Fairfield Lake State Park
Fairfield, Texas
September 14-16, 2007

Fairfield Lake State Park - Friday, September 14, 2007

Terry and I are off on a new camping adventure and a new Texas state park for this trip. We're headed to Fairfield Lake State Park which is around a two hour or so drive south of Dallas. This will also be another campout with our local NTXCA (North Texas Camping Association) camping group. We always look forward to camping with this group. A good time is had by all and we get to spend time with and visit with some of our best camping buddies and long-time friends.

I picked Terry up after work and we headed over to our storage facility to pick our trailer up. Since our route to the park was taking us back by our house, we decided to stop by the house to make sandwiches for dinner. We'd eat them on the way to the park. Earlier in the day I had picked up all the fixin's at Central Market. Terry and I are a big fans of chicken salad and we've both heard that Central Market's chicken salad is really delicious. We'll soon see if I was successful in my mission of picking up something delicious for dinner.

We arrive at our house around 5:30 and Terry went inside to make our dinner. Shortly thereafter we were on the road to Dallas so we could pickup Interstate 45 South which would be our route to Fairfield, Texas and Fairfield Lake State Park. After getting settled in for the trip, Terry started getting our dinner out so we could eat. The chicken salad from Central Market did indeed live up to its reputation. Also the multigrain tortilla chips were a perfect accompaniment for our sandwiches. The whole grain bread from Central Market's bakery was also perfect for our gourmet sandwiches. We had quite a feast on our trip to the park.

Around 8:00 we got to our exit off I-45 that would take us to the park. After a short drive through Fairfield we arrived at the park's entrance around 15 minutes later. The rangers were still on duty at the front gate and were very friendly and helpful. We were assigned to site #42. They told us that most of our group had already checked in. We picked up a park map and headed out to find our site. We drove and drove and drove. We thought we'd never get to the camping area. Since it was totally dark now, we'd definitely have to do some exploring tomorrow during the daytime.

We finally found our site and were happy to see that we were camped directly across from Mike and Kelly and their family. Mike and Kelly are one of the founding members of NTXCA and are super folks. They already had their campsite setup and had a nice campfire blazing as well. Considering that we had never been to this park before and it was dark, Terry and I got the trailer backed into our site very quickly. Even Mike was watching from across the street remarking how easy we made it look.

After we got our trailer leveled, Terry went inside to get the "inside stuff" setup. I remained outside to finish up the "outside" stuff. It was very humid and I was "soaked to the bone". Mike came over with his "mega-lantern" to give me additional light and help me finish my outside connections. After getting all the utilities hooked up I thanked Mike for his assistance and headed inside to cool down and hopefully dry off. Terry and I had already decided we'd d worry about our awning, mat and our outside recliners tomorrow morning when there was daylight. I also noticed there was a heavy tree cover since I couldn't see any stars in the sky. That means we probably wouldn't have to setup up the satellite on this trip. We'd just use our trailer's outside antenna for local reception. It was now close to 10:00 and the two of us were very tired. Before turning in for the night I had to take a shower to get all of the sweat off of me. The hot shower felt really good and was very refreshing. After getting out of the shower Terry and I decided it was time to turn in for the night.

 Fairfield Lake State Park - Saturday, September 15, 2007

We both woke around 7:00 after sleeping very soundly through the night. It was one of our best night's sleep in quite a while. Neither one of us was very hungry so be decided just to have powdered sugar doughnuts and coffee. After finishing our breakfast and getting dressed, we went outside to finish getting our "outside" stuff setup and our awning pulled out. While it was still half way cool, Terry and I sat outside and read for about an hour.

Our Shaded Site At Fairfield Lake State Park

Site #42 at Fairfield Lake State Park

Two interesting visitors to our site.

