Road Rage

Upon arriving for our weekender at Cedar Hill State Park, we had no idea what awaited us just beyond the park entrance. The ranger dutifully warned us about Argentine ants but said nothing about the missing section of road between us and our campsite. And by “missing” we mean non-existent. Completely gone. We knew from the previous weekend that roadwork was being done and that traffic had been reduced to one lane while the other was being replaced. What we didn’t know was that the other lane had also been removed, leaving only a single dirt path between two sections of paved road.

As we slowly made our way along the rugged terrain, we imagined ourselves on the legendary Cape Town-to-Cairo caravan of 1959, when 106 Airstreamers spent seven months traveling the length of the African continent along muddy roads, mountainous roads and, occasionally, no roads at all. Due to the roughness of the terrain, some days the Airstreamers were only able to travel a couple of miles. Admittedly, our trek wasn’t nearly as harrowing, but we definitely felt like we had joined them in the Congo. (If you’ve got 45 minutes, you should see the unedited documentary of the trip, narrated by José Ferrer)

After arriving and setting up, we toasted the setting sun and enjoyed a juicy beef tenderloin steak with grilled Brussels sprouts and a baked potato. Afterwards, we took a long walk under starlit skies.

Saturday found us following our normal routines, with Cliff returning to Hampshire for his work shift and Jon remaining at Cloud 9 for a first look at the newly released 1950 census records. Upon Cliff’s return, we enjoyed breakfast cocktails, The New York Times, brunch, and a nap. A long, late-afternoon walk culminated in cocktails, a campfire, and a cookout under the pavilion. Chef Cliff prepared an excellent pork chop with onions and fennel, accompanied by steamed broccoli, and macaroni and cheese. We ended the evening with another starlit walk along the lake, followed by “Saturday Night Live.”

We spent the better part of Sunday relaxing in Cloud 9, listening to music and enjoying the affection of our beloved dogs. Baxter is our oldest, at 18, followed by Ranger and Duke, at 15. The girls, Maya and Bella, are our youngest, at 12. We know we won’t have them in our lives forever, so we’re preparing ourselves for the inevitable transition, even as we’re grateful for their relatively good health. We know our routines will be permanently altered when we no longer serve as their staff, but we’re committed to experiencing at least some period of our lives without dogs. Check back in a few years to see how we do.