Sunday, February 3, 2013

Springtime in February

Friday, February 1, 2013

Last weekend, we brought Mammoth home and put her in the driveway, in anticipation of our trip to Daingerfield State Park, near Daingerfield, TX. We adopted two new kitties just a few weeks ago, and were thinking we might try adapting them to RV travel. I had hoped to spend time getting them acclimated to the coach, but the work-week and weather early in the week didn't quite work out for that to happen. We opted to leave them at home and have relatives check on them.

Friday was our departure day, so I worked hard to get the last of the items loaded. We hooked up when Tony was home for lunch, so that saved time once he got home from work. We pulled out about 4:45 and headed toward I-30 through the country. The drive to Daingerfield was uneventful, and took a little over 2 hours. It was very hard to see the entrance to the park, but we found it and turned down the Park Road. The road was curvy and very hard to see, as it was pitch black and surrounded by tall pines. We got to the park ranger station, where a note was left for us to pick any open site in the Big Pine loop area. We followed the map, and could barely see the sites. There are only 9 pull-through sites along this straight road. Once we got to the end, we opted to take the first available on the way out, as we didn't know where we could turn around if we passed it by. It was a tight fit getting in, but a great site.

On the road

We had to use flashlights to see, as there really was no lighting at all down this road. The stars were amazing! We got set up as best we could in the dark and Tony got food ready while I set up things around the inside. Luckily, the temps today were in the mid-60s and the low was only going to be in the 40s, so we did not have to worry about freezing. We noted also that this was a good site, we were just far enough away from the large group with lots of shrieking, giggly little girls, that we couldn't hear them inside the coach. :)

Using the flashlight to highlight the front cap.

The only lights around, our porch light and under-step light

After dinner we did more setup and then just relaxed. We headed off to bed fairly early, as it was a long week for both of us.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Today we awoke to see what our surroundings had in store for us. Since we arrived in near total darkness, we were pleasantly surprised to see our site was large, with a view of the lake and even access to right near the shoreline.

View out our window

Tony headed to see the water more closely

Near the water's edge

Looking back at Mammoth from the edge of the lake

We did some exploring around our site, then went for a drive to view other areas of the park. This park is relatively small, around one side of a small lake surrounded by pine and other trees. These trees are very tall, much taller than the trees we've experience around Tyler State Park, also in the piney woods of East Texas.

The lake surrounded by tall pines and other trees.

Not the main entrance sign, but near the main buildings.

The Big Pine Loop camping area. These are all pull-thoughs with 50-amp, full-hookups.

The park road was curvy, with thick trees on all sides.

After we explored the park and stopped at the park store for souvenirs, we decided to drive into Daingerfield to see what was there. I didn't take any pics. It's a fairly small town, about 2800 people. Their downtown area looks like they've tried to preserve it, but could tell its suffered some as not many stores were actually open. We headed back home and enjoyed a leisurely lunch and relaxing. I fell asleep on the couch, with the sun shining in, and the windows open! The high was close to 70... It sure didn't feel like a normal February!!

Just before dinner, we got a message from AT&T that we'd gone "over" our shared network data allotment. Huh? We have an unlimited plan! I called and they explained that basically because we were out of the AT&T coverage area, they have to pay another network for us to have any service. Since they can't charge the customer any extra, they instead threaten to limit how much data you can use in this "partner area". Ok, who knew? They advertise the largest nationwide coverage! They told us if our usage was excessive in the partner area, they could slow down, or ultimately restrict our access altogether. Gee! That's a twisted way of serving your customers! What are we, loyal customers for nearly 20 years, paying for again!? Ok, enough of my soap box speech. We will have to be more careful in our travels, I guess, and check their maps more closely for "partner coverage", vs "AT&T coverage."

Tony cooked amazing steaks on the grill, and we enjoyed the wonderful spring weather with a walk around the Big Pine Loop after dinner.

Tony cooking steaks

Sun setting on the Big Pine Loop

Beautiful pine trees at sunset

After our walk, we decided to play a game we received as a Christmas present... It's a trivia-based board game, based on the TV show we like, called "Big Bang Theory". We played for about an hour, and I won! Then we decided to watch one of our favorite 'series' movies, "Ocean's 12". We finished the move right at 10, which is "quiet time"... No more loud tv, so we headed off to bed.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This morning we woke up and both of us said we slept the best we have all week. Why is that? The food always tastes better in the Mammoth, too. Why is that? :)

After we had breakfast and relaxed for a while, Tony got dressed and went to town to get diesel, while I began doing some chores to get the rig ready to go. After lunch, we began final prep, and pulled out about 2pm to head home.

Eileen at Daingerfield State Park, Daingerfield, TX

One last pit-stop before we pull out of the Big Pine Loop

We made it home just before many arrived at the house next door, for a Super Bowl watching party! If we had been 10 minutes later, we probably would not have been able to get to our house, due to all the cars parked on both sides of the road.

We got Mammoth unloaded and were ready to watch the big game, right on time. Our new kitties seemed glad we were home, too. All in all, a great trip. We'll definitely be back to Daingerfield State Park!

Kitties Tango and Mambo, lounging on me as we watch the game

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