Daingerfield State Park
February 18-20, 2005

Our Maiden Voyage In Our New Trailer

Daingerfield State Park Trip - Thursday, February 17, 2005

The night before the maiden voyage in our new Pilgrim travel trailer, we picked up our trailer up from our RV storage facility, and brought it home for loading. The weekend before I had turned on the refrigerator to ensure that it was going to be ready to load up the food. We realized very quickly that camping in our Coleman Santa Fe popup versus camping in our new Pilgrim travel trailer was going to be radically different. We had to get used to a whole new way of camping, or should I say "RVing."

We loaded the refrigerator and the freezer as well as all of the dry food items we were taking. It was awesome not have to pack the ice chests or buy ice. We also got to load all of our clothes, books and games, DVD's, etc. before hand. In fact, for the first time, the back of the pickup truck was totally empty! There was going to be nothing to unload when we arrived at our campsite!

Our goal for the our first time out, was to learn about our new trailer, figure out what else we needed to purchase, and try to find just the right place for all of our stuff. We knew the last task would be an evolving process. According to the weather forecast, East Texas was going to be cloudy, grey, and rainy, but we didn't care. We needed to get out of the city and back to Daingerfield State Park. This is out favorite place in the world to camp. It is so peaceful and quiet. It is indeed a very special place. Every time we drove into the park, stress just melts away.

Daingerfield State Park Trip - Friday, February 18, 2005

Around 8:30 Friday morning, we headed east on Interstate 30 towards Daingerfield. Our dear friend and park manager, Kim Ochs, had been transferred to a new park. We were sadden by the news of his leaving, but very happy for him and his new promotion. In the fall, Terry and I will have a new park to visit him. Kim had been at Daingerfield for over 18 years and had definitely left his "mark" on the park. The park was treated by him and all of his employees like it was the front yard of his home, which it really was. In our opinion, Kim is the consummate Texas Parks Manager. He loves what he is doing, is very much a "people person", and knows so much about wildlife and the environment.

Terry and I arrived at the park gate around 11:45, and Tad, one of Kim's rangers, got us checked into site #8 in the Big Pine area. Normally we have always camped in Dogwood, but we've now "graduated" to full hookups instead of just water and electricity. We talked with Tad a bit before we headed down to our campsite. He told us, that as long as he is at the park, Kim's presence will always be felt in the park.


Daingerfield - All Set Up Another View of Initial Set Up

It was such a pleasure setting up, it just took a matter of minutes instead of hours of unloading and putting everything up. Oue setup the first time took a little longer since we had so much new stuff we had purchased at Camping World that had to be unpacked and unwrapped from its original packing.

Around 1:30, Terry and I sat down to our first meal in our new camper. It wasn't fancy, but it was our first meal shared together in our new trailer. We had ham and Swiss sandwiches, potato chips, cokes and cookies. Tonight we'll have a more formal meal and officially christen our new camper. The rest of the afternoon, we spent relaxing and rearranging stuff. It took me a bit longer that normal to get the DirecTV dish zeroed in on the satellite, but I finally was able to get a clear picture. Since it was cool later in the afternoon, we built a campfire to take the chill off. We were only able to enjoy the fire for a few hours before it started sprinkling. By that time, it was time to get dinner started anyway.


Garage Area Opened Up Slide Extended Out

On the menu tonight, beef filets, baked potatoes with all the fixin's, hot rolls, salad, wine. Terry had even baked a cherry crisp for desert in our new oven. A special treat, that we were not able to have with the popup, was ice cream. We now had a freezer in our new trailer! Awesome! Before dinner, Terry and I toasted the camper and declared it officially christened! After dinner, we settled in for the evening, listening to the rain, and watched the feed from our DirecTV receiver. Around 10:30, we were both very tired so we turned in for the evening. What was unusual is that both of us slept through the night without even stirring. We must have been very tired and comfortable as well. The bed was great. We had also bought a foam topper for our mattress when we were at Camping World. The topper made all the difference in the world.

