Loyd Park
Grand Prairie, Texas
February 17 - 19, 2006


Friday - February 17, 2006

Boy oh boy, are we asking for "it" on this camping trip or what? What am I talking about? We're headed out for a nice relaxing weekend of camping, but there is an ice storm and very cold temperatures forecasted. What the heck are we thinking about? Are we crazy? Well, maybe a little, but at least we won't be far from home. Loyd Park, where we'll be staying,  is just a short 30 minute drive. We figured if the ice gets real bad when we're getting ready to pull out on Sunday, we'll just leave the trailer at the park and pick it up later when the roads have cleared. We'll have company on this trip as well. Steve and Leslie, our camping buddies, will be joining us for the frigid weekend.

Even with the cold temperatures, we're planning on having a warm comfy relaxing weekend of doing nothing. Terry needs this weekend to relax since she has surgery scheduled the following week. This is a much needed weekend to unwind and clear her mind. We have a whole weekend of games planned. We're going to teach Steve and Leslie the RVer's game of Mexican Train. Since it was so cold outside, it will be a perfect weekend to have a "gaming marathon."

February 17 is Terry's normal Friday off, and I took a half day off so we could get out to the park and enjoy the rest of the cold day. We arrived around 12:30 to a totally empty park except for 3 or 4 rigs, which belonged to volunteer workers at the park. We wouldn't have to worry about the park being crowded. One of the nice features we like about Loyd Park is that you can reserve a particular spot and it will be there for you when you arrive. You don't have to worry about arriving at the park early to get a "good" spot. A couple of weekends before, Terry and I had done a drive-through the park noting sites that we would like to stay in. There are so many nicely wooded sites at the park, it was hard to make a decision. We did finally decide on sites 150 and 152. They're located on an inside loop and very private and nicely wooded. Not that we would have to worry about anyone being around us this weekend! All the sites at Loyd Park include a covered picnic table, too bad we wouldn't be eating outside.

Covered Picnic Tables Site #151 - Loyd Park
Steve & Leslie's 5th Wheel The Mencke's Rig

Terry and I got setup and leveled very quickly and then sat down to a lunch of sandwiches, chips and cokes. As cold as it was, we should have had soup and hot chocolate instead. About an hour later, we heard the sound of a diesel coming around the corner. The sound signaled the arrival of Steve, Leslie and their dog, Winston. To help Steve and Leslie I headed over to their campsite to watch Winston while they backed their 5th wheel into their site. Since the weather was bad, with sleet and freezing rain predicted over the weekend, both of us just did a minimal outside setup. We did put our awning out, but as an after-thought we shouldn't have. I'll talk more about that later.

For the rest of the afternoon, both of us just relaxed. With the cold temperatures, we were going to be "sucking up" the propane, but that is what it was there for. Terry had brought an extra quilt from home for tonight. I'm sure we are going to need it. When we arrived temperatures were in the 40's and expected to drop to the lower 30's overnight. On Saturday, the high temperatures were supposed to be in the lower 30's. Saturday night into Sunday morning was when the "fun" was supposed to happen, temperatures were supposed to drop into the upper 20's with a chance of sleet and freezing rain. No wonder we were the only ones in the park! Before hand the four of us had decided that one couple would do dinner one night and the other couple the next night. We decided on "warm comfort-type" dinners since it was going to be so cold over the weekend. Steve and Leslie were hosting dinner this evening and we'd be hosting tomorrow evening. We're not sure what we're going to be eating, but we're sure it's going to be yummy, all of us are great cooks!

About 6:00 Terry and I headed next door to Steve and Leslie's 5th wheel. The minute the trailer's door was opened we knew we were in for a delicious dinner. On the menu tonight:

After dinner the four of us sat down for a round of Mexican Train. We had a great time. Shortly after finishing the round, it was time to head back to our trailer and turn in for the evening. All of us were tired from the busy work week. Terry and I watched the news and weather before turning in for the night.

