Hog Wallow Weekend

A hog wallow is a shallow depression in land denuded of vegetation made by the wallowing of swine. As luck would have it, Hog Wallow was the only camping area at Cedar Hill State Park with an available site on Easter weekend. Despite the foreboding name, we took a chance that there would be neither hogs nor wallowing upon our arrival. As one of two camping areas at the southern side of the park, Hog Wallow has clearly not had much improvement since it was opened in 1991. Thirty years of decline have left the main road and many campsites so dilapidated that they’re nearly impossible to maneuver. Fortunately, with ample foliage and dense forest surrounding our site, we were able to enjoy near total seclusion.

We met some other Airstreamers almost upon arrival: an older couple in a newer rig just up the road, and a younger couple in an older rig just down the road. The younger couple was from the St. Louis area, and they revealed that their mothers live in Alton–the same city where Jon’s mom lives. Small world! Their Airstream was nearly the same vintage as Cliff (he’s a ’65 model, theirs is a ’66), with beautiful original details including dark, solid wood cabinetry, original off-white laminate countertops, and aluminum wall sconces. Of course we recommended they reach out to our friends Paul Mayeux and Ann Flanagan at A&P Vintage Trailer Works for help and advice in restoring their rig. We also recommended they watch the excellent Airstream documentary Alumination, which includes Paul in interviews and commentary.

In addition to not having sewer hook-ups, a disadvantage to the Hog Wallow camping area is weak cell service. We were able to stream our traditional Easter viewing of the 2012 London arena version of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but limited bandwidth meant settling for a low-quality picture. It also made web surfing a bit more of a challenge. As Cliff observed, we don’t go camping to watch TV or surf the web. So we took long walks along the lake, enjoyed crackling campfires under the stars, and spent time talking about our faith and its meaning in our lives.