October Surprise

img_0418While the term, “October Surprise,” refers to political events orchestrated in the month before an election with the intention of affecting the outcome of the election, it could equally apply to camping at Cedar Hill State Park.

The weekend weather, combined with a lovely campsite on a level pad, seemed orchestrated to change our perception of Cedar Hill State Park as an ant- and chigger-infested park with a neglected and crumbling infrastructure to an idyllic locale worthy of reconsideration. After all, we only chose Cedar Hill because our beloved Loyd Park was booked for Halloween weekend.

Alas, a rapprochement was not to be. Despite our best efforts, ants soon made their way across floors, walls, bedding and even the roof. A foul smell of sewage prevented us from enjoying nighttime campfires, and road conditions made driving — and walking — hazardous.

It’s no wonder, then, that we continue to consider Cedar Hill State Park our “park of last resort.” A dramatic fall from grace when we had once called it “our favorite backyard state park.”

Still, we found time to make new Airstream friends: a young couple from Dallas making their third campout since acquiring their rig, and another couple from Plano enjoying a weekend with several others.

And we found time to perform much-needed cleaning/maintenance on Cloud 9’s exterior. A new 12-foot ladder made it possible for Jon to climb atop the roof and clean a year of grunge by hand.

Although work obligations prevented us from attending our Heart of Texas Camping Unit’s annual Halloween camp-out, we promoted the group to both couples. Who knows, we may see them at our upcoming HOTC events in Glen Rose (November) and Santo (December).

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