Finally Camping Again! Cranes Mill, May 2020

I just realized that I never even bothered to write an account of my trip to Cranes Mill Park. I had four days to do it, but just never felt motivated to get out the bluetooth keyboard and sit in front of my iPhone typing it up. So, here is a brief account.

It had been over two months since my last camping trip. During that time, I watched the COVID Crunch do its thing on all of my plans. 5 camping trips were cancelled and there wasn’t any way to make new reservations. Then, all of a sudden, someone posted in one of my FB RV groups that they had made reservations for a COE park. I rushed to the site and found that I was able to make a reservation f,or Cranes Mill, which was opening back up on May 16th.

I made a three-night reservation for May 17th - 20th. I wanted a four day trip so I could meet the criteria for shaving off my lockdown beard. But, Rachel’s birthday was the 20th and we had a wedding on the calendar for the 16th. The day I knew the wedding was off for sure, I went online and grabbed the 16th.

Cranes Mill is less than an hour away, if the traffic cooperates. Luckily for me, it did. I got there without any issues except that I wasn’t sure I would find it open when I got there. Some wonderful friends wanted to visit me the first evening, so I tried calling to see if visitors could get into the park. I got a recording telling me that all COE facilities at Canyon Lake were closed indefinitely. I was fairly sure they just hadn’t changed the recording, since it was the first day the park was opening up, but I wasn’t sure. I was really happy when I arrived and it was open.

I backed into my site easily and had everything set up and ready to go within an hour. I avoided a mishap that would have spoiled my trip. I banged on the electricity pedestal and it started buzzing like a radio. I knew there were wasps in there. I got some spray and carefully got them taken care of. A few years back, I opened one up and got six wasp stings on my hand before I knew what happened. I remember thinking I had gotten an electric shock at first. Now I always bang on it first.

There weren’t many sites being used at first. By the end of the day, it was jam packed. The rest of the time I was there, if a trailer pulled out, another took its place. So many of us had been chomping at the bit for any camping spot to welcome us.

Stephanie and Amanda were planning to kayak over to the park from boat ramp 8, wherever that is. Randy and Stacey were driving over with pizza, salad, cookies, and beer. That was set for about 6:30. I decided it would be fun to watch the ladies come across the lake, so I took my binoculars and hiked over to the side of the park I thought they would be coming toward. Sure enough they were out there. I got some crappy zoomed in shots of them. Then, Amanda called me and asked where the boat ramp was. I told them and went to get my truck so I could drive the kayaks to the camper when they landed.

By the time we got back to camp, Randy and Stacey had already set up chairs and laid out the goodies. We had a nice visit for a couple of hours before they all packed up and left. It was my first social event since the lockdown started. I loved it.

I watched Netflix the rest of the evening while sipping my usual Merlot. At one point, I decided to vacuum the floor, since I hadn’t at the end of the last trip. That is when I saw a cockroach. I killed it, but still had that sinking feeling that there may be more. I keep my camper extremely clean. I don’t have any food stuff that they can get into. But, cockroaches will feed on the glue that keeps the wallpaper up. I was afraid it was an infestation. Over the next few days, I saw two more. I went and bought some Roach spray that is supposed to last six months. I planned on spraying it around the baseboards, etc., when I was leaving the Colby 2.0 in storage after the trip. As I was getting ready to leave the park, I found hordes of cockroaches hiding in my wheel chocks. I realized that I did not have an infestation. They had come in the camper there at the park. I went ahead and sprayed, just in case there were some I didn’t catch. I don’t think I need to worry too much, but I will monitor the situation.

So, anyway, the second day I was there, I drove over to the Canyon Dam and walked across it. It was a gorgeous day. I stopped at Stephanie’s house and got a tour. It is really cute. She had left a dog leash in my truck that they used to tie down the kayak. When I got to the dam, I had to park in the farthest parking lot and walk down to it. Later I noticed other people just parked in the street. It wasn’t that much of an add on to my hike.

The lake was stunning. I took lots of pictures. As I was driving back to camp, I saw that little bakery that I like to stop at when I go on field trips to the Canyon Gorge for AAMN. I wasn’t sure if you could go in, so I decided I would look them up on the web because I thought I could order Rachel a birthday cake to bring home with me.

When I got back to camp, I rested up for awhile. Then I took another hike around the park looking for birds, etc. In fact, I hiked around the park every day I was there doing that. On Tuesday, my morning hike was just too hot for me. That ended up being the last one.

I got a message from Dale Adams asking if he could come out and visit me. He lived across the street from me when I was in highschool. I hadn’t seen him in at least 30 years. We sat at the picnic and caught up with each other. He filled me in on his family. It was really a great conversation. I enjoyed reopening a window to the past.

Let’s see… What else. Oh yeah, I went over and picked up the cake for Rachel. It was really nice. I put it in the refrigerator and hoped it wouldn’t bounce too much on the way home. I also filled up the tank out of habit. I hadn’t used much gas getting to the lake. I just always fill up before towing, just in case. I stopped at the Lowe’s grocery and got that roach spray.

I got up early on the 20th and got ready to go. I did one of those idiotic things that could be disastrous, if my guardian angels weren’t looking after me. I was trying to hitch up. The hitch receiver wouldn’t go down to the hitch ball, but the landing gear was coming up off the ground. I was baffled for a minute. I put the landing gear down right away and pondered the situation. Then I discovered that I had not raised one of the front stabilizers. Fortunately, I caught it before anything bad happened.

The trip home was smooth and easy. I got everything out of the camper and sprayed for roaches before going home.

All of my photos of this trip are here: