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Sunday, March 10, 2024

Maumelle COE near Little Rock Arkansas

On Friday, we headed up along the Arkansas River to just the west side of Little Rock. We did have to hop on a couple interstates but they weren't too bad. We really prefer driving back roads. 

We made a pit stop in Little Rock Arkansas. We had located a Trader Joe's! There are only two in Wisconsin and they are over 100 plus miles away from us. I love their Two Buck Chuck! It is actually their wines from Charles Shaw wineries. It used to be $2 a bottle, thus the nickname. It is now $4.49 a bottle. But the name still sticks. We picked up a case as well as some other groceries. Steve found his favorite beer over at a Walmart nearby. 

We worked our way up out of Little Rock to the west, and North into Maumelle COE Park which is on a widened out spot of the Arkansas River. 

We had already made reservations through the Recreation.gov website for a waterfront site. Again, we had absolutely no problems with the website once we fixed the crazy back-dated login information. We have no idea why it reverted to that setting last week, but now everything seems to work out well when we log in and reserve new sites. 

We backed into our site which was B29. Beautiful and spacious right along on the river with a great view.

The welcoming committee eagerly greeted us. They meandered their way through the site and left their little deposits of joy everywhere. Ugh!

It is a large park with 128 sites. They are all spaced out in various loops to ease the traffic burden and make for more intimate camping. The park has a lot of tall mature trees which I am sure helps with the shade in the summer months.

Here is the link from the recreation.gov site with more information: 

The price of camping here is $30 a night. With our America the beautiful senior access pass, we are here for $15 a night. This is the first park that we actually had to stop at the gatehouse to check in, even though we were reserved. We were also given a pass to tape up and hang in the front windshield. Then it was requested that we stop at the gatehouse when we exit and turn the pass back in. I suppose that way the lady can keep track if a site is vacated early? She seemed rather picky on having to know exactly who we were, logged in even though we were reserved, and requested to look again at our senior access pass. It was already plugged in on the site but we had to go back to the RV to bring it in person just to show her. Then she couldn't read the tiny numbers so Steve had to read them off to her. Then she could double check what we had already logged into the computer. We don't know, maybe people are abusing this pass? Anyhow, once the login stuff was taken care of, we were able to enjoy moving over and getting set up on our campsite.

I could not find a map online of the actual park from their own website. But I did find this image I stole from somebody else who had done a park review. Please ignore the highlighted sites. Incidentally, sites 1 through 10 are specifically reserved for patients from the local medical complex. So 1 through 10 can only be taken with a doctor's reservation confirming that you are attending medical treatments at their center. The other 118 sites are reservable.

There are nice shower houses and bathrooms scattered throughout the park as well as some beautiful picnic areas. All of the sites are paved and most are level and big rig friendly. There were only a few that might be complicated to get a larger RV into. There were also some walk-in tenting sites that some scouts were occupying. They were having a variety of badge earning activities and look like they were having fun.

The park is located next to a large yacht club. All of the boats are parked under covered canopies in the water. Quite pampered and there are some really big boats housed there. The general neighborhood heading out to the park is beautiful farmland country estates with horses and equestrian centers. 

Shopping, restaurants, and groceries are all located within 5 mi of the park. 

As I said, we were on a water side site. It was really pretty and we are happy to see green grass. The trees are just starting to bud out, and we even saw some bumblebees flickering from one little flower blossom to another in the grass.

Like I said, the geese are all over in the campground. They don't even seem bothered by dogs whatsoever. 

As we were taking a nice little walk around the park, little Nicholas spotted a squirrel!

The squirrel spotted him as well. Around and around the tree he went, chattering down at Nicholas just to tease him. 

So how do you catch a squirrel?

You climb a tree, and act like a nut!

Lol lol lol.... Of course, he didn't actually catch the squirrel. But he sure had fun trying. It added to his excitement. We do notice that he watches for every squirrel or bird as we are walking along in the woods. Extremely inquisitive. Also, those were his only friends when he was on the run in the woods for weeks on end, all on his own, before he became ours. 

Friday evening was pretty rainy, as well as Saturday morning was cloudy, windy and damp. By the afternoon, the sun had come out it was turning into a really nice day.

We checked out some of the bike trail maps heading into town, since it was so close by. There are trails everywhere, and about 80% of them are paved bike trails specific for bike riding. Others are along the sides of roads in bike lanes. I don't know if I'm good enough yet for that. But I was willing to try. 