Saturday - February 18, 2006

Around 7:00, Terry and I woke after spending a warm cozy night under our electric blanket and quilt. We really didn't want to go our from under the warm covers. The trailer stayed nice and warm all night long. I'm sure we're sucking up the propane, but that's what's there for and that's why we've got a good heater. As cold as it is, it's definitely going to be a morning for a hot pot of coffee. I glanced at the thermometer and the outside temperature was in the upper 30's. Burr! Most definitely a day to stay dressed in sweats! We already heard Steve and Leslie stirring next door. Winston, their dog, probably needed to go out for his morning walk and to take care of "business."

Steve and Winston out for a walk

For breakfast, Terry decided to make a pan of homemade blueberry muffins. Yum! We accompanied the muffins with a pot of hot coffee and chilled orange juice. For the rest of the morning, we relaxed, napped and read, just what we're supposed to be doing on a campout. After a lunch of sandwiches and chips, Terry and I played a few rounds of Skip-Bo. While Terry took a nap I went next door for a visit with Steve and Leslie.

Around 5:00 it was time to get dinner started. On the menu for the four of us tonight:

As cold as it was getting outside a pot of chili would be just want the doctor ordered. Both of the meals we've shared on this campout were perfect for cold weather camping. After dinner it was time for another round of Mexican Train. After we finished our round of Mexican Train, Steve and Leslie headed back next door to their trailer. The temperature was hovering right around the freezing mark. Freezing rain and sleet was forecasted, but it hadn't started yet. Terry and I went to bed around 11:00 warm and cozy in our trailer. Looking back, we should have gone on and rolled up our awning, but we didn't.

Sunday - February 19, 2006

Around 3:00 in the morning, nature called, and I woke up hearing a tingling sound on our skylights. Yup, it was sleeting. We definitely should have rolled up our awning when it was dry. Oh well, we'd deal with it later. I crawled back into our warm bed. Both of us were really surprised how warm the trailer was staying. Our dealer had told us that our trailer was very well insulated. I believe them now.

Terry and I finally woke up around 8:30. It was so cold outside but we were warm and cozy. We really didn't want to get out of bed. While we were waking up, we heard Steve and Leslie next door. We're sure that Winston, their dog, needed to go outside for a walk. As soon as I got out of bed, the first order of business was to put on a pot of coffee. We also found out that our water hose was frozen. Today it isn't supposed to get above freezing. I went outside and changed out the hose so we could get water flowing once again. As an after thought, I should have filled my fresh water tank and turned on the "Artic pack." tank heater. We wouldn't have had to worry about the outside hose freezing. Oh well, another lesson learned.

Around 9:30 Terry and I decided to start breakfast. On the menu this morning:

After cleaning up the breakfast dishes, Terry and I headed outside to get the ice off the awning. If looked like there was about a quarter inch of ice on it. The roads in the park were also partially glazed with patchy ice. At least it wasn't covered completely. Steve's F250 is a 4 x 4, so he decided to make a run out of the park to see how the roads were. Since the park was empty, the park manager had already told us that we could leave our trailers and come back later on in the day or tomorrow to pick them up. They didn't want us to risk having a wreck. Steve returned and said the roads weren't that bad, but what about the bridges? For our trip home, we had a couple of long bridges that we had to navigate.

All bundled up! Iced in!

Both of us started to pack up and get ready to pull out. Around noon, we were ready to head for home. To make a long story short, we all made it home without an incident. I took it slow and easy on the bridges. There were a few "white knuckle" moments, but we arrived safely at our storage facility. Normally the trip back to the storage facility would have taken around 45 minutes. With the ice and the traffic, our trip home was extended to an hour and a half. It was a relief to get the trailer unhooked and head for home.

Authored by Chuck and Terry Mencke

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"Loyd Park - February 17 - 19, 2006" was last modified: October 22, 2006

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Chuck and Terry's Pilgrim 281 RB-S Adventures