Like Camping in Our Own Backyard

IMG_2246Although we tried for weeks to get a local campsite, none were to be had. Halloween has taken on all the trappings of a national holiday, so area campgrounds are completely booked the weekend closest to it. Our only option was to spend the weekend in Cloud 9 parked at the storage unit. It’s like pitching a tent and camping in our own backyard, right? We were able to plug into a nearby electrical outlet, so we had enough power for lights and TV but not enough for the microwave and air-conditioner. It was camping, Walmart-style. (For the uninitiated, many Walmart stores allow free overnight RV parking, but only for dry-camping, meaning you don’t have access to electricity, water or dump stations.)

We arrived on Friday after work and began preparing for Date Night. As usual, Chef Cliff delivered a perfectly grilled ribeye, baked potato, shishito peppers and asparagus. Mild temperatures and crystal clear skies made for a pleasant overnight stay. When you’re inside an Airstream, the experience is the same, regardless of whether you’re parked in a storage unit, at a Walmart store, or at the edge of a national park.

On Saturday, we drove into the city to get lunch at the Dallas Farmers Market and to buy a new chiminea for our back patio. We picked up some great summer sausage and beef jerky at American Butchers, named by D Magazine in 2018 as Dallas’ best butcher shop. Proprietors Calvin and Desiree are happy to take any meat purchased there to their companion restaurant, Beyond the Butcher, just a few steps away, for flame grilling. We opted for the “Build Your Own Burger” special, complete with Farmer Fries and Peticolas‘ Golden Opportunity beer. The dining experience would have been enough for a memorable day-trip, but then we had an unforgettable experience: On our return trip, we got a flat tire, which required sealant and several stops to re-inflate before we finally arrived at the tire shop for a pricey replacement. Needless to say, the afternoon cost us a little more than expected, both in terms of time and money.

Back at the storage unit, our Saturday supper included grilled pork chops, cob corn, and Brussels sprouts. Once again, mild temperatures and clear skies made for a comfortable overnight between the lines (see photo) but off the grid. Next weekend, we’ll return to a more typical camping experience at Loyd Park.