Loyd Park, Grand Prairie, Texas
March 11-13, 2005

Loyd Park Entrance

Loyd Park Trip - Friday, March 11, 2005

For this camping trip Terry and I stayed at a new park and met a whole new set of RV friends, well almost a whole new set. One of our camping buddies, Jennifer, joined the group on this trip. This was a group of adults that get together several times a year for a camping trip. I got to know all of them from the Open Roads Forum on RV.Net. The user forum is an incredible source of information with a great group of helpful folks. Our group rented one of the loops of 10 campsites, even though there was only 9 families attending the campout. We all agreed we would chip in and pay for the extra site so we would have the whole loop to ourselves. Terry and I were looking forward to camping with this older group of RVers. We love seeing the children playing at the campgrounds, but its nice every once and a while to spend time with just adults.

From what we learned, Loyd Park is a Corp of Engineers park that is managed and maintained by the City of Grand Prairie, Texas. The park is located on the shores of Joe Pool Lake, across the lake from Cedar Hill State Park. The park has 221 very shaded sites with covered picnic tables. Unlike the State of Texas Parks, at Loyd Park, you are able to reserve a specific campsite. Pretty cool! Terry and I were anxious to visit the park.  We had heard a lot of very nice comments about the facility. The sites that we looked at were all very level, shaded and clean.

Loyd Park - Typical shaded campsite Loyd Park - Restrooms/showers
Typical Loyd Park Campsite - Very Shaded Sites! Beautiful and well maintained restrooms and showers

To regress a bit, on Thursday night, March 10, our beloved little popup was "adopted" by a new family. They assured us that they would give our popup all the tender loving care that Terry and I had over the last four years. We were glad we didn't trade it in when we bought our new Pilgrim travel trailer. First, we got a much more for the trailer than we were offered as a trade-in. Second, we got to meet the folks who would be purchasing our popup. It very sad for the two of us watching our beloved Santa Fe leave our driveway and drive down our street. Deep down inside, we knew our little Santa Fe had a new home and it would provide all sorts of fun for the new owners, but we were still very sad.

The night before our Loyd Park trip, Terry and I loaded our trailer with all of the food and clothes we would need for the trip. One of the main benefits of upgrading to our new Pilgrim travel trailer, we can now load the trailer completely the day before we leave. It saves so much time and wear and tear on the two of us, especially Terry. We couldn't do that with our popup.

To help us arrive at the park as early as possible Friday evening, I went by our storage lot during lunch and picked our trailer up. That way, we'd be ready to leave for the park as soon as I picked Terry up around 5:00.  I brought the trailer back to work for everyone to see. All my co-workers had been anxious to see it. They all had heard so much about it. During our afternoon break, I got to conduct the "nickel" tour for everyone. Everyone was very impressed and amazed at the amenities the trailer offered. Many of my co-workers who had said that they would never go camping, changed their minds after seeing our trailer. I explained to them that we really don't go camping anymore, we go RVing! There is a big difference between the two. Terry and I still have some of our fondest memories when we used to camp in our tent, but the conveniences and comfort that the trailer offers is wonderful.

I left work around 4:30 to pick Terry up so we could head out to Loyd Park. We arrived at the park gate around 6:00 and were directed to the loop where we would be staying for the weekend. We stopped and met the group before we pulled into our site and finished our setup. Around 7:00 Terry started dinner. We decided to do something easy since it was so late in the evening and we were both tired after the long work week. On the menu tonight was spaghetti, salad, and all the fixin's. On the way home, Terry had stopped to pick up a loaf of freshly baked French bread to accompany our meal. In the site next to us was our friend Jennifer's Class A motor home. She and her husband, like us, started out camping in a popup, then upgraded later on. Unfortunately, her husband had to be out of town and we not able to join the group, so it was just Jennifer and her two dogs.

Chuck and Terry's Rig Rear view of our Pilgrim 281 RB-S
Chuck & Terry's Rig Back View of Our Pilgrim 281 RB-S
Our neighbor's Class A Loyd Park - Covered Shelters
Our Neighbor - Jennifer's Class A Motor home Covered Shelters at Loyd Park

After dinner, I joined the group out by our group's community campfire to sit and visit for a while. Terry just wanted to relax by herself. She had a real tough week and needed some time to unwind. Tomorrow night we were going to have our big potluck dinner. Several of us had decided that we'd be doing a BBQ. My contribution was going to be smoked brisket and chicken. I needed to fire up the smoker around 9:00 so the brisket could smoke all night long. Around 10:30 the group started breaking up deciding it was time to turn in for the evening. It was a nice cool evening.

