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Friday, July 29, 2016


We left Ozark, Ar. yesterday (Thursday) and hit the I-40 super slab bound for Oklahoma City. The trip was about 275 miles under clear sunny skies and was a pleasant drive with minimal traffic and multiple pit stops!  I've been dreading that stretch of I-40 as the last time we traveled that section of road, we were about beat to death due to the rough road, but was much improved this trip. This morning, we awoke to storm warnings of high wind and heavy rain and are sitting here waiting for the storm to pass, so I thought I would post a blog, because I have an interesting story to share.

We are camped at the Roadrunner RV Park right off I-35 in Oklahoma City. This is a very nice park with full hook ups and is very clean and in good condition. The staff in the office were very friendly and helpful with the story I'm about to share.

It was May 6, 2015 about 8:30 PM when a devastating tornado struck this area with the park being in the middle of the destruction. A nearby hotel, storage facility and the RV park were mostly destroyed. The park had 68 RV's there when the storm hit. There was enough advance warning to notify the folks camped there to seek shelter in the park's shelter. Part of the folks heeded the warning and took shelter in the cinder block constructed bathroom and others in the underground shelter. Eighteen chose to stay in their RV's and as a result, were all injured, some seriously but thankfully all survived. The RV's were not so lucky. They were all destroyed or damaged beyond repair. This area is in the middle of "tornado alley". The lesson that should be learned from this experience, is if tornadoes are forecast, to seek shelter as soon as possible. Today, the park has been rebuilt and one would never know what happened here, except for the absence of trees. The park has built a new expansion with a new office club house that will be open soon. Many thanks to Yvonne Goncales  for sharing this story as well as the pictures.

We are going to pull out as soon as this storm clears and hope to make it to Amarillo, Tx for several days.
I-40 in Oklahoma. It's much improved from previous trip about 4 years ago.

Very nice welcome center in Oklahoma. I really liked their Native American theme.

Lobby in welcome center.
Painting on wall depicting the Cherokee's pilgrimage to Oklahoma known "as the trail of tears"
Our site at Roadrunner RV Park, 44.

New section of park nearly finished.

New office and club house.
Oil well adjacent to park that is being worked on for maintenance. They do this about every 6 months.

Another oil well on other sie of park.
Storm shelters

Total destruction. It's a blessing no one was killed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ozark, Arkansas

We left West Memphis Monday morning and arrived here in Ozark, Arkansas after 275 miles on I-40 and are camped at the Aux Arc Corp of Engineers campground right on the Arkansas River. This park is a hidden jewel with wonderful large paved sites, shelters over the picnic tables, and for $10/night (old fart pass again) is a steal. Somewhere on the east side of Little Rock, traffic came to a complete stop and I-40 looked like a parking lot!  As it turned out a large dump truck loaded with sand had turned over and had the entire west bound lanes blocked. I don't think anyone was hurt, but it had traffic backed up for miles.

This part of Arkansas reminds me very much of eastern Tennessee with lush green rolling hills and is very rural. There is a dam and lock here across the river that is used for flood control as well as generating electricity and is a way of passage for boats and barges navigating the Arkansas River. The facility is operated by the Army Corp of Engineers. The locals tell me the fishing here is good.

Thankfully, the temperatures have moderated with highs in the low 90's. The high predicted today is 87. The humidity is still high, but is bearable. Looks like it's going to get hot again as we head further west. Speaking of leaving, we're pulling out in the morning, after 3 nights here, and headed  for Oklahoma City for one night.  From there we plan to visit Amarillo, Tx. for 3 nights where we plan to hook up with our Texas buddy, Bob Curry. We're not looking forward to the rough road conditions on I-40 in Oklahoma.
This large dump truck loaded with sand turned over in the middle of I-40.

Quite a mess.
Our location.

Google map view of dam  and lock. White building on left is power generating plant, the center section are gates used for flood control, and on the far right is the lock used for navigation. The red push pin in upper left is the campground.
Our camp site, F-10. The first 14 campsites are non-reservable and are first come first serve. The park has another section that is partially riverfront with large hard wood trees, but we liked these sites better. Getting satellite TV had something to do with the decision. 

