07.10.17 An evening in Mountain View, Arkansas – for the third year!

A sign just like this one but in blue was hanging in the Kin Folks BBQ restaurant. Just one more reason I love Arkansas!! My photo was very blurry and I want it to be clearly read so I found this one!

Monday, July 10, 2017 – We have traveled to Mountain View, Arkansas in 2013, 2015 and again in 2017 we are not far from Mountain View.  We would be staying in Mountain View but they didn’t have any openings so we are in Shirley, about 30 minutes away. What draws us here is the towns musicians gathering in the town park square, the courtyard front yard and several other places around the town.  It is the friendliest, happiest environment you can imagine!  I could easily, easily live here and as long as we continue RVing we will keep coming back here when we can.

Saturday evening we drove the 30 miles from Shirley to Mountain View where we had a wonderful time!  We strolled the streets in downtown and hid several rocks there!! We listened to the picking at the courthouse and I sat on the giant chair on the main street!

This is the courthouse where pickers play.  We listened to the lady who was playing for a while. The lady singing was broadcast and is very different than the pickin in the town square.  We then went to Kin Folks BBQ across the street from the town square where the musicians sit around picking songs and singing along with banjos, guitars, ukulele and other various instruments.  We both had jumbo hamburgers with fries and cokes.  We learned about this place from our sweet friend Elizabeth Halpin Smith and keep coming back.  Elizabeth’s husband Freddie’s dad Donnie Smith use to pick in the square and when he died his photo was hung on the wall in Kin Folks.  We have been able to sit right next to the photo each time we eat there!

While we were there we met a really nice couple Lynn and Kay who are from Crowville, Louisiana.  We saw on Kay’s t shirt that they are members of a Baptist Church in Crowville.  We heard them talking to another man (you can’t help but hear other conversations the tables are quite close!)  Them being Louisiana Baptists like us gave us a great place to start talking! Come to think of it I don’t think we even mentioned we are Baptists!  Anyway we found out that they have visited Mountain View for many years and love it like we do!  They also have really cute grandchildren that we enjoyed getting to see pictures of!!  I’m hoping their trip home on Sunday was a safe one!  When you read this Kay and Lynn I didn’t mention it when we were talking but I write another blog called Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays.  A link to that one is at the bottom of this blog post.  I think it’s something ya’ll might enjoy!

Outside of Kin Folks BBQ a group of musicians had gathered and were playing. After eating we all walked over to the town square to listen to the musicians there. People come with their chairs or sit on the benches there around several gazebos.  I hid a bunch of rocks when we first got there.  We sat our chairs out and listened to one of the groups gathered under one gazebo.   This is where the amazing feeling of friends and family just shines!  People from all around the country join locals at any one of the several groups to listen to all sorts of music.   Any musician can join the others or start their own group.  Very informal but special! A little girl saw me holding some of my painted rocks and said she had found a couple of other ones from around town.  She got so excited that I was the lady that painted them so I gave her the two I was holding.  She may look like she’s eating the rocks, but she’s not! When we left she was still looking for more!

Here’s some of the rocks I hid.

Near the end of our time listening to music we got some Ice Cream from another place across the street from the town square.

On our way back to Golden Pond RV Park we pulled over and I got a photo looking down on Mountain View from up a mountain.In case you haven’t read them in the past, here are some previous posts about our time in Mountain View. We seem to come here in odd numbered years 2013, 2015 and 2017!








I’m pretty sure you can tell we love it here!  One of the places we are looking forward to going to this week is to Cherokee Village, Arkansas to visit some very dear, long time family John and Barbara Tate.  We’ve always know them as Barbie and Johnny but somehow they grew up and like being called John and Barbara.  We’ve shared many many memories with these guys until they moved to Arkansas.  We are really looking to getting together with them on Thursday!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



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07.09.17 Natural Bridge in Clinton, Arkansas

Sunday, July 9, 2017 – Thursday after Roy and I collected rocks in Weaver’s Creek in Shirley, Arkansas we saw a sign indicating that “Natural Bridge” was nearby just outside the town of nearby Clinton.  We decided to check it out!