Steve unpacked our bikes and put them together. We decided not to take the dogs along in their little doggie trailer this time. It's best if we explore an area first before we take them along.

Our cargo trailer works so well to carry the bikes. We also carry along things like a larger propane tank and some firewood. Also extra jugs of fresh drinking water. Steve is able to move those few items out of the way and then take the bikes out to get ready to go for a ride. 

Like I mentioned in my last blog, I had no idea that after the age of 60 I would be riding a bike. Plus enjoying it so much? These Lectric bikes sure are a lot of fun. Now that we have them geared up with accessories, and adjusted to the way we like them, it is extremely enjoyable. We also have the little Sena communication devices on our helmets. We can talk to each other back and forth without hollering. It's nice to let each of us know when there are cars coming up behind us or which way we're going to turn, or just discuss what we are seeing. Money well spent!

We started riding around the park and went on down towards the West end, near the big yacht club. There were a few fishermen out on the river. But it's not yet summer where these folks are taking their yachts out of their storage mooring spots and cruising around the lake. 

The wind was colder than we expected, even though it was sunny out. We decided to just stay within the confines of the park and ride around instead of going into town. We put on over 4 miles just inside of the park itself. 

It ended up turning a little cooler than we thought on Saturday night. It was going to get down into the '30s! Although we had a nice sunset, Steve decided to put away the bikes as we were done riding for the evening. Yes, we do put them away each night and lock them up. Better to be safe than sorry.

We did notice a lot of RVs pulling into the park all together as a group. They all seemed to know each other as they were walking from site to site. A large amount of sites all around us suddenly filled up very fast. We only saw two empty sites in the entire area of the park we were in. We know our site itself was reserved for Sunday evening and for the rest of the week. We looked up in all these other sites and discovered that they were reserved for a week too. We assume they were some type of camping group altogether. The visiting went on back and forth between all of them as they were getting backed in and settled in and arranged on their various sites. I can only imagine one of them is waiting on another site for one night for us to leave. Then they get to pull into ours and be with the rest of their friends.

In the meantime, we decided to cook dinner inside. We had been thinking about grilling outside with our fresh slab of salmon from Trader Joe's. But instead we will save that for Sunday evening. Steve made up a kettle of his famous Texas Hash instead. I suppose we could call it Arkansas Hash?

We watched the sun setting in a beautiful blue clear sky. No clouds to add more colorful formations. But it was a promise of a beautiful Sunday coming up. 

One thing I wanted to mention is that I'm getting a little tired of drinking water from plastic bottles. In the past, we always bought these big blue 5 gallon bottles from our local supplier in Wisconsin. It's called Nicolet Water Company. It's actually located up near my dad's cabin by Crooked Lake near Mountain, Wisconsin. Their water comes from an artesian well and it is always perfect when we buy it in these large 5 gallon jugs. We have this little battery operated pump that we can use to fill our glasses, the coffee pot, or the dog's water dishes. It is rechargeable with a USB cord. It works very well for our needs.

Well, we went through that original jug of water of course a couple weeks ago. We've been buying the blue refill jugs at Walmart's. You never know where they are filled from. But the taste is just not to my liking.

It tastes very plasticky, and kind of sulfury. I find I am not drinking enough water, I'm just avoiding it because of the taste. That is not good.

So we did decide to buy a Brita water pitcher. It does filter the water pretty well, and we are not buying it in big jugs. But it still has somewhat of a "plastic-y taste". 

Some of our RVing friends, as well as some of the YouTubers we watch, have invested in the Berkey water system. We watched some YouTubes on the testing for bacteria and other unwanted particles and chemicals. The tests are really amazing and I think this is what we may look for next. I think the biggest bonus is that it's made from stainless steel. No plastic!

The RVers on our Winnebago View Facebook group have found a perfect spot to set one. Right where the spigot leans over into the sink. There is a firmly mounted grab handle for going in and out the door right next to it. So they strap the Berkey to the grab handle and it rides securely in that spot. 

We started doing some more research, and these type of filters are good for 10 years! Clean out the main basin every month or so. These work so good you can even scoop up pond water or lake water and dump it in there and it will totally clean it out. At the other end all of the testing shows that it is just pure good refreshing drinking water coming out of the spigot. We also watched some YouTubes of other manufacturers brands. They are not as well known. 

The Berkey has been around for 10 years. But it is more than double the price. Maybe you get what you pay for? I guess I'm looking for availability of replacement filters. Are the odd name brand ones just as good? Are the filters interchangeable? What are your thoughts?

