Cedar Hill State Park is only 11 miles from our storage unit, but it could well be a world away. It provides not only an escape from work but quick, easy access to Joe Pool Lake and nearly 300 campsites. Throughout the park, we find local people like ourselves taking an afternoon off, or camping for a day or two. It’s easy to get lost on a lazy, warm afternoon under cloudless skies, when sunlight seems to filter through every tree, illuminating forest paths. This weekend, as we walked along the lake, breathing in the languid air heavily fragranced by Chinese privet, we felt as though everything was right with the world.
The lake is at its highest point since the historic spring of 2015. A byproduct of the wet spring has been an almost unprecedented proliferation of ticks and mosquitoes, which made protecting our five chihuahuas a constant challenge.
The weekend also found Chef Cliff using our Big Green Egg to optimal effect. Friday’s ribeyes were grilled to perfection; Saturday’s hot dogs hit the spot; and Sunday’s pork chops were what the BGE people had in mind when they created their ceramic cooker.
Because temperatures stayed in the low 80s, we were able to spend ample time outside the air-conditioned luxury of Cloud 9, greeting our neighbors and meeting another Airstream couple, who introduced us to the Zap It, a 4,000-watt rechargeable bug zapping racket (think of it as a cross between a tennis racket and a Taser). We ordered a pair immediately.
To commemorate Gay Pride, we watched the Kennedy Center Honors, with its rainbow ribboned motifs. The show celebrated the artistic accomplishments of choreographer and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; country singer-songwriter Garth Brooks; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the tributes and performances, but we were particularly moved by the segment honoring Garth Brooks. James Taylor brought us to tears with his rendition of “The River,” Kelly Clarkson’s emotional rendition of “The Dance” set a new standard, and Gladys Knight’s powerful performance of “We Shall Be Free” re-established it as an anthem for our time. An absolutely awesome program and a much-needed shot in the cultural arm!
Monday morning found us bracing for a fast-moving weather front, which brought torrential rains, high winds, and lots of lightning. We were able to get everything stowed and road-ready before the deluge, so all we had to do was drive away, placing our happy memories on hold until we return to the same site next weekend.
This pattern of breaking away during the waning hours of our workweek to set up camp and enjoy outdoor pursuits and indoor inactivity will be repeated over the next three months as we continue preparing for our trip across the Southwest to White Sands, Saguaro, and Joshua Tree national parks. That’s how we roll. That’s our Airstream life.