Please go to our main page here for our new blog page.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Leaving Arkansas

Oauchita mountains (really only hills) were beautiful!  Everything was blooming and spring was in full force.  Unfortunately the camp sites were "closed until spring."  Since no one was around we camped at the mountain visits and hiked several of the trails.  Lower down along the rivers there were some free camp sites, but the nearby farms sounds made it sound like it was feeding time at the zoo.  Hounds, geese, cows, pigs were going nuts.  Quite a weird scene to be camped by the river in the woods yet feel like you're in a farm-insane-asylum.  I guess after being feed they all seemed to quite down because eventually the forest returned to normal.

The bonus was we road some of the BEST single track mountain bike trials right from our camp site!!

We also stopped at Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Home of Bill Clinton and National Hot Springs Park.  Excited to soak in some hot water with our sore biking muscles we strapped on our boots and hiked about 5 miles from the park's campground to the hot springs center.

Nice museum and everything, but no public hot springs?!  They brag everywhere in the park about preserving the springs for everyone, not just the elite few and how this is one of the oldest protected areas in the USA from the 1800's.  And for irony the campground doesn't even have hot showers!  Something's wrong here.  And all the private spring bath houses are expensive.  So we got caught in a freezing rain storm, trudged all the way back to the campground and huddled in the RV with the heater going.  Great.  Some hot springs park.  At least the hiking trails were nice.

Now we are in MISSISSIPPI looking for our next campground/trail/adventure!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Starting the day with a bang can suck. Especially if the bang is your hard-to-find 8-ply tire and you're in the middle of nowhere. We were heading down out of the Wichita mountains in Oklahoma when one of our dually tires exploded. (Dually tires are two tires side by side.) Fortunately only one of the two blew out, so we were able to slooowly drive on the shoulder to a truck stop, oddly named "Love's."
Finding the replacement means ordering it, because it is an odd tire. So here we sit at "Love's Travel Stop and Country Store" of Medicine Park, OK waiting for the tire to arrive tomorrow. In the meantime we have been busy listening to dozens of trucks running their engines all night (Sherrell's resorted to plugging her ears with tissue). Quite a change from the pleasant wilderness we were camping in only 20 miles back.

All the free camping we have been doing has just been wiped out by having to special order the tire and having someone come do a roadside repair for us. In a WTM-style moment we thought about just cutting away the blown tire (a la hacksaw because the lugs are on so tight we can't turn them with our tire iron) and driving another 11 miles on the shoulder of the freeway to a tire store and save about $50, but here in the US the cops wouldn't look lightly on us pulling that stunt on the freeway and unlike Mexico where the drivers are more prepared to handle unusually slow moving things on the freeway, I fear someone might plow into us as we creep across on and off ramps. In both cases the risks are too high. So like good citizens we are staying put and paying for someone to fix it for us.

Now if we can only get some of these semis to shut down their engines during the night....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

From the wilderness to aliens

Six days in the Gila wilderness wasn't enough. The temps at night were in 25F (-4C) range and it snowed on us once, but there are over 400 miles of hiking trails and lots of hot springs. The camping was free and hardly anyone was in the park -- probably because of the cold.

We stopped at White Sands National Monument which blew our minds, literally.

Now we are in Roswell checking out the crashed aliens and looking for the truth.

After today we are off to Bottomless Lakes park and then onward to the Wichita Wilderness in Oklahoma. Assuming we don't stop for an abduction.

We will have some great videos and photos to post when we have a decent internet connection in Maryland.