Tuesday, June 27, 2017 – Today we traveled 168 miles from Lake Village, Arkansas to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We are staying in Site 28 in Hot Springs National Park – Gulpha Gorge Campground. This is a first come first serve campground which I am not terribly fond of. You cannot make reservations and you never know if they have any openings until you get there.
We left Lake Village, Arkansas early this morning so we could have a better chance of getting a spot at Hot Springs. This is a naturally beautiful campground with a creek running through it. And they had a few spots open!! We are parked right by the creek, have full hook ups and a nice level parking spot!
I’ve never experienced paying a machine for our stay before now and this one was fairly painless. The park attendants took us around in a golf cart to choose the site we wanted that would hold Dora since she’s pretty big. We found one and came back to the office to pay the machine!!
We only paid $15 which is half the usual nightly rate. We have a Senior Pass that either gives us free admission to parks or half off!
The BBQ pit is in great shape (they normally are not) and the picnic table is clean and is now decorated with the plants that travel with us!
We’ll be here five days while we look around the Hot Springs area. Unfortunately, as Roy was putting out one of our slides, it made an awful sound so he had to inch it out until it was in place. He will be replacing the motor tomorrow. Thankfully he has a spare motor that he carries with us! Our sightseeing will not start until Thursday and I’ll share all that with ya’ll when it happens!
Roy’s already gotten the mini motorbike out and driven around the park! We really like this place!
Monday, June 26, 2017 – This morning Dora, Boots, Roy and left our little paradise in Amite, Louisiana headed for Chicot County RV Park in Lake Village, Arkansas. We thought we were leaving back on May 8th but that wasn’t to be. I am all fixed up health wise so today it finally happened!
I’m referring to this trip as our Route 66 Journey but we have to travel through Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri to get to Route 66 so here we go!
The beginning of the day. Dora is where she usually lives and Boots is where he usually parks and of course the house is always there!
Our patio decorations are all packed up and ready to roll. Chairs, tables, plants in pots and our floor mat. Roy’s sitting so close to Dora because he’s watching the outside television!One last look at our pretty flowers.
All the lillies and lantanas are cut back and you can see some of the rocks I painted. Kallie and Madisyn hid them for me – hid in plain sight that is!
Roy’s unhooking our utilities – he’s so good about handling that yucky chore.
A look at the empty RV parking space and our patio Dora’s out on the road ready to get hooked up with Boots.
We love the beautiful little house we built two years ago. We are so blessed to have wonderful folks renting from us. Thanks Kevin and Shannon! You are the best!
Here’s Dora with Boots hooked up sitting on the road waiting for me to finish taking photos!Most people who have visited us always see Dora, our motorhome, with the slides all the way out. That adds a good 6 feet to the width but without the slides being out this is what it looks like. We have enough room to move freely through the motorhome but I’m surely glad we get to put the slides out when we are parked somewhere! Everything gets piled on top of the sofas and the bed for traveling. It pretty much all stays in place. Every now and then a kitchen drawer will open when we turn but then it usually closes back up when we turn a different way!
All the plants that travel with us! Roy made me move the one with the long vines before we got going! He said he could just picture it wrapping itself around his legs as he drove!
Pretty sure no one can miss us with the bright orange strapping! This is new for us, taking the motor bike with us on the road. Looking forward to riding it!We stopped at Thrift Town Pharmacy on our way out of Amite to pick up some last minute prescriptions. Here’s Roy, Dora and Boots waiting outside for me!
Roy drove 225 miles today. That would normally take 3.5 hours but we tend to stop a lot and look at things so as usual it took us 6 hours to get to Lake Village, Arkansas. We are staying just one night at Chicot County RV Park which is on Lake Chicot. Lots of green grass, oak trees and very quiet! We walked to the Lake and discovered a fishing pier there that we took a walk down. It’s a good distance down the hill to the pier and after walking back up that hill I realized I need to build up more stamina before tackling a lot of climbing and walking. Here are some photos of our time out on the lake. Looking back at the RV park from the pier.Here’s my honey Roy looking as cute as can be! We leave here tomorrow for Hot Springs, Arkansas where we plan to stay in Hot Springs National Park at Gulpha Gorge Campground. It’s a first come first serve campground so they don’t take reservations and that always worries me. We’ll be getting up pretty early in the morning to start the three hour drive there. I have a whole list of things we can do in Hot Springs but one that I’m pretty sure we will do is visit one of the bathhouses and soak in the rejuvenating hot springs water!
