Waxahachie is a charming town in central Texas. For the last few years, Sisters on the Fly and The Girl Camper have hosted a women’s camping event: Wonderful Women in Waxahachie. I joined Sisters on the Fly last year (Sister #9988) and was determined to be with them in Waxahachie this year.
Over 100 women in vintage and new trailers, motorhomes, tents and cars camped in Getzendaner Park for the weekend.
It was a delight to meet Janine Pettit, host of The Girl Camper podcast and website (girlcamper.com). She is kind of a celebrity among women campers.
Each camper received a tote bag full of cool camping stuff.
The event was held in conjunction with the Crossroads of Texas Film and Music Festival, also in Getzendaner Park, so several of us attended a concert or movie. I watched the 1984 film Places in the Heart. The director grew up in Waxahachie and the film was based on stories he heard from his family. I hadn’t seen Places in the Heart since it came out and was caught off guard by my emotions when the main character is widowed. It brought back a flood of memories of those first, difficult days.
One of the interesting speakers we heard was Mary Ellen Andorfer. At age 31, Mary Ellen left her successful career with a prominent accounting firm in San Francisco and became a river guide in the Grand Canyon. She vividly described the scenery, the night sky and the experience of being on the river. Mary Ellen also shared with us the transformation she saw time and again in stressed-out corporate executives and other pressured business managers as she led them on week-long trips down the Colorado River.
Kate Dunbar, author of The Campground Gourmet, did several cast iron cooking demonstrations.
One of Kate’s specialties is chicken breast skewered with a sprig of thyme which infuses it with a delicate flavor. She made perfect green beans in a cast iron wok.
Kate taught us about proper cast iron care and the best way to cook with it. Later, we were treated to samples of her gourmet creations, all cooked in cast iron over an open fire.
Gail Bable shared with us her experience as a campground host at Beaver Creek State Park in Ohio. Gail is a certified naturalist with tons of information on the seven “Leave No Trace” principles of camping. My biggest take-away from her talk was to “take out what you brought in”.
Some of these women campers are super creative in decorating their trailers.
This Texan’s trailer gave me a chuckle.
So did this sign.One mother and daughter brought a 1933 Gilkie towed with a bright yellow truck. They rescued it from a museum in Maine that was closing. Who knew there were popup campers 80+ years ago!
We shared meals together, had a fun drawing for various camping items, and enjoyed sitting around the campfire.
Wonderful Women in Waxahachie was a great time of making new friends, chatting about trailers and RVs, and camping together for the weekend.
A bonus connection for me was when a Facebook friend who lives and works on the other side of the world posted that his parents live in Waxahachie! I was able to meet up with the D’Agosta family that I knew in Hemet, California. My husband was the math and science teacher years ago for their now grown-up kids.
Until next year, Girl Campers, keep on going places and doing things!