Day 5: Too many miles

This is day five of our trip west. It is April 15 as I write to catch you up. We have driven 440 miles today, and that is too many!

7:30 a.m.: Woke to a sunny, cold morning (34 degrees). Thank goodness for our camper furnace! I can’t imagine being in a tent right now! We we packed and heading out by 9. Our first destination of the day, Memphis. Need to drive through it to reach 40 West (again) and keep moving. It will be a LONG travel day, as we have decided to bypass Arkansas and go on to Oklahoma!

11:30 a.m.: Gas at a CITGO right before reaching Memphis. We will soon be in another state, after four days of Tennessee. It is a great state, very diverse and colorful, but I am ready to see something else. I am busy grading student papers while Paul drives. Got to love the hot-spot on my phone! Thank you Indiana Wesleyan for helping to pay for this trip!

12:12 a.m.: Hello Arkansas! We just passed this huge Pro Bass store – a pyramid, the Danny Thomas hospital for children, and crossed the Mississippi River. I guess half the Mississippi belongs to Tennessee and half to Arkansas! I didn't know that!

1 p.m.: Lunch at a rest area in Forrest City, Arkansas. So many trucks here and not a lot of space, but we squeezed in our little camper-self among the big dogs and had lunch. BLT for me (cold bacon) and lunch meat for Paul. We about have that loaf of bread I forgot I had stored away all used up. I can see a Walmart stop in our future. It is still cold, only 43 degrees but nice and sunny. So far Arkansas has a lot of low areas that look like they might be prone to flooding. Maybe due to the Mississippi River? Not sure. But it is nice and green here.

Here is a picture of something you don’t see every day!

Enjoy the view from our camper's right window ... where I watch Arkansas change from the swampland near the Mississippi River to hilly and forests. We are now into the western third of the state between two national forests, the Ozark National Forest to the north and the Ouachita National Forest to the south. The state is riddled with rivers and lakes.

We passed the largest lumber mill I have ever seen. As the following picture shows, we have driven about a thousand miles only to be five miles from home! To those you don't know, there is a Lamar in South Carolina, just a few miles from Darlington, where we live.

4:15 p.m.: OKLAHOMA!

4:50 p.m.: We have left the rolling hills for more flatlands, big fields with massive irrigation systems. Something green growing, waving wheat maybe? O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahooooooma! Yaw!

5 p.m. Finally found the directions to our campsite by combining the GPS and phone. Ah, technology. As we neared what we hoped was a campground the phone the "ap" said “park along the curb somewhere and walk to your destination.” WHAT??!!

We went on a bit and the campground appeared. The woman I talked to on the phone yesterday told me we needed to be at the campground by 6 p.m., their closing time. Otherwise, she said, she would put our paperwork in the box outside the door. We busted our chops and got here at 5:30. Office closed.

No paperwork in the box. We called the help-number on the door and got an answering machine. Soooo we took a map of the park and picked a site and hooked up.

Here we are, alive and well. So far. Paul can’t remember what month it is and I can’t remember what day of the week it is!

Ravioli for supper, simmering on the stove. Green beans in the microwave and canned peaches ready on the table. Gas was our only expense today since no one at the campground seems concerned enough to want our money. Cheap day!

As for the car licenses – I saw seven new ones today, if you let me count Quebec.

More soon, Regina

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