Thursday, September 16, 2021

Crossed the Red River to Texas

 Location: Sanders Cove COE Campground; Powderly, Texas about an hour or so northeast of Dallas

To Texans, crossing the Red River used to be a very big deal back in the old west. It meant you were safely home in Texas after being in the lawless states north of Texas. I was born a Texan but became a Louisianniean Lousianian person from Louisiana back in 1979. The Red looked a little dry when I crossed it the other day. I've been seeing a lot of rain happening downstream towards Louisiana so hopefully it won't be a dry fall. 

As I predicted in my last post, it was a little tight getting out of my last campsite. I was concerned about Liberty's roof and side kissing trees and limbs. We had about a foot clearance and Freedom was in "super slow grandma gear" as we went by the troublesome tree. But all's well that ends well. We got out, threw our trash in the dumpster, pulled out on the highway and nearly got hit by an eighteen wheeler. It may not have been as close as it felt, but I guess I could have waited for the rig to pass before pulling out, but didn't. As I was taught in the Navy and have continued since then, there are no excuses, only reasons. The reason I almost got hit was I decided to take the chance and pull out on the highway instead of waiting because of the uphill grade of the campground driveway. I figured from that uphill-ness, it would be better to hit the highway while rolling instead of from a dead stop. Luckily, there was a really wide shoulder across the highway which allowed me to go almost straight across before turning into my lane. The 18 wheeler didn't blow his horn, slam on his brakes or swerve onto his shoulder, so like I said, all's well that ends well. Of course, I fretted over it for an hour or so just to make sure I don't do that again. Or if I do, do it the same way since it all worked out. Does that make sense???

Plenty of room so far, but the road curves to the left.

It's just a matter of how much side-tracking we do while still passing under the limbs to want to be introduced to Liberty A/C units. Notice the short campsite to the left. It would be interesting to know how many times it's been used this year.

Have to look at it from all angles

From Navy days, this is the CPA (closest point of approach). To tight for comfort, but it worked out ok.

This horse fly was one of dozens who would swarm in the afternoon but be gone by evening. I wasn't bitten by any so I called them peaceful.

Anyway, I made it to this campground on Lake Mayse which is about 10 miles north of Paris, Texas. It's another older Corps of Engineers campground from the 60's. Some of the sites have concrete slabs while others have gravel. The first impression of the campsites are they looked jumbled up in the trees. How in the world can someone back into a site with so many trees. Then as you focus on an individual site, you can see that someone thought about the layout necessary for an RV to back into it and created a pathway. Each site is actually a pretty easy back-in. I was very impressed. It was like an optical illusion.

The roads got smoother as I was leaving Oklahoma

It was a nice weather-day to be traveling

It looks like Liberty is trapped in the trees again, uh?

But nope. Each campsite has their little path to get in and out. I was really impressed. Water/Electric for $11.00 a night.

The lake is another typical Corp Lake. The main difference is there aren't any gates to control the water level like most of the other lakes we've camped at. This lake is controlled by a water inlet/control structure nicknamed a "glory hole". Just a big pipe, standing on end going straight down then turns under the dam to empty into a stream/river. They aren't commonly used and work really good on lakes that maintain a somewhat constant water level. That is done by reaching a balance between evaporation/use and water intake (rain, river, etc). I'm not sure if that is the case on this lake or not. It may be the designer just liked glory hole water structures. The best example of a lake reaching a balance is Crater Lake in Oregon. The only water entering the lake is from rain and snow. The only water leaving the lake is through evaporation. However, the water level is almost constant.

The official overlook. It seems every lake has one.

A pretty lake on a pretty day

The Glory Hole.
Looks like the lake is about a foot low.

This was another two day stay at this campground. Two days is enough since I don't feel like doing any long distance exploring and there isn't much to see close by. However, I did explore the local Dairy Queen. It is the cleanest one I've ever been in and the banana split was great. My type II diabetes said the treat was probably OK, so I felt absolutely no, zero, none, nada only slightly guilty.

Today is moving day and I'm headed to the last Corps of Engineer campground on this trip. It will be on Lake Wright-Patman near Texarkana. I feel very lucky in that I think I reserved the very best campsite in the campground and possibly the best one on this entire trip. After seeing the picture of the site, I reserved three days and will use them to enjoy the view and hopefully get another great sunset. This time, I'll be able to see it from Liberty's door, maybe. I'll also use the time to decompress from travel mode, think about things from the last two months, maybe do a trip recap and just chill out.

The souvenir from the only exploration at this stop.
I'm sure I'll carry it with me for many, many years. I miss the boat shaped dishes from my childhood.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 


  1. Welcome to Texas. I am still in Alabama because storm Nicholas fooled me into thinking it would be bad raining all along I-20 about now so I opted to wait another week before leaving.