Friday, September 30, 2011

Moving North

Before I start talking about something else, here are two more pictures taken at Pendleton Bend CG. Our campsite in low light and the sunset from our campsite. Amazing that the pictures were taken within minutes of each other.

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Sunday – We spent three hours moving 100 miles, stopping at Wal*Mart and to eat lunch. We arrived at a FS CG just west of Little Rock called Lake Sylvia. Another FS CG with hookups, new shower house, dump for $10. It was billed as campsites with a view. You can see the lake from several sites, but none are on the lake. It may be the only FS CG that has a swimming platform and a bath house? The latter is probably WPA construction, but in good repair.

The look of inbreeding is evident in this area.

Monday – We decided that one day was enough at Lake Sylvia and headed north. Lake Sylvia is at the foot of the mountains, after we had driven less than 50 miles north, the scenery changed dramatically for the better. The difference is like that between central and northern Alabama – flat vs. short mountains.

We decided to take 65 rather than the narrow twisty route 9. We arrived at Tyler Bend about 1 and we were impressed. This is the most fluffed and buffed Park Service CG we have seen. It’s part of the Buffalo River National River. Three sites in the CG are occupied tonight and one is by some folks from Hoover.

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Your tax dollars at work – $6 a night

Tuesday – As soon as I could yank Dorothy out of her nest, it was after 9, we positioned the yaks at the put-in and the Jeep at the takeout. By 10:45 we were on the water. It is a scenic river, no doubt of that. We were warned the water level was low and we did have to drag the yaks over gravel bars in three places. There were several riffles that sped us along. In higher water, maybe five feet, the river would be a hoot. We arrived at the takeout, 6 miles downstream, before 2.

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The Buffalo River below the US65 bridge

Wednesday – We singled up all lines and headed west to Eureka Springs. This is close to Bransom, so we saw all sorts A’s headed south. It must be freaking bike fest week in these parts. There are Harley’s over the place. I would tax them $10,000 a year for having straight pipes.

We went to the CG first. A really good thing as when when got ready to see the tigers our GPS routed us to downtown Eureka Springs. We did not even know there was an old town of Eureka Springs. [People came here for the waters] We are glad we were not in the MH. Narrow streets like a few western mining towns. Bisbee, AZ and Deadwood, SD come to mind. While I doubled-parked, Bacall went inside to find where the cats were. .

Many miles out of town, we saw lots of tigers. We hung around for feeding time. We are going back tomorrow. We think they are the best looking of all animals.

We are parked on a point on Beaver Lake. We are the only ones here. $5.25 a night with electricity. Your tax dollars at work.

Thursday - Fat People are Harder to Kidnap

We went into town to people watch and take a few photo’s. Not many of the locals were up before noon, just us touristas.

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After lunch we went back to see the tigers. It was 90 and hours from feeding time so they were not pacing, mostly just snoozing like cats do. Since they were still, we could better observe them. And so we did. I know we have seen tigers before, but it never registered with us how tall they are. When you see them head on, they almost disappear their camouflage is so good.

There is a cold front moving in and the breeze was up on the lake. We sat outside and recalled the fun of planning in such a breeze.

It’s Friday. We are parked at Buffalo Point on the Buffalo River having lunch. We are about an hour away from Mountain View the place we will be for next few days for the Lazy Daze Regional Adventure. This seems like a place to end this post. Until the next time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Delta Blues

No, we are not blue. Far from it.

Wednesday - We made it to Clarksdale, MS. This is one of the many places on the Mississippi Blues Trail, which is designed to bring in touristas and the wretched rabble to see ram shackled homes of the blues greats - Son House, BB King, Robert Johnson, et cetera. There are also many blues clubs that are equally authentically ram shackled. De gustibus non disputandum est.

Morgan Freeman has two places here. One is an upscale restaurant that serves quail. The other is a ram shackled place that serves sandwiches and beer by the quart to bikers and the wretched rabble. Dorothy had already planned my birthday meal and nothing here tickled our fancy, so we will eat in and rest.

Our sleep pattern remains out of whack. We were both awake this morning at 3am. Arg!

The cool evenings we enjoyed last week are gone, so we need hookups. Tonight we are parked in the county fairgrounds. Free, as there are no envelopes to put in the iron ranger.

If you know us, you know that one of our fav authors is Victor Davis Hanson. He wrote an article this week that contained this jewel.

Rural California is also like North Africa circa 420 AD: the few family farms left are mostly fenced or walled, the dogs large, the owners armed — trying to survive against organized Vandal attacks.

Regrettably I know of no one else that can make spot on comparisons with N. Africa of 420. Plus he slips into Latin as easily as I make grammatical errors. He is  a joy to read, I always learn something and I regret how much I lost by just getting by.

Thursday – We drove two hours or so and wound up about 30 miles from where we started. There being no bridge across the Mississippi River for a number of miles from Clarksdale, we drove in an almost complete circle.

You will recall that cotton was white gold here when slave labor was nearly free. They still grow cotton, without slaves. Every few miles we would see a crop duster spraying the rows of cotton plants. That has always looked like fun flying to me. They pass over the crop  only feet above the plants. They bounce up at the tree line and make a sharp turn, the wings nearly vertical, and line up for the next pass.

We arrived at a COE park on the Arkansas River called Pendleton Bend. W&E for $8 in a pleasant quiet setting.

Map picture

Our reasons for being here are 1) It was not far from Clarksdale, 2) We wanted to paddle the yaks. 3) Arkansas Post is an historic area being that it was the first settlement in the southern Mississippi area. The Frogs were trapping and and trading with the Quapaw Indians in 1682. I will not bore you with the complete history of the area, but I have to add this one factoid. You will recall Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Two years later the US opened a trading post here, but it failed as it could not compete with private traders. Same deal now.

While the water is low we are going to try to paddle part of the canoe trail in the morning.

The Lamb Spiedino was excellent.

Friday – The paddling did not pan out. After a little over a hundred yards, water hyacinths blocked the brand new canoe trail in both directions. We tried to get through them, but it was not easy and we did not know how far we would have to go until we broke into open water. Good exercise and we saw lots of birds.

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Dorothy made a fine meal for lunch and we got our first decent nap in over a week. Dorothy spent the afternoon getting organized inside. I washed the vehicles and did one repair job.

We are getting a CBS station, so Dorothy can watch Tom Selleck tonight. That always makes her happy.

We will hang here another day, as our next stop could be crowded arriving on Saturday. Weekends and holidays get in our way.

Miss Dorothy spent the afternoon moving tows around. She was handling aggregate today. Did soybeans yesterday. Having grown up on the Warrior River, I have always liked to watch the push boats work.

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Saturday – A Lazy Day

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On The Road Again–Finally

Except for two short trips, it’s been almost a year since we have been on the road. We took the year off to sell the house and we got it done. We have a new house that we will start moving into next month. Meanwhile we are headed to northern Arkansas.

Our first stop was near Ackerman, MS at a FS CG named Choctaw Lake. One of the better FS CG’s we have seen. A decent sized lake, well tended sites, plus W&E. We were able to find it using Ted’s public CG database. The only problem with the place is that it’s about four gallons of gas off our route. We bought gas in Montgomery for $3.27 yesterday. Woohoo!

Of course, we had some rain our first day out. Just enough to mess up the windows.

Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Free To Travel

The house is sold! We close next week and leave for Arkansas the next day. All the “stuff” will be stored until we get back. Then we will live in the driveway, while we get the rooms painted etc.