On Our Way to the Ozarks

We left Florida and made an overnight stop at Vicksburg, Mississippi. After setting up, we drove downtown to perhaps pickup some dinner. We drove and drove, turned this way and that way and not finding anything of interest, shrugged at each other and went to one of the local casinos and had a buffet dinner there instead.  Our preference is to stay away for those type of establishments as the tendency is to eat with your eyes.  Regardless, the food was bountiful and tasty.

Vicksburg is a historical town with many civil war attractions, the largest of which is Vicksburg National Cemetery is part of the military park, located by the USS Cairo.  Vicksburg National Military Park is the second largest national cemetery holding the remains of 17,000 Civil War Union soldiers.  The town itself, other than for the casinos, in my humble opinion, was rather depressing and but for the churches  which were kept up very nicely, the buildings and houses were old and tattered.

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We left Vicksburg and crossed the bridge over into Louisiana.  Driving through these small cities made me sad.  They all are mostly depressed with stores either closed or shut down, with no shopping other than a small Walmart speckled every now and then and, of course, the usual Family Dollars or Dollar Generals.  The drive itself was pleasant and the view was dominated by corn fields, pecan fields, the occasional rice paddies, and Lake Providence, a large, beautiful lake with tons of cypresses along its shores.  Seeing the differently shaped cypress knees sprouting from the water reminded me of the trip we took into the Louisiana Bayou a few years ago but even more so for the beautifully hand painted cypress knee made to resemble an adorable Santa Claus, which I still am in the lookout for.

We arrived in Little Rock and again met up with Joe and Melodie.  Some have said we are stalking each other, but in reality we both had  similar itineraries, so why not play with friends whenever possible. We both stayed at Downtown Riversides, a campground on the banks of the Arkansas River, across from the Clinton Presidential Library and downtown Arkansas.

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DOWNTOWN RIVERSIDE RV PARK

We had the opportunity to also connect with old work friends, Tony and Darlette Ellis.  Darlette and Tony suggested that we go to dinner at Doe’s Eat Place, a little hole in the wall which has become a local hangout and has been around for ever.  Had we driven by and not known about it, we would have never even considered stopping, as it’s really not much to look at.  Oh boy, were we glad we did.  Doe’s was a true gem.  The decor was simple and contained tons of memorabilia and pictures of patrons, celebrities, and politicians, hanging on the walls all bringing each and every one of those moments to life.  The focus however, was the food.  It was absolutely, incredibly delicious and the portions were so tremendously large that sharing was highly recommended.  Whenever we come back to this area again, a stop at Doe’s is a must!

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On our last night in Little Rock, Joe, Melodie, John and I went to Buenos Aires Restaurant, where they served authentic Argentinian fare.  Again, the food was very good but the company was even better.

 

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Now for the saga, approaching Little Rock, our tire monitor display read that one of our truck’s tires was low on air.  Also, immediately upon arriving, we noticed that the hub cap for our right rear tire had fallen off.  For the third time!  (Most recently, it had fallen while we were in Stuart).  The following morning we took the truck to a dealer (our first mistake), purchased another hub cap and had them look into the tire situation.  After a four hour wait, and close to $300 later, they installed a new hub cap and replaced the extended valve stem, which they claimed was not working properly, which was also replaced in April, while in Sebring.

On our last day as we were preparing to leave, we were manually checking the tires’ pressure and simply could not access the one day old, newly installed extended valve stem.  Off to another tire store we went where they remounted the inside back tire so that the extended stem could be accessed from the outside tire and wouldn’t you believe they tell us that the extended stem used was not working either.  Really????

We must have driven around for at least an hour looking for the darn extension.  Mind you, we had not yet tucked in and the jacks were not up.  We gave up the search and since the tire had good pressure we decided to just leave.

We left for Table Rock Lake sad that it will be a long time before we see these guys again but excited to meet up with yet another set of friends, Cindy and Steve.

The country roads to our next rendezvous were narrow, winding and hilly, not a good combination for us flatlanders.  The GPS was even telling us to drive through neighborhoods.  Thank goodness for alternative apps, (Allstays is my go to app),  which allowed me to identify alternate routes which ultimately took us to our destination.

We arrived at Ozarks RV Park in Table Rock.  This park overlooks Table Rock Lake and is very scenic.  The site assigned to us was very nice with an absolutely beautiful view, so I was excited to get settled in and relax, given all the running around and tense driving we had just done that morning.

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I began opening the slides and the bedroom extended, but neither the kitchen, nor the living slides would.  We immediately contacted a mobile service guy and as luck would have it, he was already in the park and was looking into our issue within minutes.  However, after two hours of meticulous checking and testing, he concluded that the batteries we had, which were only  three months old, were not working  so we had to purchase new ones.  Uggh.  Anyway, once all was fixed, we went straight to having fun.

Cindy and Steve arrived late on Friday night and from that moment on, it was non-stop fun.  We boated, went swimming and tubing, played games, golf, and pickleball.

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On Monday, we left the Ozarks and started heading toward Texas.  It was so nice seeing and reconnecting with our friends, Cindy and Steve again.

 

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