We don't have morning shade, but do have good afternoon shade.
Panoramic Shot of river and dam 
This shot taken from Reed Mountain on the north side of the river. If you look real hard, you can see our camper on the far side of the river.
Here's our camper at full zoom.
The Crepe Myrtle's here are especially pretty.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hello From Arkansas

Hello from Arkansas!  Well just barely, we are in West Memphis, just across the state line from Tennessee and are at Tom Sawyer RV Park on the banks of the Big Muddy! We left home a week ago today, and have had a great trip so far. Our granddaughter, Bailey, has been traveling with us this past week but had to go home yesterday to start getting ready for college next month. We really enjoyed her company and was sad to see her leave.

Our first night was spent in Sevierville, Tn. where we stayed at Riverside RV Park.  We showed Bailey around the Pigeon Forge area, where the crowds and traffic were as crazy as ever. We had a nice dinner at Cracker Barrell and turned in early to get ready for the second leg of our trip . We left the next morning headed to Nashville, where we stayed at Seven Points Corp of Engineers campground located on Lake Piercy. We booked our site for 2 nights and enjoyed using our America the Beautiful pass (Geezer Pass) to get the senior rate of $11/night.  We decided the best way to show Bailey around was to book a tour of Nashville. I checked Trip Advisor and found a tour highly recommended with good reviews. The tour was Really Entertaining Tours and lucky for us, they had a slot open for us the next day. The tour was on an electric vehicle similar to a souped up golf cart.  Our guide, Ryan, went the extra mile to give us an excellent overview of the legacy and history of Music City and showed us a great time with his entertaining wit and knowledge. If you know anyone going to Nashville, and looking for a tour, have them hook up with Ryan for a good time. Early Wednesday morning we hit I-40 headed west to Memphis, where we are now. I haven't mentioned the hot weather, but it's been so oppressively hot that we didn't want to be out of the AC for very long and has affected our outdoor activities. We did book another tour in Memphis with Backbeat Tours. Our tour was a group of about 35 and was on a bus with marginal air conditioning. The tour was called the Mojo tour and traveled to areas where the blues genre of music was born, as well as other historical points of interest..  We had a professional musician on the bus who entertained us with songs of the era and spoke to significant events that occurred in areas we traveled. The tour was OK, but not as good as Ryan in Nashville. We also visited the Peabody Hotel to check out the March of the Ducks, which happens every day at 11Am and 5PM. If you're not familiar with them, click on the link for the scoop on the ducks.  One of our favorite stops was the Bass Pro Shop adjacent to the I-40 bridge in Memphis. This Bass pro Shop is housed in a huge pyramid and is the 4th largest in the world. It has a 300 ft freestanding elevator that goes to the top where there is a restaurant and observation decks on 2 sides of the pyramid. The inside is constructed to a swamp theme with spanish moss, cypress trees, several streams and ponds with fish, ducks, alligators and many aquariums. Needless to say, the gators are confined in a glassed in area. The structure includes a hotel, 2 restaurants, archery range and a bowling alley. Pretty cool place.

We plan to hit the road again in the morning (Monday) and plan to travel to Ozark, Arkansas where we plan to stay at Aux Arc Corp of Engineers park for a couple of days. Stay tuned for more updates and whisper a prayer for our safe travels.

Riverside RV Park, Sevierville, Tn.

Our Site, 215
General Jackson Paddewheel boat on Cumberland River in Nashville. Nissan stadium, where Tennessee Titans play in background.

Broadway Street in Nashville at night.

We were sure glad to have this nice shade.
Our Site, 32 at Seven Points COE

My Co-Pilot conked out!

Our tour bus wasn't air conditioned like this one!

Music City Center

Our Tour Vehicle

Panoramic Shot of Nashville

Scenic overlook with our group. Can you tell we're hot!
Our Site at Tom Sawyer, 95

The tall good looking guy on the right is Ryan of Really Entertaining Tours.
Entrance tp Peabody Hotel
Here come the ducks. Best picture we could get because it got really crowded.
They save the inside for children, as they should!
The guy in the red coat is the duck master
The ducks walk the red carpet to ride the middle elevator up to the penthouse,  er, duck house on the top floor!
Waterfront park alongside the Mississippi. You can see the Pyramid in the background.

You can see the swamp theme.

Crickett and Bailey in front of Bruno.

Bailey at observation area near top of pyramid.

Looking down

Panaromic Shot from the top.

I had to twist MeeMee's arm to get her on the observation deck.

I-40 Bridge across the Mississippi. The river is the Tennessee/Arkansas state line.