I think I would buy one now, but they are not available locally. We would have to order one through the company or through Amazon and have it shipped to our home. That really doesn't help us when we are on the road. 

Okay, its now Sunday morning. Time to get a move on. Today is moving day and we need to get off this campsite. We are heading further west about another hour towards another Corps of Engineers Park called Carter Cove on Nimrod Lake. There are a couple different Corps of Engineer parks on the shores of this lake. So we will check them all out and see where we end up tonight??? 

55 mi travel to get to Maumelle 

1,288 mi so far

Friday, March 8, 2024

Moving Day Craziness - on to Tar Camp COE in Redfield Arkansas

Leaving Merrisach Lake COE was going to be hard. It is located near Tichnor, Arkansas. Just east of DeWitt.  It was such a beautiful spot but we knew we had to move on. Someone else had our stupendous site D9 reserved. Read my previous blog to see why we loved it so much. We could have moved to another site and spent more time at the park, but some of our idea of adventure is to try other parks too. So we went online and looked ahead for the next Corps of Engineers Park.

There was one further up the Arkansas River called Tar Camp, near Redfield.  Almost all of their sites were empty so we knew there wouldn't be a problem getting one. We would wait until we got there and then pay for a site --- once we could pick one out to our liking.

In the meantime, that means it's Moving Day! 

The first thing we have to do is stow all of our gear and pull in the slides and unplug and hit the road. It doesn't take us long to do that. Steve had everything strapped down in the cargo trailer already the night before.

We searched ahead on the GPS for a laundromat. We found one that looked relatively new from the Google Earth pictures, and it also had a large gravel turnaround area in the back of its parking lot to easily accommodate our motorhome and cargo trailer.

This is a Sunday morning and we figured it'd be pretty easy to get a spot in a laundromat to wash clothes. Oh boy, were we ever wrong!

The town was called Pine Bluff, Arkansas. We pulled off the highway and made our way up to the laundromat. It wasn't very far. Well, it happened to be right next door to a church. And I'll tell you why that fact matters in just a minute...

We gathered up all of our dirty laundry and went inside to get started. There were about 20 washing machines. Absolutely every single one was being used or already done with the cycle and still had wet clothes laying in them. There was not a single vacant machine in sight. There were also three people waiting impatiently on chairs with huge loads of multiple laundry hampers, waiting for an empty machine. Nobody was taking the wet clothes out of the machines that had cycles completed. Easily more than half of the machines were sitting there occupied and not being emptied. One lady said to another "Don't dare touch anyone's clothes, you will get knifed for doing that!" Huh?

After listening to some of the other grumbling people waiting, I figured it out. People toss their laundry in to wash, and then went next door to church! We would be waiting an extra 15 minutes until the services ended before those people would come back and get their clothes out of the washers. Plus, ahead of us were more people waiting for machines. It looked like it would take us a couple hours to get our laundry done if we stayed at this location. No thank you.

But we did take the liberty of their functioning coin changing machine. We had some quarters on hand but definitely needed more. We've been finding it difficult to ask cash register people when we check out any where at a store if we can exchange dollars for quarters. So in the meantime, we tossed in $30 to the coin machine and came away with a Ziploc baggie full of quarters. It almost felt like going to a casino! (Not that we ever go to casinos anyhow.... )

We hauled our dirty laundry back out into the motorhome. I looked up again on Google maps and found another laundromat, this a few miles further into town. It looked like a rougher part of town and the laundromat didn't really look to be super wonderful. But at least it was a place to go. We wandered our way up there. The parking lot was a bit more rugged but we found a spot to park out of the way. We carried in our dirty laundry and there were only three other people in the entire place! Many many vacant machines, and pretty decent clean tables for folding. 

The only thing different was, they were pretty new large front loading machines, but they were $6.50 for a load to wash! That was a lot more than what we're used to, that's for sure. We loaded up all of our dirty laundry and completely did all of our bedding and towels. I decided I wanted to wash both of our big quilts and get everything freshened up. Four large loads later, which equaled $25, everything was clean. The dryers were 12 minutes for every quarter. So another $10 later we had everything dry and loaded back out into the motorhome. $35.00 for laundry?? Boy oh boy do I ever miss the onboard washer and dryer of our last motorhome!!!  Did I ever mention that I HATE laundromats???