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 – Today is our getting ready to travel day. We’ll be leaving here at day break tomorrow if Roy has his way. Since he’s the driver he’ll probably have his way!
Here’s an update on some bits and pieces of our RV life!
Since the Memorial Day weekend is coming up there is a lot of activity going on at the park we’re in, Angler’s Holiday Mountain Resort in Mountain View, Arkansas. Grass cutting, untying and putting in place all the picnic tables that were secured during the flooding. The swimming pool is finally open after days of cleaning and prepping. It’s too cool today for us to take advantage of that.
We have more than enjoyed our stay here. The serenity and quiet during the time we were the only RV here was quite welcome. People have been arriving each day and it’s still a wonderful place to stay. It is one of the Coast to Coast parks that is also open to the public so if your travels take you near here I’d highly recommend staying here.
Our granddaughter Madisyn graduated from Kindergarten last week and has been accepted in the accelerated program at the elementary school she will attend next year! Here’s her precious graduation picture. We love this little girl sooooo much!
Since I shared the amazing marriage proposal between my son and his girlfriend I think I need to tell you that they are no longer engaged. I won’t elaborate, just leave it at that.
There was another flash flood advisory here this week. The river rose quite a bit covering the rocks and almost covering the bridge. Still not nearly as high as it did last week, whew!!!
We’ve been without Verizon service since we’ve been here as we are down in a valley. I’ve been told that ATT doesn’t have service here either. We can only talk when we are in town which has posed an interesting challenge but we’ve gotten through it. Roy looked into Hangout on our phones which may be the answer when we’re in situations like this. If any of ya’ll use Hangout please let us know about it and how it works for you.
One of the calls I needed to make in town was to return a call from Dr. Greiner’s office (eye doctor) to get the results of the OCT test I took before leaving Hammond. My optical nerve is in good condition!!!! Yay!
We encountered a first in our travels when I heard from the next RV park that we’re going to that they don’t take reservations. They have a first come, first serve policy. It’s Terra Starr Park in Checotah, Oklahoma. I’ve never heard of that before. They said they have plenty of open spots so we should be okay. I sure hope so!
I think that’s all I need to update on and this will be our last post from Arkansas. As always I hope that more and more of you will join us on this unbelievable ride living in an RV full time!
Our next post should come from the wonderful state of Oklahoma!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 – On Monday we went to Blanchard Springs Caverns in the Ozark National Forest. The forest covers 1.2 million acres, mostly in the Ozark mountains of northern Arkansas. You’ll find the tallest mountain in the State, Mount Magazine, and Blanchard Springs Caverns, an incredible, living underground cave with a constant 58 degree temperature! My kind of place!!
This is a “living” cave where glistening formations like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing. These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water.
We went on the Dripstone Tour which takes you through two huge rooms filled with an incredible variety and number of crystalline formations – sparkling flowstone, towering columns, delicate soda straws. This shorter, easier trail takes you almost half a mile one-way through the Caverns.
The other tour available at this time of year is the Wild Cave Tour which involves climbing very steep slopes, crawling on hands and knees, and passing under low ceilings and you must be in good physical shape. We chose the easier Dripstone Tour for obvious reasons!!!
Here’s some pictures from our tour. The last picture is from their website because it shows a much bigger area of the caverns than my camera does!
In the recreation area outside around the cavern you can stroll on the paved trail to where Blanchard Springs gushes as a waterfall from the hillside, see the picturesque rock bluffs and enjoy the crystal clear streams. You can also trout fish in nearby Mirror Lake. They may be on our list of things to do on our next visit to this beautiful area.