After traveling down a very interesting winding road you reach a parking lot at the bottom. At one end there is a log cabin built in 1871, according to a sign above the door. The cabin is the entrance to the bridge area and also contains a gift shop. The covered wagon was very cool.  Roy said it was an early RV!!!  Guess he’s right!!


On entering the cabin, you will meet a ranger who will give you a history of the bridge and area.

After paying your entrance fee of $5 per person, you exit the back of the cabin to a pathway that leads to another cabin. Inside are a lot of antiques and pictures with information, etc.

Look at the REWARD sign.  $10,000 in Gold Coin was a whole lot back then.  These must have been two bad folks – Sam and Belle Starr!

I thought seeing all of these old utensils were cool.  Especially the bathtub in the first photo.  It was much larger than it looks in the photo! Underneath the cabin an old still sits. Past the cabin is a picnic area with tables and benches.

Natural Bridge is a compression bridge of a flat huge slab of stone stretched across a waterway tumbling down the hillside. You cannot walk/climb up to it, but you can view its beauty.The main slab, supported by two buttresses of stone, is about 120 feet long and over twelve feet off the ground.

In the years following the Civil War, the timber industry exploded throughout the state. Loggers would come to use the Natural Bridge to haul logs across the steep and treacherous terrain. This is an old photo taken during that time.

Situated in a quiet forest area (hazelwood, birch, pine), it is a pretty place to visit, hear some bird calls, see and smell the beauty of the forest greenery. If you walk past the bridge you come to the top of the hill to another picnic area and on to the end of the path. Along the pathway there are a couple of caves along the rock formations there.

I was so thankful to reach the end of the path I had to take a photo with the sign that says Trail Ends Here!  After picking up and hauling rocks earlier, this short walk seemed way longer than it was! The address for Natural Bridge is 1120 Natural Bridge Rd, Clinton, AR It is open Mid-March – October. (Call to verify)Phone:501-745-2357

The beauty of nature in Arkansas is exceptional!   Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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07.06.17 Looking for something for the kiddos to do this summer??? Happy 36th Birthday Chip Chauvin!!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – Today is our youngest son Chip’s 36th birthday.  He’s getting old (ha ha) and we’re already old!! Happy Birthday Chip!

If you’re looking for something for the kiddos to do this summer and want to get them away from their video games and phones, try PAINTING ROCKS!!  I wrote recently about a lady who paints rocks and since that time I’ve gotten into it ALOT and spend time each day either looking for rocks, painting them or hiding them for others to find! I like the idea of being able to, in a subtle way, put a smile one someones face and maybe brighten their day!

For less than $15 you can put together a basic rock painting set of ACRYLIC paints. Here’s a photo of basic supplies and a few paint markers. Thanks Charlotte Emerson for letting me use your photo. She got all this, including the rocks, at Walmart.  What you see here was probably more than $15 but you absolutely can start out for that amount.

 Roy and I don’t do anything basic so our paint supplies have expanded way past that, but you don’t have to. This is our painting supplies not including the cans of spray paint!

First thing to note is that artistic skill is absolutely NOT a requirement.  I do ooh and aah at the really pretty painted ones I see, but whatever a child wants to create is just as fantastic!

