Sunday morning, March 5, 2023 we left Natchez State Park in Natchez, Mississippi and drove about 4 hours to our next stop for 7 nights; Sandy Creek Park in Jasper, Texas. If it didn’t add so much mileage and time to our trip I would gladly drive around Louisiana. However, I’m happy to say we drove through without having to stop in the state. I still suffer the effects of two deployments to that wretched state, even though it’s been almost two years since my last assignment there. As one of my former colleagues said once, “I still get the shakes when I think about working in Louisiana!”
Sandy Creek Park is located on the southeast side of B.A. Steinhagen Lake between the towns of Woodville and Jasper in southeast Texas. There are approximately 66 sites spread out over 5 locations along the edge of the lake. B.A. Steinhagen Lake was created in June of 1953 with the completion of the nearby Town Bluff Dam.
Our site at Sandy Creek was a nice, long paved pull-through site. Even though I’m pretty good at backing Nomad into sites, it’s always nice to simply drive right in. There was one site next to us, but thankfully it was closed so we had no neighbors close to us. The layout of this park is interesting, to say the least. When you first enter on the road there is a loop to your right that is almost a mile down the side road and, when we drove around later looking, seemed to be an older group of sites on one portion of the Steinhagen Lake. Then back on the main road in there is a section for primitive camping next to the right side of the road followed by the closed site next to us and our pull-though site. THEN you drive through the entrance gate toward another portion of the Steinhagen where there are a few sites. On the same road past that section you find the only dump station for the park and then beyond that you find another, newer loop that is also on the Steinhagen.
The placement of the dump station is inconvenient for anyone who is not in the newer loops because you have to drive farther into the park to use it. Most parks we have stayed in have their dump station(s) close to the exit so you can stop on your way out. This one was just kind of backwards to us, again, unless you were staying in the newer section. Other than being attacked by bugs and mosquitos any time we stepped out of Nomad, we liked the park and if we ever return we have made a note to book in the newer section.
On Tuesday we drove down to the nearby East End Park.
We planed this stay at Sandy Creek to be one where we would just recharge and take care of some errands/tasks around Nomad and Voyager and to prepare for our next stay. That stay would be our first try at boondocking on an actual beach, so we had some prep we needed to do beforehand.
One of those errands was to buy enough groceries to last the remainder of our stay at Sandy Creek and for our following week at the beach, so we drove into Jasper on Wednesday to restock the larder.
Since leaving Florida the weather had been pretty warm so on Thursday we switched out our cold weather clothes for warmer weather ones. When we added the bed topper on Voyager in November we placed our seasonal clothes in tubs and put those in the front of the bed since we wouldn’t access those tubs very frequently. That meant I had to pull out tubs of other items from the remainder of the bed to get to the ones in the front, so that was fun. Then we had to get our clothes in Nomad and switch then out with the clothes in the tubs, and then place those tubs of clothes back in the front of the bed and the other tubs back in as well.
I’m tired just remembering it!
But that’s not all we did on Thursday. I also grilled up pancakes and applewood bacon on the Blackstone grill for our dinner that night (pancakes are NOT just a breakfast food!) as well as grilling up BBQ chicken and burgers so Cindy could freeze them for a couple of meals during our stay at the beach the following week.
Friday was a day of rest except, of course, for taking Bella on her daily walk. These walks also allow us to stretch our own legs, get some exercise and take photos of where we’re staying and the surrounding natural flora and fauna.
I spent Saturday scrubbing down both Nomad and Voyager with my handy-dandy extended scrub brush. They were both pretty grungy looking and desperately needed some cleaning. Since we needed to fill our fresh water tank before boondocking the next week, I emptied the older water that was in that tank into my 5 gallon bucket a few times during cleaning and used that to wet my extension brush. Man, were my arms and shoulders sore a few hours later when I finished cleaning both vehicles.
Then I re-filled our fresh water tank with “fresh” fresh water as well as a 7 gallons portable tank we keep for emergency use. We also charged all our personal electronic devices and our portable batteries, our RockPal battery and our Ryobi batteries we use for fans when it’s hot and/or humid. We also made more than a dozen quart-sized bags of ice for our upcoming stay at the beach.
I’ve mentioned previously that we have slowed down our pace a bit compared to last year and I think we are both enjoying the more moderate rate at which we’re traveling. There will, of course, be times that we need to speed things up to meet certain schedules, but overall we’re both preferring our more laid back pace.
Thanks for following the Wandering Wetheringtons.