Loyd Park Trip - Saturday, March 12, 2005

Terry and I woke around 6:45. I needed to check the smoker and see if it was OK. I stoked the coals and added a little more water to the drip pan before putting the pot of coffee on. We relaxed a while before I decided to get the satellite dish setup and pointed. Around 9:00 it was time to start breakfast. This morning, the breakfast menu consisted of French toast, bacon and sausage, juice and milk. We used the rest of the French bread that was left over from our spaghetti dinner the night before.

As I mentioned, that night was the big potluck dinner, so a bunch of us sat around the BBQ pits and watched over the meats that were smoking. One of our RV buddies, Kat, had promised to keep the "chefs" supplied with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. She made good on her promise! They were great and hit the spot after a long day of BBQing. For most of the afternoon, Terry sat outside and read while I hung out over at one of our new friends' RV. Later in the afternoon, the winds started kicking up off the lake so Terry and I decided it was time to rollup the awning. Around noon, I took the brisket off the smoker and put it in our Nesco (portable oven). I added a few more coals to the smoker then put the chicken on to smoke for the rest of the afternoon. From the smells in the air, it promised to be a yummy potluck dinner.

Saturday afternoon, our host, George, got his "ladder golf" game out. The game has also been called "bolo toss". From what I have found out, its origins date back to the days of the cowboys and the old west. The cowboys would test their skill by tossing their bolos at the fence rails in the corrals. The art of bolo tossing has now been converted into "ladder golf." Why is it called ladder golf? Well, the bolos are now golf balls tied together on a 13" nylon rope and you're tossing them at something that looks like a ladder. Its a pretty cool game and a lot of fun. Terry and I have now purchased a set of our own to keep in the trailer. Basically the game is pretty simple. There are three rungs on the ladder, one of them is worth 1 point, the next is worth 2 points and the third is worth 3 points. You play until you reach 21 points. You can either play as individuals or teams. Pretty cool!

Ladder golf - The approach Ladder Golf - The toss
Ladder Gold - The Approach Ladder Gold - The Toss
Ladder Golf - The follow through Ladder Golf - Bolo's hanging
Ladder Gold - The Follow Through Ladder Golf - Bolo's Hanging

By the middle of Saturday afternoon, I started not feeling well. I was starting to ache all over. I couldn't figure out why. I left the group to their ladder golf tournament and headed back to the trailer to rest, trim the brisket and check on the chicken. After trimming the brisket and putting it back in the Nesco to stay warm, I rested for a while. My stomach still wasn't feeling good. About 6:00 Terry and I headed over to the group pavilion in the middle of our camping loop for our potluck supper.

There were some amazing dishes that all of the families had cooked and contributed for the night's festivities. I ate what I could, but about 7:30, I started feeling real bad so I bid my farewell and Terry and I headed back to our trailer. I went to bed but was never able to get to sleep. I had a very restless night. Finally, in the middle of the night I went out and laid down on the sofa so I wouldn't keep disturbing Terry's sleep. Probably around 4:00 in the morning, I feel to sleep out of sheer exhaustion.

Loyd Park - Sunday, March 13, 2005

I woke Sunday morning around 8:00 after about 4 hours of sleep still not feeling myself. My stomach was still pretty upset. Not feeling good really made me mad. It meant I was going to miss my favorite breakfast, pancakes and all the fixin's. I didn't feel like eating. Terry snacked a little to tide her over until we got home. We decided to start packing up so we could head for home. About 11:00 we were ready to pull out. We said our goodbyes to the rest of the group and headed to the RV storage facility to drop off our trailer. Terry and I were already looking forward to our trip to the Hill Country the first weekend of April. Overall, other than me not feeling well, it was a very nice and relaxing weekend.

Authored by Chuck and Terry Mencke

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"Loyd Park, Grand Prairie, Texas - March 11-13, 2005" was last modified: May 15, 2005

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Chuck and Terry's Pilgrim 281 RB-S Adventures