I am including links to two Facebook group’s pages that have fairly detailed guidelines (remember they are not rules, just guidelines to help you get started) but if you don’t want to read all that here’s the basic guidelines as I know them:

  • Find or buy rocks from Lowes, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Walmart – if you find one out in nature, clean it really good and let it completely dry
  • Buy cheap or expensive acrylic paints, paint markers, glitter glue, glitter, stencils, paint brushes, clear spray paint and any other colors you may want.  I also use finger nail polishes that I have but don’t really like or use on my nails. Walmart has 95 cent white and black spray paints!
  • Paint your rock however you want to, being sure to add an inspiring message to either the front or the back, let it dry completely (like 24 hours) and spray two coats of clear sealer to protect the paint.
  • If you plan to post your rock to a Facebook or other group – we have a group on RVillage for RVing Rocks – you can put a message on it asking them to post a photo in that group of the rock when they find it.
  • Hide, in plain sight, your rock.  Be sure not to put it in grass that needs to be mowed or somewhere that it would be dangerous to get to.  Just use common sense in where you place them.
  • I kind of do what I want to do with mine since we’re never in the same area long with our RVing.  Just be safety conscious and have as much fun as you can with it!

There are general guidelines that people seem to be following somewhat that you can read at these three Facebook pages:

Montrose Rocks!

St. Tammany Rocks!

Culpepper Rocks!

This group doesn’t have guidelines but they are specifically for RVer’s so it’s one of my favorite groups!

RVing Rocks (for RVers – isn’t that so cool)

There are hundreds of Rock Painting Facebook groups.  You do not have to be part of a Facebook group to do this but it definitely adds to the fun!  The reason it adds to the fun is that when you leave your rock somewhere you put a photo on the Facebook group and a hint as to where it is located.  When someone finds your group, either using the hint or just stumbling upon it, they post a photo and you get to see it’s been found.  They can rehide it or keep it!  This part is especially fun for little ones so if you find a rather crude looking creation it may be from a little one so be sure to post the photo!

I shared my rock painting hobby with my nieces recently and one of them and her daughter have started painting and hiding them in St. Tammany Parish (Louisiana).  I started saving photos of rocks that inspired me in a folder on my computer.  I recommend doing that!  Not that any of my rocks will inspire you but since you know I’m all into sharing photos, here are some of the rocks I’ve painted and photos of some of the places I’ve hidden them!

Please let me know if you get into doing this and share some of your rock photos with me.  They may show up on our blog for others to enjoy!!

This first photo are all of the rocks we gathered from Weaver Creek here in Arkansas today.  They were free though the gathering of them and hauling them back to the car was pretty rough for Roy and I!  But they were free! The next two photos are of Weaver Creek where we got all of these rocks.  It was so much fun! We were exhausted afterwards, but it was fun!

I’ve already painted probably 50 rocks and these are just a few.  I’m also showing where I hid them to help ya’ll along a little!  I’m still getting use to leaving rocks in public places so there are not many of those photos yet! This first one was inspired by my sister Harriett who suggested that I put “Turn Me Over” on a rock.  I love that idea and have done a few of those!


My granddaughter Kallie painted the front of this one when we were still in Louisiana.  It was hidden at a Walmart parking lot.  



  “God Loves You” can be written on even the tiniest rock.  I may even create some Trump rocks!  If you want to spread God’s love or a Christian message this is the perfect way to do it!   Here’s a big and a small one with Smile on the front and God Loves You underneath! Get as creative as you want and sleep well in the knowledge that you may have added some sunshine to someone’s day!

If you want to see plenty of rocks other people have painted (and some really spectacular ones) go to any of the three Facebook pages I included links to above.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!  I’m going outside to play with rocks!


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07.04.17 Hot Springs to Shirley, Arkansas

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – Happy Independence Day everyone from the Chauvins in Arkansas!

We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs National Park while we stayed there for five days.  I found several nice rocks to paint and left them around the campground before we left.

I wrote Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas on two nice size rocks that will head back home with us to Amite!

We left Hot Springse on Sunday morning fairly early.  At 10:30 we pulled into the Greenbriar, Arkansas Walmart so we could watch our church’s Live Stream Worship Service.  Bro. Bob Adams, our interim pastor was preaching again to further prepare us for our new pastor who will start on July 9th, next Sunday!  As always it was a wonderful experience though I’m sure the Walmart customers wondered why the lady in the RV was singing hymns fairly loudly!  We bought a watermelon while there and got back on the road headed for Shirley, Arkansas where we will stay at Golden Pond RV Park for two weeks.