This is the waterfall from Mirror Lake.
Over the weekend we went back to hear more mountain music in the park. The musicians change day to day and what we heard over the weekend was different than what we heard during the week. Here’s a picture of one of the groups playing. We sat in the Donnie Smith bench, which is just beautiful by the way, and tapped our feet happily. Didn’t hurt that we had these giant ice cream cones from across the street to enjoy during the music.
.Monday, May 18, 2015 – Today my mom, Josie Mae Blum Traylor would have been 95 years old. If you’ve been reading our blog for a while you know how very much we loved her. She’s with God in Heaven and I know is looking down on us with love. Happy Birthday mama!Now that I know for sure (or as sure as RVing goes) where we’ll be going in Oklahoma and when, I want to share so you’ll know what will be coming up in our adventures in just a bit. We have two more full days of Arkansas exploring and then we’ll be taking on Oklahoma later this week!
We have to be out of our Coast to Coast resort system for a week before we stay at another one for free, so the two parks we’re staying at in Oklahoma are Passport America Parks.
Terra Starr Park in Checota, OK – near Tulsa, OK
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to see Matt and Alanna Traylor and their girls! Alanna was my student worker at Southeastern and her husband Matt grew up with our boys at our home church.
Oklahoma Renaissance Festival in Muskogee, OK near Tulsa
Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Refuge in Bartlesville, OK north of Tulsa
Blue Bell was on the list and hopefully they will re-open by the time we get there.
Braum’s Family Farms – Ice Cream tours of dairy processing plant in Tuttle OK near Tulsa.
On to AAA Adult RV Park in New Castle, OK near Oklahoma City
Visit with Susan Randels, my childhood pastor’s daughter, who was my dear friend throughout my childhood and my youth!
Myriad Gardens OK City–One of Oklahoma City’s public spaces, offering its visitors a 15 acre natural escape in the very heart of the metro known as downtown Oklahoma City. May also go to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory within the Gardens grounds.
Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and outside symbolic Memorial – Museum and memorial dedicated to the victims of the bombing in Oklahoma City of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
These were all recommended by friends so thanks you guys! The recommended places in Boise, OK are too far away from our travel route but you never know when our route may take us there in the future!
I have a couple of back up things to do in case some of these don’t work out. Then again this might be too much for us so we’ll cut back or add as needed.
As always, our RV life is constantly changing so any or all of the above could get changed at a moment’s notice!
I hope you guys will continue following our adventures as Dora and the Explorers take on Oklahoma!!!!
Friday, May 15, 2015 – Roy made another attempt at fly fishing and lost three lures. He’s pretty determined to get this right so he’s been watching online videos. Tomorrow is another fishing day so we’ll see how it goes! These pictures are from yesterday.
This afternoon I worked on gathering information about RV parks and the things on our list of must sees in Oklahoma. We’ll get to visit with friends while we’re there also! Matt and Alanna Traylor near Tulsa and Susan Randles near OK City! Pretty much have plans firmed up. Right now it includes staying in the Terra Starr Park in Checotah, OK for a few days (near Tulsa) and the AAA Adult Park (hope there’s no nudes!) in Newcastle, OK (near Oklahoma City).
We still have the Blanchard Springs Cave to visit and Go-Karting to do here in Mountain View! Plus as much pickin as we can fit in before we leave Thursday the 21st.
We went to hear an evening of music at various locations around downtown Mountain View. We started out eating BBQ, and then made our way to the place we went to earlier this week. We sat down at a table against a wall of pictures. They were all deceased pickers honored on the wall. The picture right next to me was Donnie Smith, Elizabeth Halpin Smith’s husband Freddy’s dad. A really nice couple (also from Louisiana) took a picture of us next to the wall of pictures.
