Return to Loyd Park

We hadn’t been to Loyd Park since January, when we promised ourselves we would never return. At the start of 2020, the park implemented a price increase that made us reconsider Cedar Hill State Park as our weekend destination. After spending eight consecutive weekends at Cedar Hill SP, we were required to shelter from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, as businesses and parks started a phased reopening, we found availability at the Sanger KOA, so we booked five weekends.

Later, when Loyd Park had availability over Cedar Hill, we took advantage and booked the entire month of June.

Some promises are made to be broken.

Little had changed in the five months since our last visit, except for new road striping and underbrush management. We were pleased to learn at check-in that the park was extending our annual pass by two months to compensate for the shutdown. That may not be good for the park’s bottom line, but it is entirely appropriate.

Although the weather was hot and humid, we enjoyed a grilled Date Night steak dinner, with baked potato, and charred asparagus and peppers, accompanied by our favorite Ravenswood old vine zinfandel. After dinner, we concluded our viewing of Defending Jacob, the Apple TV+ miniseries starring Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery as the parents of Jacob Barber, a suspect in the brutal murder of a classmate who had bullied him. Without giving away any spoilers, we can say we were disappointed with the ways the miniseries departed from the book. When it comes to murder-mysteries, we are not fans of ambiguity.

With a second day of high heat and humidity, we spent most of the morning inside Cloud 9, enjoying Bloody Mary’s, The New York Times, and a few cooking videos. After brunch, we indulged in Cliff’s excellent sangria and a long afternoon nap. Then it was time for the evening news, cocktails, and a fine dinner of grilled lemon chicken, cob corn and broccolini. Whilst channel surfing, we happened upon Lawrence of Arabia, and tried to watch the 1962 epic that is considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time. We managed to survive about an hour of roaming through the desert before we grew bored and decided to clean the kitchen. We ended our Saturday with a long walk under the waning “strawberry” moon, a name that originated with Algonquin tribes in eastern North America who knew it as a signal to gather the ripening fruit of wild strawberries.

We spent our entire Sunday morning under the shade of our picnic pavilion, watching CBS Sunday Morning, reading The New York Times, and listening to baroque music while enjoying fresh-brewed coffee and then Bloody Mary’s. Having reserved an extra night we didn’t intend on using, we were able to stay late into the afternoon, allowing for yet another awesome brunch and luxurious nap before returning Cloud 9 to its storage unit to await the next weekend at Loyd Park.