Our grandchildren enjoy going camping in the RV as much as we enjoy taking them. One of the four has a different Spring Break, usually the week after the other three. Since Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma requires a reservation and the reservations are full as soon as they open up, we made our two weekend reservation for March 2021 in the Fall of 2020. By including two weekends, we can have all the grandchildren enjoy at least a few days of their Spring Break at the campground with us. This year it was all planned for our two grandsons to visit the first weekend into mid-week, and our two granddaughter’s joining us for the second half of the week into the second weekend. It was a nice surprise to have our son-in-law join us with our two grandsons, the only parent out of the four able to take off work a few days.
The fishing has not been good the last several trips we have taken to Beavers Bend, although they do stock with trout we leave without getting even a nibble on the line. This trip at least a few trout were caught, one of which was a large golden trout, our first to catch. Having at least caught a few nice size trout encouraged fishing every day the boys were with us.
Riding bicycles, playing corn-hole, taking hikes, cooking outside . . . frying bacon (the smell resonating throughout) and making pancakes, along with eating outdoors, are just a few of the things we thoroughly enjoy when camping with the grandchildren. Beavers Bend State Park has a train that runs through an area of the park where deer can always be seen grazing and they offer horseback trail rides, activities that are usually included in our camping trip. We did learn this trip that the park has become so popular and crowded that horseback riding needs to be reserved at least one-day in advance. In the past we were able to just show-up at the time we wanted to ride. This trip, we just showed up the last day of the boy’s visit to learn that they were booked the entire day, so no horseback riding this year.
Karl, our son-in-law, brought all the ingredients to make a new S’mores campfire recipe that he had seen online. It was fun building your own waffle cone, filling it with mini Hershey’s chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces, small and large marshmallows, then wrapping each individually in aluminum foil and setting them directly on the campfire. They were good and different. We learned a few tips to try next time to avoid burning the cone.
The heavy rains, possible flood warnings were being reported and predicted to hit Beavers Bend on Wednesday evening. Although we did not want to disappoint the girls by checking out early, we also did not want to take the risk of being stuck in bad weather the remainder of the week. So we packed up the RV and left Wednesday afternoon, departing at the same time the boys were heading back home. Both teenage granddaughters are quite proficient on their Iphone along with the mobile phone apps, and they began texting Nana while Papa drove home. Their text messages included a screenshot of better weather at other State Parks/areas, and they were not going to just accept Nana’s explanation that all the reservations were probably already booked up with it being Spring Break. Their next text was showing available reservations at Lake Bob Sandlin. We arrived home from Beavers Bend on Wednesday evening and with the girl’s persistence, remarkably Nana was able make reservations for Lake Bob Sandlin.
Lake Bob Sandlin State Park (Lake Bob Sandlin State Park — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department) is closer than Beavers Bend and one we had never camped. Nana restocked the RV with additional groceries, the girls were dropped off at our house on Thursday afternoon, and we were all on the road again. Our spur-of-the-moment, busy time of the year campsite reservation (Site #058, Cherokee Trace Camping Area) was a nice site. It was a back-in site across from a lake-front site, although we were not at a lake-front site, we had nice views.
The camp sites at Lake Bob Sandlin are nicely spaced apart, with distance between each other. Our site #058 was large, the picnic table and campfire pit area was not visible from the street, as it was surrounded by foliage, providing some privacy as we sat outside around our campsite. It was nice that this park offers “free” campfire wood as you check-in, it is located at the front office, they do have a donation box for voluntary contributions. Papa enjoys building his big campfires for us to sit around, so he loaded up with enough wood to last through our 4-night stay, and made a donation.
There had been some difficulties disconnecting the truck from the 5th Wheel/RV (front jack failure) at Beavers Bend, but Papa was finally able to disconnect; however, the problem persisted when we arrived at Lake Bob Sandlin and required us to leave the truck connected to the 5th wheel for our stay. It was not so bad, we just hiked, getting good exercise or the girls rode our two bikes around the park.
Weather conditions were good for the first 3-days, however, rain was predicted to hit on our 4th day (Sunday, 3/14). The girls had found the swimming area while riding their bicycles and convinced us that it was not too cold to go for a swim in the lake. We all hiked the quite long distance (45-minute walk) to the swim area which is very nice, roped off with a diving platform, swim deck with stairs, and a good place to swim in warmer temperatures. There was no one swimming when we arrived. The girls realized by just easing in their toes into the water, how cold it was for a swim. There was a couple, fully street-clothed (no swimsuits), sight-seeing as they stood watching the girls attempt easing into the lake; the couple challenged the girls that if they would go into the water, the couple would join them. As the girls hee-hawed around, giggling and resisting plunging into the very cold lake, the couple took the plunge getting fully immersed, only removing their shoes. They began trying to convince the girls that the water didn’t seem so cold once you became numb which was quite a sight to experience. Both girls eventually took a quick dunk, but there was no swimming this day at the lake.
The few days spent were good and we always have fun seeing the grandchildren have a nice time. At the end of our visit, the girls admitted that this lake was not as much fun as Beavers Bend. It is a nice lake to visit in the summer when the lake is warm enough for a swim or if you have a kayak or boat to enjoy the lake, but there are not many activities other than riding bicycles, taking a hike or just relaxing at the campsite. Nana’s happy place is sitting outside just enjoying all the beauty and sounds that nature brings through the love of God.
John 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”