Sunday, September 30, 2012

Petit Jean Mountain, Back to the Bluff

Our stay in  Petit Jean State Park was very peaceful, although the Camp Ground was probably 80% filled.  With the Hogs playing bad and playing out-of-town, and with what might be the last good weekend of the year, I guess many decided to go camping.  The good thing about the camp ground is that there is a lot of space between camp sites.  The bad thing is that this part of the park is a big older, and one has to be very careful getting into and out of their camp sties.
Above is the neighbor to our right, and below are our neighbors to our left, although late Friday evening more moved in.  Everyone was fairly quiet, and we enjoyed our stay at the park.

 Above is across the way from us....a pop-up moved in around 7:30, and they barely got set up before dark.  Looked like a lot of work for what amounted to a 40 hour stay for them.  Below is our spot.  You can see that the front jack is extended all the way, and we were still just a little out of level.  More on that later.
On Saturday we celebrated Marcia's birthday by going over to the newly remodeled Mather Lodge.  The state just spent over $4 million on a renovation, which is described on their website as follows:  "The renovation work replaced the lodge's 1960s-era dining room with a more rustic-style design, expanded the kitchen, added a 50-person room for meetings and small banquets, relocated the guest registration desk, enhanced the 24 guest rooms, and constructed a new lodge swimming pool. Public restrooms were added underneath the pool due to its proximity to Cedar Falls Trail, one of the park's most popular hiking trails. The renovation did not affect any of the lodge's original Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration work from the 1930s. Now the renovated portion mirrors the Adirondack-style park architecture of the 1930s' portions of this Arkansas treasure."
These three pictures show the outside of the lodge.  I did not want to take any on the inside, more interested in having dinner...but it really is a nice looking lodge, much like the one at Mount Magazine.
 This part below did not seem to change much...perhaps this is part of the original CCC portion of the lodge.

After eating, we did visit the Cedar Falls overlook, where I went out and took some pictures.  I was not sure how much the falls would be going, but it was not bad for early fall.
Cedar Falls (above) is along Cedar Creek and the falls are 95 feet in height.  The overlook which looks down is not a bad walk at all along a nice wooden boardwalk.  There is a trail down which is behind the lodge, and I did walk that once a long time ago...easy down, not so easy coming back up.  Below is a view to the west away from the falls.  You can see that the trees are just starting to show the hint of color....give it a few more weeks and this is going to be a gorgeous view.

 Cedar Creek above the falls forms a small lake called Lake Bailey.  The lake is just around the bend of the upper picture, which is looking eastward, while the picture below is headed for the falls and looks to the west.
We have been to Petit Jean before, but only for a day trip, so we skipped much of the other things that people do.  It started to rain just a bit before we got back to the motor home, and we just settled in for a peaceful night.

On Sunday we waited for most of the other campers to pull out before we took off.  I normally go out and start un-hooking before I start the engine, but for some stupid reason today, I just started it, and let hit the button for the jacks to let it down.  But I forgot to put the lift which brings Marcia up into the motor home, and we quickly realized that something went wrong...perhaps it was the angle, the bang, and then everything leveling off.

Well the motor home won, the jack lost.....the strain pushed the top, which includes the motor, right off the top.  I had to get the ladder out, get the lift up manually, put the top back on, and will work on getting it fixed later.  If lucky, all I need to do now is rewire.  But we might need to go back up to Indiana to get it working again....or take it off and send it up there....only time will tell.  I know that it will only happen this one time....I am a quick learner.

We did get to Pine Bluff right before the rain started up again.  Since I lived here for 6 years, I figured not much would change...and it hasn't.  It was very nice to see Gwen, the RV Park manager, and the dogs sure knew that they were back in a familiar area again. 

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