Our next stop on the way was to hit the Walmart before we got back up on the highway. Sunday afternoon in a Walmart is absolutely crazy! We zoomed around as best we could, and grabbed everything that we needed. It just seemed to be every aisle had people wandering around aimlessly, standing in the way or stopping in the middle of the lanes and not letting you pass. We got out of there as quick as we could and stowed away our new groceries in the motorhome. Now it was time to hit the road to our next destination.

We drove through a pretty nice neighborhood and wound our way down to the river at Tar Camp COE just out of Redfield, Arkansas. The park was quite a distance from town and it was very quiet.

The sites stretched all along the riverbank and there were only three other campers in the entire park. They were all packing up and getting ready to leave. Check out time was 3:00 p.m. . There was one whole loop of the park that appeared to be brand new. We later found out it was due to some flooding. It had recently been completely rebuilt. They had two big flat bed trailers and a crane ready to place a new shower building that came in two pieces. The big cement building is completely plumbed and furnished and ready to go and just needs to be lifted off the flatbeds and placed together with a seam down the middle. Very interesting way to construct bathrooms on the spot. These are built up on the inside with toilets, sinks and shower stalls too. Everything is completely there, even the wiring. It just needs to be set into place and hooked up and ready to go.

We looped around and pulled the motorhome into a wide area of the road. We chose a site and then went online to try to reserve it.

Well, we logged into Recreation.gov where we have an account. (Keep in mind this was the THIRD Corp of Engineers park we have been at and have used Recreation.gov each time to register)

We would get everything all plugged in online in the boxes on the form and get down to the credit card in the shopping cart and it would deny us! We know it wasn't our credit card, but we tried a different one anyhow. Denied. Then we tried a third one! We were actually even trying to pay with our PayPal account which it says it would also accept as a form of payment. Nothing would go through. We kept getting denied. It was absolutely crazy!  I checked all 3 credit card companies and we were fine and good to go, no problems with any of them, and NO attemps from the Corp of Engineers in that last few hours that would have been questionable or pending. Hmmmm???

We had successfully used the same registration for Corps of Engineer parks at our last two campgrounds on the Recreation.gov site. Why was this not working? It kept making me plug everything in each time--- and then it would deny us. Of course it's a timed reservation shopping cart checkout system and it would time out and make you start all over again.

Finally, the host came by in his little cart and asked if we needed some assistance. We told him we are having trouble logging in or completing a reservation. He said he really couldn't help us because the Corps of Engineers had just recently taken away their old defunct out of date computers. They are due for brand new computers any day now. But they had no way to access the reservation system for us. He also didn't have any idea of who's coming and who's not, until they get a new system. So he said just pull into the site we wanted and spend the night and call the 800 number and see if we could get registered that way.

So, we did just that. We chose the site we liked and got all set up. We tried the 800 number, and guess what? We get a recording saying that they are temporarily out of service!

What the heck???

So I guess we were going to spend the night and be a little radical and not be paid for the night... Hope no ranger comes by so that we get into trouble? As you can see, nobody was waiting for our campsite or any other site by this time on a Sunday night. 

After that, I grabbed my cell phone and tried just one more time. For some strange reason it wanted me to completely log back out and in again and change my password? Then when I finally got in, it pulled up our old profile from wayyyyy back over 12 years ago when we lived out on the river in Oconto. It had our old address in the pre filled-in blanks. Maybe that's why it wouldn't accept our credit cards because the addresses didn't match? So I went in the profile and I changed it back to our current address. Guess what? It went through right away! 

We figured that since we were finally logged into the system, we reserved this site for five nights in a row to just settle in and relax.

Whatabugger of a day!!!! 

Tar Camp is a very nice campground all along the banks of the Arkansas River, again with viewing of barges and tugboats going by. It was very pleasant and quiet with good facilities. I guess a lot of fisherman frequent the park, but otherwise, it's a pretty quiet place. It's known that you can usually get a campsite even on a weekend.

The other three campers have pulled out and now we were all by ourselves except for the host at the beginning of the park.  Each site has this covered pergola and picnic table, 30 and 50 amp power, water spigot and firering and lantern hanger. Sites are $26 a night, but with the America The Beautiful Senior Access Pass, it's only $13 a night for us. 

After the day we had, it was time to set out the lawn chairs and crack open a beverage. We deserved it.  Both dogs needed a good long walk around the park, and we needed to enjoy the rest of our evening. 