Daingerfield State Park Trip - Saturday, February 19, 2005

The two of us woke to the sound of noisy geese around 7:00 in the morning. You think a rooster is loud, wait until you hear a bunch of geese "talking amongst themselves" early in the morning. These guys were officially our first visitors to our new trailer, and boy were they expressing themselves about how much they like it. By looking at them they were definitely not underfed! Terry and I put on a pot of coffee and enjoyed a couple of cups while sitting under our canopy. It was quite chilly this morning. We also had a yummy breakfast planned, fresh baked cinnamon rolls, juice, and cold milk. For the rest of the morning, we sat around and relaxed while I played with our new entertainment system with surround sound. We brought some DVD's with us and watched a couple of them. Terry was doing an amazing feat as well, she was laying down on the couch watching movies with her eyes closed. Around mid-morning, we decided to try out our new shower. It was so nice being able to shower insider our trailer instead of having to trek down to the bathhouse. It really worked well. It would have been nice to have more water pressure, but the shower was adequate.


Terry and Chuck together on couch 2004 F150 with Texas Flag Emblem

Since we had such a large breakfast, we decided to skip lunch and just snack if we got hungry. We also had a awesome meal planned for this evening. Terry and I normally eat better when we're camping than when we are at home. On the menu tonight is a crock pot cilantro-lime picante chicken, rice, hot rolls, salad and wine. About noon I plugged in the crock pot, added the chicken and picante sauce and waited for it to cook. Several hours later, it was starting to smell so good. Normally it take around 5 hours for the chicken to be cooked completely. After about 5 hours, the chicken breasts were falling apart and smelling so good.

This afternoon, while it was sprinkling, we watch some more of the DVD's. Finally, by mid-afternoon, the rain had basically stopped, except for every now and then. Terry and I decided it was time for another campfire. Of course, after we got the campfire going, it started sprinkling again, but not enough to bother the fire. We decided to put our portable shelter up beside the campfire so we could sit under it and still enjoy the campfire. We sat under the shelter reading, napping and enjoying the campfire. Overall, even with the rain, it has been an awesome first full day in our new trailer. The outing also gave us the opportunity to be able to learn about the operation of the trailer and find out what needed to be addressed. We have a short list of 6 or 7 items that we'll need to have FunTime take a look at and fix. Dinner, as most of our meals are, was awesome. This evening we rekindled the campfire, and played a round of Phase 10, one of our favorite new card games. After we burned up all the wood, it was time to head inside and get ready to turn in. This camping stuff is very hard work and we were both very tired.

Daingerfield State Park Trip - Sunday, February 20, 2005

We woke Sunday morning to the sound of rain on the roof and thunder in the distance. With our track record, it's the norm for it to rain on our last day of camping. When we were camping in our popup, the rain was always a hassle. Rain meant wet canvas and wet canvas meant that we had to open the popup up when we got it home so it could dry out. With our new trailer, it doesn't matter if it is raining or not. Also, it normally used to take us 2-3 hours to get everything packed up and loaded in the back of the truck, not anymore! Lying in bed on a Sunday morning listening to the rain on the roof, with my sweetheart beside me. it doesn't get much better than that.


Chuck Relaxing Terry Relaxing & Reading

The cool rainy East Texas morning was calling out for a pot of fresh brewed coffee. I accommodated the request by making an excellent  pot of coffee. We drank coffee and watched "Sunday Morning" on CSB before starting breakfast. Our traditional Sunday morning breakfast, when we're camping, consists of pancakes, pure maple syrup, bacon and sausage, eggs, juice and milk. Major yummm! It is indeed my favorite meal when we're camping. What a view we had from our trailer. Our campsite was right on the lake. There was a cool breeze coming off the lake as I was cooking breakfast under our trailer's canopy.

Around 11:00, it started getting dark again, so we decided to start breaking down the chairs, tables, canopy, etc. on the outside. Terry came out and help me fold up the chairs and our portable shelter, then she went back inside to finish the dishes so I could start dumping the grey and black water tanks. Our trailer has one black water and two grey water tanks. About an hour later, the sun came out and we had beautiful blue skies to look up at as I was draining the three tanks.

Terry and I pulled out of our campsite around 1:30 and headed west towards Fort Worth. It was so nice when we arrived at our RV storage facility around 6:00, in about 15 minutes, we were unhooked and Terry had all of the food and clothes loaded in the pickup and we were on our way home. We're now looking forward to our next trip in about a month to Loyd Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Then the first weekend of April, we're headed down to the glorious Hill Country of Texas to see the wild flowers and a nest of bald eagles.

Authored by Chuck and Terry Mencke

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"Daingerfield State Park - February 18-20, 2005" was last modified: April 5, 2005

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Chuck and Terry's Pilgrim 281 RB-S Adventures