At Long Last, Loyd

The call from Loyd Park came as a welcome surprise: We had a site for the weekend. Because it was the first weekend of Spring Break, we were unable to reserve a site at Cedar Hill State Park, so we were happy to return to Loyd Park for the first time since November. Our site was located in Loop F, the first loop that had been transitioned to full hook-up and one we had not stayed in before (primarily because it’s adjacent to the main parking lot and camp store, and has nine cabins and a large group camping area). Installing sewer pipes and upgrading electrical lines meant the entire loop had been dug up and patched back together. We found ourselves surrounded by families liberated from lockdown who had settled in not only for the weekend but the entire week. The warm days brought a chorus of birdsong, budding trees, and flowering shrubs, making it easier to overlook the barren soil where so much construction work had taken place.

On Friday, Chef Cliff prepared a “royal recipe” from the series of the same name: a Gaelic steak with a whiskey sauce and “potatoes in the bag,” said to be favored by Prince Philip. Although the prince prefers a sirloin, we enjoyed tenderloin filets with the mushroom, shallot, cream and whiskey sauce. We ended the evening with a long walk and a late campfire under starry skies.

Saturday found us supping on turkey sausage with baked beans and cob corn under the picnic pavilion with a crackling fire and the Grand Ole Opry providing the soundtrack to our conversation. It was an ideal way to end a day of discovery, as Jon’s investigation of his step-grandmother’s family revealed some tantalizing curiosities, including the newspaper account in the society section of his step-great-grandmother’s “surprise” wedding when she was “a well known young woman” (she was 16!).

Sunday morning was gloomy, chilly, and damp, as a lingering weather front slowly made its way out of the area. By early afternoon, though, clouds gave way to sunny skies, temperatures warmed, and we enjoy a perfect spring day. Chef Cliff grilled lemon chicken, broccoli, and mixed peppers as we televisited with Jon’s mom and enjoyed another campfire under starry skies.

Reluctantly, we had to prepare for departure on Monday morning. Our Spring Break may have lasted only three days, but they were glorious days, indeed.