Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Heartland Camp-Out

Wednesday, September 28th

Since Tony did not have a football game this week, we planned to have a Heartland "Camp-Out" for our Heartland family. A Camp-out is far less "scheduled" than a rally, with no set events.

Since many of the "usual suspects" would be on their way to the National Rally in Las Vegas, we did not expect a large turnout. I reserved 5 extra sites at Lake Brownwood State Park.

We had 3 other couples plan to attend, plus one that had to back out a week before due to health issues.

We originally planned for arrival on Thursday, but realized all the others would likely get there before us. So we instead planned to get there on Wednesday, after school. One other couple also decided to arrive on Wednesday.

We decided since Tony would have to drive back and forth for two days, we'd also take my car, so I would not be stranded there.

Luckily, the workload today was not too bad, and I had the rig ready to go when Tony got home. We got on the road about 5PM, and got to the park about 5:45.

Tony towing the BC Mammoth

Tony  towing the BC Mammoth

Ted and Dee were already there, but they were out and about when we arrived. They got back about the time we were almost finished setting up outside.

We visited a bit, then decided to eat and visit tomorrow, since we were all tired from the drive.

Thursday,  September 29th

Today, Tony headed off to work at dark-thirty, and I got up about 7:30 and got dressed and set out our wooden sign and the Heartland banner. 

Then I visited briefly with Ted, and then went to work (in our rig.) Luckily the park  had good AT&T 4GLTE coverage. There was a  Park provided free wifi available, but I could not get it to work with my secure router, so I just used my own device.

I worked until about noon, ate lunch, and went out and visited a bit more. About 1:30, Jeff and Lisa arrived, and so we welcomed them and let them get set up. Back to work I went.

About 3:30, Malcolm and Val arrived, so again, I went out to say hi and let them get settled, then back to work.

Tony got home about 5:30, and we ate, then went out to visit with folks. We all gathered around Ted & Dee's where they had a fire going. There was a gorgeous sunset, and we took a few pics from Jeff & Lisa's site.  It was really nice!

Panorama from the backside of Jeff & Lisa's site


enjoying the warmth of the fire (it was a little chilly!)

visiting around the glow of the campfire

One thing we noticed out here at Lake Brownwood State Park was how bright the stars were! Malcolm took this long exposure pic, and shared with us.

Friday, September 30th

Today Tony again left to go to work, and between my own work I visited with folks throughout the day, off and on. 

The weather was perfect for this Camp-out! Highs in the 80s, and lows in the 60s.

Most folks took time to explore the area and/or run errands, go fishing, go hiking, etc.

pics of the attendees 

My view while I work

Cats getting to look out the screen door, thanks to the wonderful weather!

Friday night, we agreed to get together to cook out and have a potluck. Everyone brought something to grill or eat -- we had plenty of food including monster cookie dip, cake balls, burgers and hot dogs, dips, chips and potato salad, just to name a few. We had  a good meal, and hung out visiting until about 8pm.

Having a great meal with great Heartlanders!

(Ted took these two pics, I borrowed them.)

Not a great pic, but everyone was sitting under Ted's canopy, lighted with rope lights.

Saturday, October 1st

Today, we got up and got moving, started visiting with folks about 10. We planned to gather at 11:15 to head in to the town of  Brownwood, to eat at Underwood's BBQ/Cafeteria. Started in the 30s, this restaurant is a family run business that feels like stepping back in time. It is cafeteria style, with all the veggies and cobbler and rolls you can eat! YUM! I always get full and never go back for seconds. 

Caravan to the restaurant in Brownwood -- our SUV, 2 Duallies and a motorcycle.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it and we had a great time visiting some more.

After lunch, we all went our own way to explore or go back to the park. Tony and I ran some errands, then went back to the park. 

I did some work, Tony took a nap. We went out and did some more visiting, and decided to take our group picture while there was still daylight. Thanks to Malcolm and his camera, tripod and timer!

We all decided to do their own dinner. No one was really overly hungry after the large lunch!

We had a knock at the door a little after we had finished eating, and it was Malcolm and Valerie with a jump drive holding the pics Malcolm had taken. We sat and talked for a while so I could copy the images over,  then we decided to look around to see if anyone else was outside. 

Ted had a fire going, but we found them on Jeff & Lisa's back deck visiting. We all joined them, each couple telling more Heartland and travel stories. About 9, we all decided to head home. We all have to pack up and get going  tomorrow.

Sunday, October 2nd

Today, we got going fairly quickly since we knew folks would be leaving and wanted to say our last good-byes.

About 9:30, we went out to visit with folks that were packing up and we made sure to visit with all of them before they hit the road throughout the morning. We were the last to pack up, as we didn't have as far to go. We ate lunch, then We ran up to the Park office and renew our Texas Parks Pass, since it expired in September, and it was now October. (They could not renew it before it expired!)

Eileen at Lake Brownwood State Park, Brownwood, TX

A view of our Torklift Glowstep Revolution steps, which were a big hit with folks that came to see our rig.

We hit the road about 1:30, and made it back about 2:30. We had no issues getting back into our exact position and setting up.Before extending the slides,   we put our new tire covers on the tires and also the valve extension on the spare, so we can check the air in it easier.

By the time for the Cowboy game started at 3:35, we were set to watch!

All in all, a great trip to visit our Heartland family, and spend time relaxing at Lake Brownwood State Park.