoned hunting shacks. I’m getting all kinds of “Into the Wild” feelings about this, and after Drew reads the side of this one, he starts calling the place the “Murder Woods”.


It’s hard to make out, but someone died here? What?


I squeeze my camera into the shack to take a picture. Just beer cans. A few feet away is a five foot tall iron cage. A trap for larger animals? A kennel for dogs?



“So are we staying in the murder woods or what?” Drew asks.

No definitely not. I don’t know, maybe it was the thorns and prickers, the fire ants, the animal remains or the memorial to the dead guy, but our imaginations got the best of us and we high tailed it out of there. Cole was super disappointed.