Lesson Learned

We arrived at our camp site around 6 p.m. on Friday and immediately began the routine of setting up. The site was short and not very level, but we were confident that we could make it work. After maneuvering into place, we attempted to de-couple the hitch from the ball. The added stress on the…

Home on the Range

We’ve been camping at Loyd Park for more than five years, but we only started to get acquainted with it this weekend. A postponement from earlier in the summer forced us outside our comfort zone, so we found ourselves at the opposite end of the park for the first time. While we were out walking,…

Return to Routine

After a long, hot summer with two months of at-home weekends, and after trekking to Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Great Sand Dunes national parks, we finally resumed our weekend routine at Loyd Park. It has been five years since we designated Loyd Park as our weekend destination of choice, so our absence…

A Memorable Memorial Day

While far too many stir-crazy Americans threw caution to the wind this weekend and ventured out of their COVID-19 isolation chambers to hit beaches, boardwalks, and bistros throughout the land, we spent our time at the Sanger KOA reflecting on the meaning of Memorial Day. The official observance of Decoration Day began in 1868, when…

Splendid Isolation

For most of the 19th century, Great Britain engaged in a diplomatic practice that came to be called “splendid isolation.” The nearly century-long policy was characterized by a refusal to enter into permanent alliances or commitments with other European nations, effectively leaving Britain without any friends. The policy ended with the 1904 Entente Cordiale and…

Social Distancing At Its Best

With much of the nation struggling to figure out what we’ve got on our Purell-soaked hands, we headed to Cedar Hill State Park, which proclaimed itself “a premier social distancing environment.” To be sure, the COVID-19 outbreak has profoundly affected daily life: no public gatherings, no Broadway shows, no trips to Disneyland, no March Madness,…

Truth and Consequences

The conversation about COVID-19 — a new strain of coronavirus disease that has quickly spread to 89 countries around the globe — continues to dominate every encounter, even those between strangers at camp. While there is cause for concern, it’s also important to keep the outbreak in perspective. The 1918 flu pandemic killed 675,000 Americans…

So Shines a Good Deed

As we prepared our Date Night dinner, Josh Groban’s version of “Pure Imagination” started playing on our Amazon music station, bringing to mind “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” the movie for which it was written. Cliff said, “we must see it again,” and Jon agreed, saying “let’s watch it tonight!” And so, despite having…

Right Neighborly

The weekend found us returning to Cedar Hill State Park, this time to a site near the water’s edge. After enjoying a tenderloin steak grilled to perfection along with roasted potatoes, charred asparagus, and sauteed mushrooms and onions, we settled into a viewing of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” The 2019 biographical drama, starring…

Presidents’ Day Weekend

When Jon was a young boy growing up in Illinois, the state observed two individual presidential holidays in February: Lincoln’s Birthday, on February 12, and Washington’s Birthday, on February 22. Beginning in the 1960s, efforts were made to join the two days as a way of giving equal recognition to two of America‚Äôs most famous…