Before leaving Hot Springs, Roy looked into remote control flying opportunities around Shirley.  He found something right down the road!  He spoke to someone associated with the air field and got the okay to fly there! As soon as we arrived at Golden Pond RV Park and got settled, he went over to the Lake Area Fun Flyers Squadron. https://www.facebook.com/laffsrc/  They have a beautiful field with an 800 ft long runway. He hopes to get plenty of flying time in while he’s here.

A young couple own Golden Pond RV Park and are working hard at making improvements.  There is a nice adults only hot tub, a pond to fish in, an above ground new swimming pool, pretty trees and lots of sun!  One of the neatest attractions is the Chow Hall BBQ which is just about 50 feet from our RV.  The BBQ place will open on Wednesday and I’m pretty sure we’ll be eating there while we’re here.

Shirley, AR is about 30 minutes from Mountain View, AR.  If you’ve been reading our blog for a few years you know that we absolutely love Holiday Angler’s Mountain Resort in Mountain View, AR.  That resort was booked for several of the days we’ll be here, so we chose to stay at Golden Pond instead. We planned to head in to Mountain View for the 4th of July parade and music celebration but heavy rains have cancelled those plans!  I hope you’re having wonderful weather and getting to have special time with your loved ones!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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06.29.17 Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Thursday, June 29, 2017 – Today we went to Garvan Woodland Gardens, the 210 acre botanical garden of the University of Arkansas is nestled in the picturesque Ouachita Mountains of Southwest Arkansas.  As their website says:  “Garvan Woodland Gardens is an example of The Natural State at its best: a canopy of pines reaching skyward providing protection for delicate flora and fauna, gentle lapping waves that unfold along the 4 ½ miles of wooded shoreline, and rocky inclines that remind us of the surrounding Ouachita Mountains.”

The Gardens are open February 1 through mid-November 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.   Admission for adults is $15 each.  The map on the left shows the whole gardens.  We made it through about 2/3rds of the gardens which is pretty good for our first outing in several months!


Roy found a turtle!  

This is a beautiful place where many have weddings.  There is a Groom’s Building and a Bride’s Building and then there is the Chapel!  In the middle of all the beautiful green trees and plants, what a beautiful church!

This was a beautiful place to walk around. The humidity was very high so we came away from it dripping!   I kept thinking that this was not something I could have done even two weeks ago.  I am so thankful that God got me through all the medical stuff and to this point!  When we got back to the car I left one of the rocks I’ve been painting!  I hope someone finds it and it helps brighten their day!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

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06.28.17 Hot Springs Mountain Tower in Hot Springs, Arkansas

Wednesday, June 28, 2017  – This morning Roy removed the broken slide motor and put in the new slide motor.  Dora’s slide is happy now! I spent some time painting rocks!

This is the slide motor

This is Roy getting ready to install the slide motor!

These are some of the rocks we got from the creek, before I painted them today!

When that was done, we decided to go into Hot Springs and check things out.  Hot Springs National Park is part of the city of Hot Springs. We’re only 7 minutes from the center of town. We drove past the Visitor Center and Bathhouse Row. Very cool!

 We stopped at an overlook to look down at Hot Springs and took a couple of photos.

When we saw the sign at the beginning of a 3 1/2 mile road leading up the mountain to Hot Springs Mountain Tower we decided to check that out.

After roaming around the gift shop and paying the $5 each fee, we took the tower elevator up 216 feet to the observation decks .  There we got to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs Mountain, and Diamond Lakes area – all at 1,256 feet above sea level.

First thing we saw was our own Boots parked right down there where we left him!


Tomorrow we will probably go to Garvan Woodland Gardens which is a 210-acre botanical garden!!!!

 Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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06.27.17 Hot Springs National Park – Gulpha Gorge Campgroud

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!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

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