Cedar Hill State Park, Texas; an Oklahoma Storm; and a Night at the Museum

Cedar Hill State Park sits on the banks of Joe Pool Lake, about half an hour from Fort Worth. It’s a go-to stop for me because my sister and her family live in Ft. Worth and the park makes a perfect springboard to the fun of a weekend in that city: the Stockyards and concerts, a weird little aquarium that we like that’s in a shopping mall (?!), ghost tours through downtown....

For this trip, Cedar Hill gave me a good night’s rest, a place to work, and a chance to visit my sister and hug the baby nephew before I headed north into Oklahoma ... where I discovered a surreal sky and hit one of the worst storms I’ve ever driven though.

The din of hail made me turn off my audio book of Jane Austen’s Emma. I subconsciously pulled back in the driver’s seat and ducked a little; it felt as though the hail would smash the windshield and leave me in a jeep shell drenched in the dark, wondering what to do with no cell service and no chocolate supplies. Crawling at about 20 miles an hour, I could only salute the display. The night was still twilight-storm multicolored when I could see anything through the downpour and ice bombs. The land was farms and fields and made me think of quiet cabins, and pioneer farmers, and cattle drives from Texas to Kansas long ago. I pretended I was a drover coming up with a heard (a jeep, trailer, and bike on a rack just aren’t as romantic as a slew of longhorns).

The storm had passed by the time I reached historic Route 66 and turned to find my Harvest Hosts camping destination of the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford, OK. Well, not really passed-passed. It returned briefly when I’d bedded down (after wondering about a half dozen very young kids running through the museum’s lonely parking lot at 10:00 p.m. clad only in bathing suits and without an adult anywhere ... hmmmm).

I’d opened the trailer’s roof hatch to circulate fresh air through the thickness of road stuffiness in The Pryde. Mother Nature cooled things off further, with rain falling through the hatch onto my spare sleeping bag. And I let her. It felt good.

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