State Park: Lake Bob Sandlin

On Friday, while Jeremiah was working at his desk with the window open, he turned to me and said, “What’s the opposite of a blue jay?”

“Um,” I replied, trying to use Jeremiah-logic to decipher what he meant. “Oh, a Cardinal.”

“There’s a cardinal outside the window!”

Being from Oregon, we’re not used to bright red birds, and they’re a welcome treat when we’ve parked our home in nature.

We moved from the RV park this past Thursday, and headed a little northeast to Lake Bob Sandlin State Park outside Pittsburg, Texas. The ringing in my ears is only interrupted by the intermittent bird songs. This is how I know it’s quiet, here.

If you were to ask Jeremiah his favorite aspect of being here, his reply would be: the silence. My favorite aspect is the miles of trails to be walked.

On Saturday, I left Bernadette behind to do some exploring. Those who say a dog keeps you in shape has never had a dog like Bernie. She decides when she is done walking with very little warning, and then getting her back to home base is a lesson in patience. Some days, she’ll walk and run and wade and very occasionally swim, but other days, it’s naptime USA. (I guess you could argue carrying an 80 pound dog would keep you in insanely good shape.)

About a mile into my walk, I had only passed one person, but the paths were well trodden and the sun flitted between the trees branches.

Cool enough to wear a long sleeve shirt, but warm enough for bumblebees and dragonflies to keep me company, the air was light and scented with trees and soil. I returned back to our campsite a couple hours later feeling like myself again. When I got back, Bernie was covered in dust, Jeremiah was lounging in a chair in the shade, and I was warm and freshly re-freckled.

A mural in Pittsburg, Texas

These past several days has been a clear reminder why we sold our junk, moved other junk into a motorhome, and are traveling the US in said motorhome. Both of us are breathing easier in this state park – close enough to civilization that we found cool murals in a nearby town, and an all-you-can-eat catfish restaurant not 2 miles down the road. (Yes, I’m allergic to catfish. But not shrimp!)

We knew our journey was going to have some hiccups, and that planning everything wasn’t going to be an option. What we didn’t know is that we’d still be in Texas in late March – having expected to be in Florida by mid-February. (That’s a lot of states away!) Now, we’re likely to skip almost all of Florida this year, and Alaska is probably out of the picture for this summer.

That RV park that we stayed at for 6 weeks did have some positives: we got mail delivered, it had a workout room, and a pool that we never took advantage of. We’re just not really RV park people.  We are so glad we are sitting among the trees now: not squished between other RVs.

Our windows are open so that Jeremiah can listen and watch for his opposite-of-blue-jays, and Bernadette has spent enough time outside that she’s been requesting to go back into the RV instead of whining to go out. Also, all our blinds are open! Somehow, sipping coffee at a picnic table tastes much better than drinking it inside the RV while we listen to road work on the highway.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch some turtles sun themselves on logs.

Tip: If you’re planning on staying at Texas State parks, get their year park pass. I think it’s somewhere around 70 bucks, and waves the entrance fees for you, and provides discounts for camping. It paid for itself over these 6 days that we’ve already paid for at Lake Bob Sandlin.

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