Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh Lord, Back in Arkansas, Again....

Gotta love Creedence Clearwater Revival if you are my age....and Lodi, which was the real song that "they were back in" is only 30 miles south of where I grew up....so I thought the title was fitting to my coming back to Arkansas after being gone for 6 months.

We left Chicago/Indiana area on Monday morning, and made it to a rest area in Missouri along I-44, about 50 miles west of St. Louis, where we got more fuel.  Wish I would have waited until we got into Missouri...would have saved $6 since it was 20 cents per gallon cheaper for diesel....oh well.  Here are some pictures of the rest area which I took this morning, since it was late when we pulled in last night.
 Above is a view of the car parking and bathrooms, while below is the view of the truck parking.
We were in the second truck/RV parking spot, the first slot had a motor home in it, but they had left by now.
We had our first encounter with people who are up to no good this morning.  There was a knock on the door at 7:15 am.  A young man, about 22 years old, starting telling me this story, through the small window next to the door (because I don't open the door until I know what is up).  He said that this guy had won $180K at the tables last night, and had set up breakfast down the way and was giving out food and gas money to anyone who shows up.  I politely told him where to go (long trip, hotter spot and more barren than the Badlands, if you know what I mean...).  Well, I actually just told him to go away....but it is times like this that we wish we were carrying....would have been kind of nice to be holding something in my hand, in his view, while I talked him...that is for sure.  About 5 minutes later, we heard some voices outside between our motor home and the one next to us.  There were five young guys, the first included, running a card game scam on what I found out later was the guy in the motor home next to us.  He said that he lost about $150 to them....and they took off real quick.  

We hit the road around 8:30 after coffee, and drove to the nearest Cracker Barrel we could find, about an hour and a half away.  We have not been to a Cracker Barrel for at least 5 months, probably more like six or seven....neither of us could remember.  And we were lucky, it was not busy, and we found a spot in the back to park the big rig.  About 30 more minutes down the road we found a real nice rest area....separate parking for motor homes and trucks...wish I could have made it two more hours last night...but we are going to have to remember this one in case we are ever in the area again in the future.

Around 3 we made it to Fayetteville, and pulled into the RV Park.  I knew there were no games going on, so I thought it would be easy....but I forgot about checking on the Bikes, Blues and BBQ dates....and we won the lottery on that one...it was just starting up today with the early arrivals.   So we drove down to Alma and will stay at the KOA there for a few days and travel up to Fayetteville to have dinner with Stephanie and Ryan.  
 Above is a view to our left side (driver side) towards the KOA office, while below is behind and to the left, the only RV spot back there.

 Above is to our right side, and there is no spot beyond them, and there is plenty of room between us and them.  Below is directly behind us.

Above is in front of us, and it is the doggie run area....no fence, but lots and lots of grass.  I think Skruffy seems to know she is back in Arkansas...she started to sniff out the window as we entered the state from Missouri, and she has been along that route a number of times when we went up to Missouri to visit my parents before they moved out to California.  And the grass here is much different than the grass out west and up north...and of course, the humidity here.  Below is our RV parked in our spot.....it will be nice place to visit while in the area, I only wish we could have been closer to the kids.
We will also visit Marcia's cousin in Fort Smith while we are in the area too.  Then, after perhaps a stop at Petit Jean State Park, we will be in Pine Bluff by Monday for a week or so.  It will be nice to see friends and visit my Rotary Club, and all the kids will be in town for Ryan's Birthday the first weekend in October.

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