Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Short Visit to Arkansas

From the time we were in the Cherokee Country of Oklahoma, through the Branson area of Missouri, and now into Arkansas, we have seen scads of GREEN! Green trees, green shrubs, green lawns. Green is a refreshing color!

Yes, we are in Arkansas now, the first time we have used our RV in this state, so we have filled in that gaping hole on our map.

I have to say that our first night in Arkansas, Sunday night, was a dud. We pulled into Bull Shoals/ White River State Park in mid-afternoon, registered, and moved to our assigned site. It’s a beautiful site except for one thing: it slopes so much we could not get the motorhome level. We put blocks under both front jacks, but even that was not enough. We climb uphill to go to bed at night.

What else? This is thunderstorm week; storms are predicted for just about every day we will be here. The Sunday night storm blew out our power at about 6:30pm. And by 7:00am Monday it hadn’t been restored yet. We turned on our generator to recharge our batteries and to make coffee, as well as to have power to the computer to read our emails and other such stuff.

It wasn’t until 9:00am, after a breakfast of cold cereal, that it occurred to me to go out and check the circuit breaker on the park pedestal. The storm had caused something to trip the breaker Sunday night, and it took me 14½ hours to even think that might be the problem. Six years full-timing, and it took 14½ hours.

It’s all part of the adventure.

“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity.” We’ve heard that all our lives, and it’s true. Back when we spent a good deal of time in Oregon, we were concerned with humidity when the inside of the windows fogged up with condensation. We bought a small portable dehumidifier, put in on the dashboard (when we were parked), and periodically the cup would fill up with about a pint of liquid. We were so pleased with the results!

In Oklahoma, it was a different type of humidity; it came with heat, and the condensation fogged up our bodies instead of the windows! We couldn’t find a small portable dehumidifier, but we found a larger dehumidifier. We’ve been using it regularly, and when it’s ready to dump, it dumps 25 pints of water!

Our concern with humidity isn’t only our bodies or our windows. We don’t want the clothes that are so tightly packed into our closets and drawers to get moldy. Mold is a problem RVers sometimes face, and we don’ wanna face it. So now we can be more comfortable and not worry so much about mold at the same time.

By midweek, the thunderstorms had petered out, and we were able to enjoy sunny, warm weather, still with humidity, but we were almost becoming accustomed to that. Almost.

One additional hiccup this week was our inability to use Yahoo, our link to the outside world. We have excellent access to the Internet using our Verizon PC Card, and once we get to Yahoo’s home page, we can move on, surf the ‘net, connect to our blog, read other folk’s blogs, etc. But we cannot use Yahoo’s features such as our email, checking the news, participating in our Yahoo Groups, or even checking the weather. We’ve been corresponding with Yahoo through our Google g-mail account, but with an outstanding lack of results. We’ll keep trying.

The good thing about this week was that we had lots of time to visit back and forth with our friends Wayne and Cynthia Esty. Cynthia and Suzy had worked together years ago in California, and had become fast friends. Wayne and Cynthia moved here to Arkansas about nine years ago, buying a property on the shore of Bull Shoals Lake. The property had a small cabin on it.

Today, they have built a beautiful home beside the cabin. Because the property is steep, they have, by hand, terraced and landscaped the entire lot, including native as well as non-native plants. They used a lot of local limestone to form many of the terraces, digging up and carrying the rocks to set in place. I can’t imagine doing that myself. That’s one reason we live in an RV: no rocks to move, no gardens to tend; if we don’t like how the ground slopes, we can move on. But Wayne and Cynthia love the place, they like the challenge and the labor involved, and the results show it.

The Estys showed us around the area a little bit. We visited the Bull Shoals Dam Visitor Center for some history of the area.

The Army Corps of Engineers built the dam back in the ‘50s and turned the White River from what used to be a fine trout fishing area into an outstanding trout fishing area. There are world record trout caught here, and fishermen come from all over to fish the White River. Our campground is downriver from the dam, just about a mile.

We had never seen a pure white peacock before. This one was displaying for a mate at a resort just a little further down river.

While here at Bull Shoals, we received an email from daughter Deb announcing that her son Jason and his lady Crystal have formally set the date and location for their wedding. It will be in late August in the Coeur d’Alene area of Idaho. We have scaled back our plans for seeing more of Arkansas (there’s always next time!), and have begun planning a good route to Idaho. The plan is to go north to Fargo, North Dakota and turn west on I-94, which will carry us all the way to Billings, MT, where we’ll switch to I-90 for the trip to Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, Idaho.

We’ve told you before that we really don’t like traveling Interstate Highways, so our challenge will be to find US and state highways that will carry us the same directions and route us to the interesting little towns and side attractions that we love to see. The first challenge is to find and reserve a place to hunker down for the July 4 holiday. By leaving Arkansas this weekend, we can cover a good distance during June, then turn the highways over to the amateurs for the big bang-up holiday!

Don't be surprised if these plans change rapidly and often. That's how we prefer to travel -- let plans give us a head start, and then change them as the wind blows.

And that’s what we expect just ahead along … Our Life on Wheels.


  1. We've never seen a white peacock either . . . pretty neat! Glad to hear that you will be leaving "tornado alley" behind.

  2. I just read your last 3 blogs. I only get into the internet every 2 weeks or so. Wow, you guys DO get around and see alot, also, take part in so many activites, what fun! Keep up the adventures and stay away from the tornados. Love to see your next stop.

  3. I came across your blog while reading about the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. Very well done blog, interesting and informative. I also have a blog It's not just about motorcycles. I love history. One of my favorite items I've found in Arkansas is Sequoyah's Salt Kettle which is preserved behind a chain link fence in Dover, Ar. Thanks again for some good reading and pictures, I'm sure I'll spend many hours reading your blog.


Here's your chance to tell us what you think!