A young girl, Mary Parker age 10 joined the group and pulled out her violin. Could she play and kick up a storm!!!! She danced first with the group, then played her violin with the group and sang a couple of songs. She was adorable and very very talented! The crowd really enjoyed the addition of Mary to the group and clapped and tapped to the music. That’s not to take anything from the group of men who played all evening. Here’s a couple of videos of young Mary doing her thing! They are fairly short videos.
Here she is two years ago singing and playing. It’s 9 minutes long but she’s so adorable I had to share!
There were guitars, mandolins, banjos and guitars. People came and went but the crowd grew all evening until the rain started and all the folks on the outside started to scrambling to get cover or left. That was around 9 PM which meant we were out there four hours.
We strolled over to another pickin spot and enjoyed the music there for a while. There I spotted my buddy Elvis and we took a picture together!!
These were just a couple of spots around town where pickin was going on! We enjoyed this evening immensely and left with a song in our hearts!!
Thursday, May 14, 2015 – We’re staying in the park today but yesterday we went into the town of Mountain View, Arkansas. We walked around much of the downtown main street checking out the shops. Our RV park is a couple of miles outside of the town. It’s a beautiful drive with lots of mountainous scenery. Here’s a couple of pictures of the downtown area of town.
We first visited a fudge shop owned by Mr. Ernest, Stonebrook Fudge Factory and Candy Company. He let us taste some of his fudge, Roy tried Chocolate Cheesecake and I tried Banana Pudding fudge. Oh how delicious! If I didn’t have diabetes I’d have purchased a pound of each. We browsed the shop buying a few salt water taffy and a couple of treats for Madisyn.
We went on to the local Military Shop/Flea Market. That was a cool place to visit and of course we left there with a couple of things for us and some fun things for Madisyn!
Lastly we stopped at this hippie shop called For Mother Earth! I love hippie shops!! Must be from being a teenager in the 60s and 70s!
The man working at the hippie shop was so nice and even told us where there was some pickin going on today! Finally we get to hear pickin!!
We found this giant rocker on the sidewalk and of course immediately thought Photo Op!! Roy wouldn’t climb into it but I did real fast.
Making our way down this little alley way we came across the lovely Pickin Square. Really pretty place with blooming flowers, lots of benches and a gazebo in the middle from which beautiful sounds of music were coming! How very super cool, quaint, peaceful and happy this was!
The weather was beautiful again yesterday and the breeze was nice and cool. We sat and listened while the musicians played several songs. Can’t say how I like this quaint little town. I could easily live here and come hear these folks every day. Seems like different folks come every day and play for as long as they want to. If we didn’t need to get on to zip lining I’d have stayed much longer. We will definitely come back again to sit and enjoy this folk music in town! Here’s pictures of the pickin and a video!
Our friend, Elizabeth Halpin Smith, told us that there was a bench in the park in honor of her father in law, Donnie Smith, who played music here before he passed away. We saw that bench today and asked the musicians if any of them knew Donnie. Some did and they said he was a great musician! It’s kind of neat to connect our Louisiana life with things in other states! Here’s a picture of his bench.
Roys outside working on his fly fishing rod so he can do some fishing now that the river’s gone down!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – Oh what a wonderfully fun day we had today! We set out to go zip lining and got side tracked when we walked through town and sat down in the park to listen to musicians pickin. I’ll write about that adventure later, but today I want to tell ya’ll where we went from there – to the Loco Ropes location in Mountain View.
The really nice guy, Anthony, that we met yesterday when we went to check it out greeted us to start our adventure!
We went inside and signed our lives away so they wouldn’t be responsible for anything Roy and I might do up there! Anthony and Cari fitted us with our harnesses and put on our helmets! Okay we could back out now, but being Dora’s brave little explorers that we are, we went on.
If you can make it up the many, many steps to where you get launched. you can do this. Roy and I are definitely not the perfect specimens of health, so if we can do this anyone can. Our friend Angelique bravely zip lined a year or so ago, and she was my inspiration for doing it today!
