The reason we were out driving on potentially icy roads and camping out in howling winds is that the wife signed us up for a program called "Texas Outdoor Family". It's a really neat idea -- since many American families never spend time outside, the program tries to give families a safe way to try it out. They provide tents and other equipment, teach outdoor skills (including kayaking, which I would have liked to do, except that Palo Duro is pretty much a desert) and in general try to make the whole experience as non-intimidating as possible.
The planned activities turned out to be very, very good. The kids got to identify lots of birds. "15," said S1 when I asked. You can see him (red jacket) conspicously hanging back in this photograph so that no one would get the mistaken idea that he was a kid who had to be led around.
The Powerpoint was on various animal noises we could expect to hear. We ended up hearing coyotes, owls and the damned wind.