It was a peaceful night, and we woke up with new energy and a calm peaceful outlook in our quiet campsite.  All we are looking for on this trip are temps in the 70s during the day, and not lower than about 40-50 at night.  No big sightseeing things, no tourist traps, no crazy interstates or big cities.  Just calm and relaxing stretches in natural settings on a budget.  

On Monday, the sun finally came out and we were totally enjoying the warmth and sunshine. 

We took the dogs out for a fun ride in their little trailer behind our e-bikes. There weren't a lot of places to go, but we at least got around the park. Added to that, we knew that we were due for about 3 days of rain. Got to get out when the getting is good.


They are really enjoying the process of riding along, and we stop and let them out to see and sniff new places. Even if it's just to the boat landing or a picnic area.  We found some cows up the road in a rural fenced in field.  That was interesting, but we kept them IN the trailer for that. 

The sun was setting, but we could see the dark clouds rolling in for the storms due later that night.  We filled a "bug out bag" with weather radio, phone chargers, wallets, portable hard drive from the laptop and current medications.  Just in case... we were only a few sites away from a large concrete bath building that we could go rush into for shelter.  We even left the dog harnesses on them overnight for easy reach and their leashes by the door next to our shoes. 

The storms rolled on past overnight, and mostly we only got the winds and the rains. Glad we were not treated to the hail and lightening and tornadoes that other areas experienced. 

The next day, a motorhome pulled in a couple sites away and we met some really wonderful people from Northeast Alabama. They are musicians and play the mandolin and the ukulele. (Hi Mike and Penny!) We had so much in common and really enjoyed jaw jacking for quite a while. The ranger joined us for a bit too, as he was making his rounds.

The next 3 days were intermittent rain, storms, and lots of dreary weather. We had one more evening of sunshine to enjoy but that was about it. We didnt even get to burn a campfire, but we gave our wood away to some other folks instead. 

We did manage some outdoor cooking in between rainshowers. Steve set up his Blackstone flat iron griddle on the concrete table and took care of some of the dinner duties.  It's nice when we can cook outside. The food always tastes better, don't you think?

I had marinated up some boneless skinless chicken thighs during the day.  He was able to grill them up and set aside 2/3 of it for future meals. The last third, he slathered with Sweet Bay Rays BBQ sauce and finished them up for our dinner.  Yummmmmm

During the rainy portion of the days, we were comfy and cozy inside the motorhome. The dogs were a bit antsy, so we got them out in between rain showers to run off some energy.  Especially Nicholas.  

One evening, we had spaghetti for dinner. Little did we know we had our OWN Lady and the Tramp!

We are content on the rainy days. Steve did some searching and looking around on Marketplace and the internet. He's got a couple ideas in his brain of a few modifications he wants to make on the motorhome.  He was watching some You Tubes and looking up some specs on things.  Doesn't he look happy?

The rain just came down in buckets on Thursday.  We had so much rain that we were checking the flood reports for the area, and making sure we were in a quick getaway mode to higher ground if the need arose.

I simmered up a pot of beef vegetable soup with some tenderloin tips we had brought in the freezer from home.  Instead of cooking on the griddle outside, we made due with swapping recipes over to indoor cooked items. It sure smelled great inside the motorhome for the rest of the day.

I did get a lot of sewing done. I set up my little Singer Featherweight machine and my tiny iron.  I had precut all of the pieces at home to take along. We watched some old western movies on Grit tv station, or some great home fix up shows on HGTV.  It doesn't take a lot to entertain us. 

I've completed 19 blocks now of my maple leaf quilt.  I am going to make them spread out in four different directions.  Not sure if I am going to put a little thin border of dark brown around each one yet or not. (called "Sashing" and "Cornerstones") I will see.  I need to complete 48 ten inch blocks before I need to decide. 

Now it is Friday. 

We looked ahead and decided to go to Maumelle Corps of Engineers Park which is just a bit further west of Little Rock. A nice guy by the name of Tom that we met back in Jonesboro had recommended it. I went online and found a nice campsite for the weekend. I was able to reserve it with absolutely no problem now that the correct address is in our profile on Recreation.gov.   Go figger! 

So as I write this today is another Moving Day and we are heading out of Tar Camp COE this morning. It's only 47 miles up to Maumelle. Even though check in time isn't until 4:00 p.m., a friend of Tom's is already camping there on another site nearby. He walked over this morning and made sure our site was already empty. So we are on the road now to make one quick stop at a Trader Joe's, and then we are going to head on over to Maumelle and get set up for the weekend.

From there, who knows? Stay tuned...