A little later we decided to go out and explore the park. We had to be back to the campsite around lunchtime so we could start our homemade ice cream. Today at 3:00 our group is having an old-fashioned ice cream social. What fun! We soon found the park was packed full of wonderful amenities. Whether you have children, want to hike, enjoy the lake,  whether you just want to sit and relax at your campsite, Fairfield Lake State Park has something to offer you. Winter fishing opportunities are excellent at the lake since it is warmed by TXU's "Big Brown" power plant. A six-mile trail connected to an older 9-mile trail to provide a continuous 15 miles of trailways provide multi-use (hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian) access from one end of the park to the other.

As Terry and I were exploring, we found a "gem" within the park's boundaries, "Chancellor Union Cemetery". We spent some time exploring all of the different grave markers. The cemetery was very well maintained.

From the historical marker at the "Chancellor Union Cemetery":

Chancellor Union Cemetery - Reuben and Mary Chancellor moved to Texas from Wilcox County, Alabama in the 1850s with their ten children and eleven slaves. They settled on 576 acres in the rural community known as Brown's Creek. The Chancellor family donated four and one-half acres of land for church, education and burial purposes. The regular Predestinarian Primitive Baptist Church was organized in 1854. The church structure also served as a school and a community center, and was the site of many gatherings for area residents. The Chancellor Union Cemetery was established here. The earliest marked grave is that of an infant child of J. B. and Sarah Chancellor Lee in 1857. A separate section of the cemetery was dedicated to the former slaves. The earliest marked grave in that section is that of John E. Ingram in 1915. Among the 90 marked and unmarked graves are four generations of Chancellors, pioneer settlers to the area, many infant burials, and veterans of the Civil War and World War II. The Chancellor Union Cemetery continues to serve the vicinity as it has for more than 140 years and is maintained by an active association of descendants of people that are buried here.

Our Visit to the Chancellor Union Cemetery

On the way back to our site we drove through the rest of the park before arriving back at our campsite just in time to get the homemade ice cream started. Terry's and my contribution to the "Ice Cream Social" was going to be "Homemade Vanilla with M&M's", yum! While the ice cream was making, Terry and I sat in our recliners enjoying our beautiful surroundings and reading.

Sights of Fairfield Lake State Park

Around 2:45 we headed down to the campsite where the ice cream social was going to be held. There was about 5 or 6 of us that made ice cream. Also lots of other folks brought cones, various toppings and other items to make the ice cream social a rousing success. Of course, all of the kids and the adults as well had a splendid time. After the social we visited with everyone for a while before heading back to our campsite to rest and relax before the evening's group potluck supper. We've got some incredible cooks in the group. The NTXCA potlucks were always something to look forward to.

NTXCA's Ice Cream Social

This evening's potluck was no exception, all of the dishes were incredible and delicious. When you've got around 35 families attending the campout, you're bound to have a wonderful variety of foods. Terry and I brought cupcakes to the potluck this evening. Of course they were a huge hit with everyone, especially the kiddos.

NTXCA Potluck Time!

After the potluck was winding down, Terry and I headed back to our trailer to relax for the rest of the evening. We decided to play a few rounds of Skip-Bo before finally turning in for the night around 10:00. Both of us slept soundly throughout the night.

Fairfield Lake State Park - Sunday, September 16, 2007

I woke around 7:00 refreshed after my sound night's sleep. Of course my first task was to get a pot of coffee brewing. This morning was fairly cool so I went outside for a bit while I waited for Terry to wake up. Terry woke up around an hour later. We watched our favorite Sunday morning news program "CBS Sunday Morning" before fixing my favorite camping meal, breakfast. I don't know what it is about camping and breakfast, but they just seem to go together. There's nothing better than the early morning smell of a pot of coffee brewing and bacon cooking.

On the menu this morning"

Our Sunday Morning Breakfast

Breakfast was delicious as usual. After cleaning up the breakfast dishes, it was time to start packing up to get ready to head for home. We were hitched up and ready to pull out of the park around 11:30 and arrived at our storage facility around 1:30. It was indeed a wonderful camping trip. We'll definitely return to Fairfield Lake State Park in the near future. It's nice to know there is such a nice park within a close drive to home.


Authored by Chuck and Terry Mencke

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"Fairfield Lake State Park - September 14-16, 2007" was last modified: September 7, 2008

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