Heading West

We got up Saturday morning to freezing weather in Newport, TN. DSC_0149  DSC_0150These pictures don’t reflect the cold at all, but there was frost on the ground and we needed to really layer on the jackets. I kept the dogs in the trailer until the last moment so they could stay warm before loading them into the truck. We were afraid the hose would freeze overnite, but it didn’t.  Didn’t expect these temps so soon. We decided to find a Cracker Barrel for breakfast and get warmed up. Yum!

One thing we are still enjoying on the road is the German Chocolate and vanilla birthday cake balls Jen made for Phil and me.  We try to pack the ice chest with snacks to munch on while we drive. Saves on the food bills.

This was an interesting sight at one of the rest areas.DSCF1031 It appears that the front car was towing 3 cars. We looked closely at the license plate DSCF1030and saw that it was Mexican and we remembered seeing cars in tow in New Mexico quite often. Turns out it was two cars towing two others. DSCF1033

We were determined to make it a shorter day…300 miles or 3:00 pm whichever came first. We got held up with some construction in Nashville, and ended up driving until about 4, which is not too bad. It was still light out 🙂 We stopped at Parkers Crossroads in Yuma, Tennessee which has Civil War history, as does most of the South. We were early enough to grill burgers for dinner which was a nice change of pace.DSCF1036  DSCF1037

The Parkers Crossroads Civil War Battle took place in early December 1862. This battle was fought between Confederate General John C. Pemberton and Union General Jeremiah C. Sullivan based out of Jackson, TN. General Pemberton came up from Vicksburg, MS to sever the Union railroad and communications links in West Tennessee in order to prevent the Union’s attempt to surround Vicksburg. The battle was fought over several days and was fought between both cavalry and southern artillery. The battles included several well-known generals of the day including General Forrest of the South. The final battles in the Parker Crossroads area were led by Forrest who had to fight his way out of two Union forces that were threatening to surround him. Forrest had been on the verge of defeating the Union forces when Colonel Fuller’s Ohio Brigade arrived. Forrest finally was able to withdraw his forces to MS by crossing the Tennessee River at Clifton, TN. There, now you have had your history lesson for the day 🙂

This campground has a lot of people living permanently in their RVs which seems to be a trend these days.DSCF1040 I guess it’s cheaper than a real house and it could be that these people have lost their ‘real’ houses to foreclosures. One family looked to be moving into a FEMA trailer in the park. There was a really old bus that had someone living in it too. DSCF1041All these parks carve out space for us transient travelers and so they always look like they are popular and well used.  Once you get in, then you notice how permanent the other RVs really are.

There also appeared to be a resident cat here that follows people around the campground. He looks a little like our Rusty. We heard a noise outside after dark and found him trying to climb the ladder on the rear of the trailer. I wonder what he thought he was going to find up there.

The weather was quite a bit warmer this morning so we had cold cereal for breakfast and hit the road again. The goal first was to go through Little Rock, AR and on down to SW Arkansas and stay at DeGray State Park and then through the Dallas area and visit some friends. But as we traveled we changed that plan to go more northwest out of Little Rock and stay on I-40. We think we’ll be beyond Oklahoma City and the predicted bad weather we heard about. Seems they are forecasting lots of rain and maybe tornadoes on Monday through Thursday. I thought that was all behind us being Fall. I guess we’ll find out as we try to get past Oklahoma City tomorrow. That’s about 300 miles. We’ll be leaving here early in the morning.

DSC_0155We stopped at a Welcome Center Rest Area on the west side of Memphis and across the Mississippi River to pick up some information about RV parks on our route thru Arkansas. A very nice gentleman advised a nice catfish and BBQ restaurant (Nick’s) and gave us detour instructions for the upcoming road construction. The detour took us through a really small town, but we have found that you see the real state when you get off the interstate.  Very eye opening and sometimes we see cool things (like the turkeys in South Carolina!) By the way, check out these gas prices! DSCF1045Not going to see that again when we get home 😦

Driving through Little Rock we spotted the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital which we have supported a few times with donations. I thought Alexa and Livie Anne would like to see a picture of it. DSC_0152We also saw the biggest Pentecostal Church ever! DSCF1046As we travel throughout the south we have noticed there is at least one church per mile and most times more; sometimes two of the same denomination across the street from each other, even in the small towns. This is definitely the Bible Belt!

The park we are staying at tonite is not that great. It does overlook Dardanelle Lake, which is beautiful, but there is no access to it from here without unhooking the truck which we don’t want to do when we are just staying one night. It also has a historical connection being along the Trail of Tears where the native Americans were forced to vacate to Oklahoma.DSCF1049  DSCF1047We at first planned on staying at a state park but didn’t see that they had wi-fi so opted for this park. I think we should have gone to the state park. It probably would have been prettier. We need to be a little more picky when it comes to places to stay. It’s still a learning curve for us. You can’t always trust the advertisements for parks in magazines etc. I think they take the photos in the best possible time of year and don’t show the seamier side of the park…i.e. permanent residents.DSCF1052


2 responses to “Heading West”

  1. Carol Gross says :

    Great pics! Looking forward to the next one! Love ya! Carol


  2. Cameron says :

    Interesting post!

    James & I (almost) always enjoyed our travels more when we could take back roads – that’s how you see the true America away from the interstates. Definitely a more “personal” travel experience.

    Safe travels westward – sounds like you’ve got some challenging weather to get through. It actually RAINED here last night for the first time in many weeks!

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