Once we were at the top. Anthony hooked us up to the overhead machine and gave us some instructions, then OFF ROY WENT!!! He went first and it was so cool to see him flying through the air. I videoed him going to the other end and took pictures of him returning. He survived, did not fall and had a great time so I did it too.
It was like being a bird, flying through the air. If I didn’t love being a human I think I’d be a bird! I did remember to look around and see everything from way up there which was awesome. My scream at the beginning wasn’t fear, it was from happiness that I was doing it! I’d recommend it for anyone, even the faint of heart! Here’s pictures of our adventure and videos following that!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 – The only way into and out of the park is still the alternative exit as the concrete bridge is still under water. When we moved back to our spot the water was down 5 feet. This morning it had risen a foot which is about where it’s been all day. The rushing waters have calmed down to a steady slow flow. Here’s a couple of pictures from after the danger was over. So many people prayed for our safety and we really appreciate it! Today’s outing was to the Ozark Folk Center. I HIGHLY recommend this as a place everyone should visit if you’re in the area. It didn’t hurt any that today’s high was in the low 60s! It is so clean, they are painting everything getting ready for the summer season, put new windows in all the buildings, there are flowers everywhere and so much to see.
Here’s how their website describes what they do:
The Ozark Folk Center of Mountain View, Arkansas is America’s only facility that works to share the heritage and way of life of the Ozark Mountain people. It’s lively, it’s entertaining, and it makes learning about Ozark history and heritage loads of fun. It’s an adventure in yesterday’s Ozark way of life that you can see, touch and enjoy today.
The Ozark Folk Center Crafts Village has over 20 artisans demonstrating Ozark Heritage crafts and the everyday skills used by Ozark Mountain people in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These skills have become Arkansas heritage crafts – basket weaving, broom making, blacksmithing, pottery making, knife making, weaving, quilting, wood carving, yarn spinning, soap making, dress making, herb gardening, coopering, doll making, candle making, wood turning, and more. Between April and November, the Ozark Folk Center State Park offers visitors a chance to experience the living tradition of Ozark craftsmanship and visit with the people who make their living with these crafts.
Here’s the map that shows the layout of the center. Each of the six sided small buildings on the map are where the craftsmen and women are working at their craft, give you a demonstration and also sell their creations.
This is a really big place. After Roy and I left we discovered we missed several of the shops on the map. Our visit started by a tour of the Herb garden by this delightfully informative lady named Tina. She knew EVERYTHING about herbs and was happy when I told her I used essential oils. Roy’s description was that we toured the weed garden. He has no idea! She explained every herb we came across and what it does. She even had their version of a bay leaf plant which we have back home in Amite!
We went to the glass, pottery, copper, cooper, quilting, spinning/weaving, candy, woodcarving, clothier, kids garden, candle shop, school house, plant market and knife shops. And like I said we didn’t see it all. Each of the individual buildings is filled with handcrafted items made by the people who are there to demonstrate it to you.
It was absolutely amazing to see all this and get to see all these craftsmen do their work. Everyone was sooooooo nice and willing to share their craft. If we came later in the year we could have taken classes to learn how to do these things ourselves.
One really odd thing that happened was when someone asked us if we saw “the ring around the sun.” We had not and when we looked at the sun we saw it. We were able to take pictures of it and someone said it was created by ice crystals around the sun. I don’t know if that’s what it was but it was a very unusual sight. Here’s a picture of this.
I forgot to share that we rested for a while at the outdoor music area. We got to enjoy hearing a lady sing and play her Dulcimer. It was a nice break to all the walking around and she mad our time there very interesting and enjoyable! Here’s a picture of her performing.
Here’s some pictures of some crafts we got to see throughout the center. The first few are of the copper shop where the lady used 5000 degree heat to change the colors on the copper. This was my favorite shop!
In the same area is Loco Ropes which is a rope course and a zip line place. We checked it out today and are planning to go back tomorrow for the zip line experience. Neither of us think we could handle the ropes course so we’ll just stick to zip lining. Gonna be fun!!! I’ll let you know that that turns out – and there will be pictures!