Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Arkansas Traveller

Yes, I made it all the way to Morrilton, Arkansas, about 55 miles west of Little Rock.

I woke up early this morning, 6:00 am CST but already 7:00 by my internal EST clock. My brain stayed asleep evidently. I left the RV park about 7:15, figuring to stop and get gas before getting back on the interstate. I pulled into an Exxon station that advertised diesel - the pumps in front were obviously not suitable for trucks, so I started to drive around the rear of the building where they often have them, right? I found myself in a drive thru lane for Quiznos subs, which was closed so thankfully no traffic. Between all the concrete sticking out from the building and edging the driveway, I looked in the mirror and saw the same accident about to happen as when I scraped the flowerpot. I tried to back up and ease over a bit, and made it a little better, but I realized it would take me hours of pulling forward and backing up to be able to get out of this spot, if I could even do it.

So I did what any red-blooded American woman would do - I went into the station and asked for help. Three men were sitting at a table drinking their coffee and (reluctantly, it looked to me) stood up and followed me outside. One of them had obviously driven trucks before, and he was the designated driver. They all got into the spirit of it, one watching out for the rear of the rig, and the other watching the front. In a shameless show of masculine know-how, he had me out of there in no time flat! God love them all! When I was thanking the driver he replied, "I really enjoyed it - it was kind of fun!"

I got back on I-20 with everything intact except my pride, and turned on US 65N at Tallulah, Louisiana. The route north to Little Rock was a pleasant drive on a Sunday morning - little or no traffic. No traffic until I got close to Little Rock, and then all hell broke loose. Where was everyone going on a Sunday at Noon? I would bet they weren't all going to and from church. When I reached I-40 the traffic was completely stopped going east, and it was slow traveling west. To make matters worse, cars kept darting from one lane to another, and because I tried to leave enough space between me and the vehicle in front of me, hoping to not kill anybody, all the cars decided they could cut in and out at will. I soon reached Morrilton where I planned to stop at a KOA.

This campground is not up to KOA's usual standards, but I can live with it for one night, and the price is a good one. I had to self register as the office manager was taking a day off. My spot isn't exactly level, and I had it to where I was fairly level but realized I would have to move forward in order for the sewer hose to reach. That put me really off front to back. My galley tank was showing close to full so I wanted to empty it. I have only done the quick math in my head but it seems like I'm using more fuel, and thought maybe it was the weight. I know I picked up a lot of items in Asheville in November, but I doubt if I could be that much over, so I decided to empty the tanks.

I hope to make it past Oklahoma City tomorrow, and either to the western side of the Texas panhandle or even into New Mexico the following day. I realized driving through Little Rock - I-530 connecting with I-40, that I really love the GPS. It makes it so much easier when driving through a large city with criss-crossing interstates. At one point though, on US 65N, she suddenly announced "recalculating" and then proceeded to give me some useless instruction that I ignored. She went back and forth until finally she realized she was right all along, which I knew all along.

I hope tomorrow is an uneventful day, driving-wise, and that I find good fueling spots, easy to get in and out of. I also hope the weather is clear because I would hate to spend an extra day in an off-level rig. I actually used boards to raise up the low side, but when I had to pull forward to make the sewer connection I just tossed them back into the truck. Once I emptied the tanks and disconnected the hose I could have just as easily tried to back up to a more level position, but it didn't occur to me at the time. Towing a 5th wheel is definitely a two person job in my estimation.

Here is a shot of my Co-Pilot and Navigator the first afternoon at Lakeside Campground. The second is of a bug I found on the side of my recliner this afternoon. I got it captured in a plastic bag and then released it outside. What in the world kind of bug is it, where did I pick it up, and how did it get into my rig? It was huge!
(When I looked at the blog and enlarged Lady's picture, I saw the tell-tale evidence of a wine glass on the picnic table. Uh, I think that might be Lady's glass???

See y'all tomorrow from Texas or New Mexico.


  1. Judi Pierson (former Pulaski neighbor)February 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    That bug came from the Fort! We had a couple of them aboard when we arrived in Florida.

  2. Just up the road about 20 miles is a FLYING J that ha a easy place to fuel. They have a nice straight shot into the RV fueling isle. Nice signs to show the way just past the "car fuel islands". Exit off the interstate and turn right and round the corner and you will see the signs on the right. A plus is their fuel is the cheapest around.

  3. Welcome to Arkansas! You're about 45 minutes from us right now. We go by that KOA whenever we travel to Little Rock. I don't know what that bug is, but I have seen them around here before. In fact, I probably have some pictures of them.

    Mike Goad
    Haw Creek Out 'n About
    currently at home in Arkansas

  4. Great blog Gypsy, lot's of great info about your trip. That was very smart of you to go into that coffee shop ask those guys for help getting out of that jam. I'm sure, as you saw, they had a good time and it will give them something to talk about over coffee for a while!

  5. Gypsy, If you only make it to west Texas tomorrow there is a great RV Park on the west side of Amarillo right off of I-40 called Oasis RV Resort.We stayed there while visiting our daughter. All sites are pull-thrus and level! They had a great rate of $17.00 per night for 5th wheels. Travel safely!
    Mac & Netters

  6. Gypsy, thanks for letting us follow you. The bug is a "stink bug". It's probably from the fort and someway got in the rig. It's not going to bite but man do they stink if you squash them. We have them in several states we've been in. http://www.uoguelph.ca/pdc/Factsheets/Insect/TrueBugsHome.htm
    You're doing a great job. I bet the men loved helping out a damsel in distress, at least the rig is still in one piece.

  7. Good job! You know Flying J does have a web site, list all their locations, as does TA , and Loves.Just "google them" check them all out!

  8. Smart thinking, gypsy. Glad you got the guys to get you out of your little mess. Sounds like you're doing well though.

  9. There is a LOVE'S across the interstate from you but I am not sure about fueling a RV. Easy to circle the building and pull in the 18wheeler island but you will have to deal with the high volume big truck pumps.
    I would avoid the station on your side of the interstate because you could loose your 5er in the holes in the parking lot.

  10. Asking for help? Good for you Gypsy. That's the difference between Guys and Dolls... we ask for directions and help :-)
    Glad you got this far without mishaps. Go Gypsy go!!!

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  12. Hey, why not ask for assistance if you need it? No big deal and it can happen to anyone...even a guy! Glad you made it through OK today even though the traffic in L.R. got a little rough. I'm sure you'll do fine tomorrow.

  13. Something that I do, that you may want to try .... I look on Google Earth and Google Earth Street View at the gas station and that way I can determine if I can get in and out easily.