05.20.15 Bits and pieces

1654376_826105987457633_4996957998919480494_nWednesday, 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 madisyn k gradprogram 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 1610767_772414849471661_6821691071225407594_nvalley.  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 1901663_10152793302612556_8002597669606840967_nStarr 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!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.19.15 Blanchard Springs Caverns and Recreation Area

11188423_1439095226405371_4762796609265941417_nTuesday, 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 11262011_10155526479280035_7414516686294206177_nrooms 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!

20150518_145411 20150518_145920 20150518_151225  20150518_152051 20150518_154045 20150518_154644   blanchard cavernsIn 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.

20150518_16305020150518_163104FlowersPinkSpinsDividerOver 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.

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05.18.15 – Our Oklahoma Plans!

 

 

.rv graphic from rvillageMonday, 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!curley dividersNow 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 two1497562_10152224551210337_2033273789_n  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

1503328_10151987866081704_458978760_nWoolaroc 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.

curley dividersOn 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 1508080_259556820881303_4045262253006040313_nvery 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.

10450134_1105820779444195_2351487549162570804_nThese 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!!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!

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Romans 8:1-2 Proverbs 31 Ministries – God has a plan and purpose for our life.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!!!  Proverbs 31 Ministries shared this recently and I wanted to share it with you guys.

988550_10152876381021961_1022815608638496486_nRomans 8:1-2 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (NIV). This verse reminds us that no matter what has happened in our lives, or what we have or have not done, God loves and values us unconditionally.

Later in that same chapter, we read God not only loves us, but has a plan and a purpose for our lives — not despite our past, but because of it.

Paul experienced pain and suffering through various forms of persecution: imprisonment, beatings and rejection. He spoke from the wisdom of his own experiences and exemplified the transforming power of God’s ability to turn any mess into a message.

Paul encouraged believers to embrace God’s promise that He can use all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, not only for God’s good, but also our own.

Regardless of how difficult our pasts are, as children of God we have a commonality in Christ Jesus our Savior: God will use for good what the devil intended for evil. When we allow God to use our pain for a purpose that glorifies Him and ministers to others, we enjoy the blessing of spiritual healing and transformation like never before.

No matter how different our prior experiences, we can still have one precious thing in common. We can each choose to live as proof of the power of Jesus to change a life. All things truly can be used for the good of those called by Him.
– Tracie Miles, Author

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05.15.15 An evening of mountain music!

298087_509387402456576_928255323_nFriday, 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.

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Roy’s one and only catch – a real tiny one!!!

wpid-20150514_162135.jpg wpid-20150514_162858.jpgThis 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.

MV Donnie Smith picture mv memory plaque mv memory wall r and rhttps://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/mv-memory-wall-roy.jpg mv memory wall royAfter eating we headed over to the pickin park to hear more mountain music! As the evening went on, more and more people came out and more pickers joined the group.

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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!!

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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!!

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05.14.15 Fudge, Hippies, Flea Market and Pickin Park!

988510_10152636814230806_4412793312884267731_nThursday, 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.

20150513_131816 20150513_131710We 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.

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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!

mv mother earthThe 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.

mv rosalyn chair 2 20150513_140326Making 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!

mvproyThe 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!

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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.

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Roys outside working on his fly fishing rod so he can do some fishing now that the river’s gone down!

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05.13.15 We is Zip Lining fools!!!!!

lc rosalynandroyWednesday, 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.

lr cari lr anthonyIf 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!

lr 7lr 5 lr 6.lr 8 lr 1 lr 3Here are our videos!

Rosalyn the Zip Line Queen – Click Here!

Roy the Zip Line King – Click Here!

I am so glad we didn’t chicken out and have now had this experience. We may even go back again before we leave town next week!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.12.15 Ozark Folk Center (an A+ place) and The Rivers Gone Down!!!!

1383325_609649069100387_163657237_nTuesday, 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! 20150511_165608 20150511_165617Today’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.

ozark folk centerThis 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!

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Part of the kid’s garden
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Look under the green leaves, there are rows of white flowers hanging. Simply beautiful!
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Bunny garden

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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.

c10I 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.

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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!

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Some of her finished products
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Candle Making
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Stained glass – the Copper tape they use between sections.
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Stained Glass – The lady’s demonstration area
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Pottery
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The school house – They moved the buildings that are really old here from other places.
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Rosalyn teaching in the Old School House!
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Spinning/Weaving – This was another favorite. Her clothing was exceptionally beautiful. Came with a high price tag but the amount of work that goes into each piece very much justified the cost.
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Clothier – Lots of display items of century old clothing and accessories. The lady now sews with a new machine but everything she sews is old type clothing.
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Me being silly!

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!

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05.11.15 – Part Two – Yep Paw, It’s still Rising and here we stay!

Monday, May 11, 2015 – What a morning this has been.  Dora and the Explorers are really having an amazing adventure today!

Roy woke me up at 6:45 this morning, saying the river had risen a lot and that he was leaving to go help someone get unstuck.   I resisted waking up at that awful hour of the morning but when I raised my blinds I saw nothing but water from the elevation of the window.  I got up!

There were about a dozen fifth wheels parked here for storage. People were moving them to higher ground since that area was slowly filling with water.

When Roy returned we walked around the park and checked out the status of the waters.  Here’s what we saw.

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Right behind our RV
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Next to us
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You could sit on the ground next to the tree on the left two days ago and be about 10 feet above the water.
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This is the road attached to the concrete bridge that we went over to get to our parking space.
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The really rough patch of water going across the picture is where the bridge is.
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Where the fifth wheels were stored is now covered with water. All of the fifth wheels have been moved out.
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Another picture of where the 5th wheels were parked. This was taken from one of the high ridges throughout the park. Now we see why the ridges are there!
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Dora and Boots before we moved them.
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This was the sight from out our bedroom window this morning. The sight that got me up and moving!

20150511_074329    20150511_075306Upon returning to Dora (our RV) we decided to start getting ready to leave if needed.  About two hours later the water by our RV rose to the level we knew we needed to move it.

We are now parked about 300 feet from the river with Dora aimed at the exit.  All the fifth wheels have been moved out and the park owners moved all the picnic tables higher and attached to trees.

We just came back from taking another walk around the park now that most everyone is gone.  Those ridges were the only way we could get as far as we did.  The rushing force of the water when it hits the bridge and goes around the bend is amazing. I’ll post pictures from that walk at another time.  I want to upload this in case we lose power or have to leave quickly!

We are trying our best to stay put at this higher elevation and ride this out while staying as safe as we can. We feel safe where we are for right now and are parked next to the exit ready to high tail it out of here if need be.  We hadn’t planned to do anything for today because rain was forecast.  Well the rain has stopped.  There is still electricity in this part of the park so we’re all hooked up with air conditioning running, watching TV!

We are the only ones here but we’ve been the only ones here for two days.  Their busy season doesn’t start until after we leave here.  The sun is trying to come out and it’s not forecast to rain again until Thursday.  One of the workers here earlier said that the back water coming down the river could cause it to continue rising.  We’ll keep a sharp eye out for that!

Gotta run, Young and Restless is on!! Hope everyone reading this is high and dry!  See ya’ll later!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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