Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area - May 28-31, 2018

Lets face it. East Texas in May is already too hot to enjoy being outside of air conditioning in the daytime, and not a whole lot better at night.

But, we wanted to get the trailer out again before the worst part of the Summer heat arrived, to see if everything was still working. As is usually the case, we found a few things to be taken care of when we return back home.

Ratcliff Lake Recreational Area is a nice park, but you have to be careful when you make reservations online, because most of the campsites do not have water at the site. With the help of the camp host, we got situated in a campsite where we had electric and water - there is no sewer in the park except the dump station.

We made the best of the weather and got an opportunity to check out Lufkin and Crockett, which we wanted to do. It was a good trip.

[Monday May 28] We left home about 9:15 am and took TX-99 to IH-45 to Huntsville, where we departed the freeway and took TX-19 through the country, through Trinity and on small country roads to Ratcliff Lake Recreational Area. We arrived about 1:00 and checked into site #16. We ate lunch, but because it was in the 90’s, we relaxed in the trailer. After supper, we walked along Lakeshore Drive along the lake.

< Park entrance. < < Our campsite.

Click on the small photos to enlarge them.

< < Ratcliff Lake.

[Tuesday] This morning after breakfast, we rode in the truck around the park to where the swimming area and fishing piers were. We walked around those areas.

After lunch, we drove to Lufkin to do a little shopping. We walked around the downtown area, going into the Angelina County Courthouse to look around.

< . < Angelina County Courthouse.

Afterwards, we walked a little further and stopped at the Standpipe Coffee House and enjoyed some smoothies to recover from the heat outside (low 90s). It was an interesting old building.

< Downtown Lufkin. < Standpipe Coffee House.

We walked by the old Pines Theater, which apparently is still used for concerts and such, and were surprised to see a poster for the Annie Moses Band. If you have checked out our New York City trip this past January, you will see why that caught our attention. They will be performing there on December 13, 2018.

< Annie Moses Band poster.

After shopping, we drove back to the park and ate supper.

[Wednesday] Today after breakfast we had to make a trip back to Lufkin to pick up a prescription at CVS.

After returning to the trailer for lunch, we drove west to Crockett. Crockett was founded in 1837 and named for David Crockett, who had visited here on the way to the Alamo in 1836. Our first stop was on the square to take a look at the Houston County Courthouse. The security guard there showed us one of the court rooms and told us some interesting stories about the building.

< Houston County Courthouse.

Afterwards, we rode around the downtown area, where we saw several interesting old buildings.

< Downtown square.

< Ritz Theater.

The Downes-Aldrich House is an example of Eastlake-Victorian architecture. Started in 1891 and completed in 1893.

The Beazley House contains elaborate Victorian trim and was built around 1912.

< The Downes-Aldrich House. < The Beazley House.

< First Methodist Church.

We drove by the remains of the old Mary Allen Seminary. It was originally built in about 1886 for a black girl's school by the Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church. In 1924 it started admitting male students. It was transferred to the Missionary General Baptist Convention of Texas in 1944 and became a 4-year Liberal Arts Institution. In 1972, plagued by a series of legal and financial setbacks, the school closed. It was once the site of a 12-building campus and the home of a noted academic program of quality education and religion.

On the edge of the property was an old sign regarding a renovation effort for the one remaining old building.

< Mary Allen Seminary.

Since it was still hot outside, we made a brief stop at the Dairy Queen before we headed back to the campground.

After supper, we took a walk along the lake before dark. We saw the south entrance to the 20-mile long 4C Trail that goes north to Neches Bluff.

< South entrance to the 4C Trail.

[Thursday] Today after an early lunch in the campsite, we left Ratcliff Lake Park and went through Lufkin, then down US-59 back home.

This draws to a close our brief trip to Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area. We hope you enjoyed the photos and brief descriptions of our activities. God willing, join us again soon for another travel adventure.

Goodbye for now,

Lawson & Kay

June 18, 2018

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord, Or can show forth all His praise? How blessed are those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times! (Psalm 106:1-3 NASB)

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