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First Biggie (Arkansas Trip for Thanksgiving Days 1 and 2 )

Posted 11-20-2018 at 01:17 PM by MEWright

We left Austin at 7:30 am heading up 281 towards FW Texas. Not having RV'ed in the cold (yeah I know 40s not cold to some of yall but its FEEZIN TO US).. We left some things at home that we should have brought. cold weather boots, fuzzy socks etc...

Apparently, the coldest place in the RV (other than in the darn freezer) is the floorboard on the drivers’ side. Who the heck though that they could save a nickel by not putting a vent here needs to drawn and quartered. My feet were frozen by the time we hit Dallas. My wife’s feet were awesome, in the recliner with one foot at each dash heater vent.. She had no sympathy…

We cut over from 281 on 67 to I30E. Shot through Dallas like grease through a goose. I expected it to be bad, being from Dallas and knowing what traffic there can be like. No screaming white knuckle close calls, no cussing at other drivers, no wife freaking out even when we were next to the concrete walls of death. It was super easy. Who knew…
We stopped at Cracker Barrel in Greenville to grab lunch. Never, and I mean NNNNEEEVVVVEEERRR, stop at a Cracker Barrel on a Sunday after lunch if you want to grab a “quick bite”… Once sucked into the lobby of candy and toys you can’t change your mind. 1.5 hours later we were back on the road.
We jumped back out on I30E headed to Texarkana. One little short area of construction where the lanes got narrow and twisty. We had a semi hold off in the left lane from passing me until we were all the way through the construction. Very polite guy and I appreciated it very much, wife would have really been on edge had he passed us there. Other than that, the roads were great. We dropped in behind a trucker with his drag fins out behind his truck. Man, those things channeled the wind right around us, so we stuck behind him 70-72 from Greenville to our exit in Texarkana. We had been fighting a head or slight cross wind the entire trip until we got behind the truck. With all his wind deflection drag reducing gear out he cut through the wind like butter, so he was my travel buddy for 175 miles. It was the smoothest driving (head wind) part of the trip to that point and I watched the mileage increase dramatically. From Texarkana we shot over into New Boston and then over the Red River into Arkansas.

While on the road we called Crater of Diamonds SP to let them know we might be late. They told us they would put a reserved sign on our space and to just check in before 10a the next day.
Pulled in at 545p. In the Piney woods it goes from sunny to dark in about 7 seconds. We arrived in near pitch black. Having recently done this nighttime trick in Rockport we unhooked the jeep and the wife went off to find out spot. Spot located, wife leading us in we were set up in less that 20 in from arrival.

We are in space 15. All the RV sites here are back in. Our Discovery is 41’. With the back tires about 3 feet in front of the stops we have enough room to park the jeep in the driveway with the bus. There is a 20x20 concrete lined crushed granite/gravel surface right outside the bus with a fire ring on one side, a BBQ park grill on a post on the other side and a picnic table large enough to easily seat 10 people.
Trash receptacles are about 50 feet away, laundry and showers are 100 yards away. EASY WALK…Trail head is 1000 yards from us and it’s about a 1-mile trail. Wife did that with the puppy this morning while I cooked breakfast.
After breakfast we went to dig for diamonds. After about 5 hours we have ½ of a 5-gallon bucket of sifted gravel (watch YouTube for hints about finding diamonds) that we could sort through when we get home. My daughter and I will do this over a few days when we get home as a follow up to the vacation. Back to the bus for a quick lunch then the obligatory trip to Walmart for all the things we forgot...
Back to the RV for a nice fire outside while 8yr old rides her bike. Grab a movie, throw it in outside and watch Harry Potter Goblet of Fire while I sort through the basement and get out the fire stuff. I carry charcoal and lighter fluid, some pokers, and other assorted BBQ related items. I hate buying firewood at SP’s or parks in general, so I usually bring about 10 sticks of oak with us from home and some kindling. I like the way oak smells in the fire. Get a nice fire going grab some chairs and start teaching my daughter how to whittle. She got a first carver knife from our exchange student last year as present and she has been really on me to teach her how to use it. I whittle on a new walking stick while she made her first vampire killer (A Stake) while we watched Harry Potter and sat by the fire. Once it got dark we stopped whittling and started the cooking fire. Time for some burgers. Blu Cheese for me cheddar for the girls and everything is right with the world. Time for a glass of wine and some reflection.
Day 2 of the 7 days is in the bag and its been amazing, tomorrow we leave here and head over to Hot Springs. We need it after playing miners. My EVERYTHING is sore…. more tomorrow......
Still can’t thank the guys at Ancira enough. This coach is amazing.
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