Monday, March 4, 2024

Days 29-32 BEST Campsite In The Park! Merrisach Lake COE Tichnor Arkansas

We had reached our eighth day at Pendleton Bend and decided that maybe it was time to move on to another Corps of Engineers Park. The host at Pendleton Bend was telling us about a very nice park just up on the other side the river and only a few miles downstream on the canal. The name is Merrisach Lake, And the bottom edge of the lake flows into the man-made Arkansas Post canal. The campground is located right at the intersection between the lake and the canal.

We went online and just kind of looked at the map and chose a site and reserved it for three nights. We had NO IDEA that it was the absolute best site in the entire park!!! 

As we packed up from Pendleton Bend, we dumped our holding tanks and had to drive 30 miles up and around to get to a campground that really was only about 6 miles as the crow flies down the river. 

In the tiny town of Gillett, we stopped at the Dollar General for a little stock up of a few items to get us through the next 4 days. 

Here is a link to the website with all the information:

As we pulled into the park, we went down to the D Peninsula to find our campsite, D9. 

Ooooh my!!! 

We were at the end of a little roundabout cul-de-sac with the one and only sight facing out of the end of the peninsula. We had a water view all the way around almost 300°!... I cannot imagine any campsite being any better than this. There was nobody else in the entire campground other than the two camp hosts way up by the gatehouse. Total peace and quiet.

To top it off, the site is a pull-through site. We left our little cargo trailer hooked right up to use as our garage out the back of the campsite. 

Each campsite has a covered pergola over the cement picnic table and benches. There's also a fire ring and a charcoal grill. Each campsite has electric as well as water (no sewer). 

There are nice clean heated bathrooms a short walk away. Each separate bathroom has a separate shower area. There are two for the women and two for the men. How nice is that?

The rate is $26 a night for this site, but with our America the Beautiful Senior Access Pass, we get it for $13 a night. 

The paved patio area is perfectly level. The little gravel area around the table and fire pit is nice to keep the mud and the grass from being tracked into the motorhome. 

Incidentally, although there are alligators known to be in this lake, all around the edges of the campground are a kind of a low molded barrier that I'm sure also helps with erosion. It might deter an alligator from wanting to crawl up into the park. There are more swampy areas in the park that I think are a better habitat for the gators to hang out. Of course, this time of year the alligators are dormant and hiding out in secluded areas. 

We are enjoying the occasional tugboats going past, pushing heavily loaded barges down the river or empty ones back up again to refill. 

This is right next to the campground, and we find it very interesting to watch them float on by. 

We hopped on our bikes and pedalled down river to this tall bridge near the lock for the transported barges. From our bikes, we could not access the actual area to view down into the lock. But from underneath we can see where the boats enter the large chamber. 

Of course, if we pedalled our bikes to the top of this very tall bridge, we could look down as the barges passed through. But Chicken Karen was not about to pedal up that high and look over the edge. Not only do the heights bother me, but I don't know if I am that adept yet at riding the bike up such a tall incline. That adventure can wait for another time. 

Speaking of our e-bikes, we managed to hit a milestone! Yes, we now entered The 100 Mile Club. That may seem like a little thing to some people, but to us 60 plus year old folks who just bought these bikes in November, I think it's quite a feat. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be back on a bicycle again. But these e-bikes make it so easy to get up and down the hills, and they are really a lot of fun to ride. 

We pedalled around the campground, exploring a couple of loops and then down to the tall bridge over the locks. We also went a little bit further to read the sign at a nature preserve. All together we pedalled almost 7 mi during our 100 mark milestone. 

These bikes are just so much fun, and I posted this photo to the Lectric Bike Owners page on Facebook. It's nice to see so many older folks enjoying these bikes. It's good to get out and about, fresh air and sunshine, and have new adventures. 

Now, on to set ourselves up
 to reach the 
500 mile club?

A fellow blogger had let us know that he was going to be pulling into a spot at the same campground, a few sites away. It was nice to meet Daryl in person, and he had lots of great hints and ideas of places to go. Here is his blog if anyone would like to follow along: 

One of our reasons for escaping the cold weather of Wisconsin, is to see some green. The trees are just starting to bud out, and we've seen some magnolia blooms, crabapple blossoms, and wild daffodils growing in the ditches. 

On our bike ride, the sun had just come out and this beautiful field was a blaze with yellowish green new growth. 

By our second night, a few more campers had joined us in the campground. Although it was very quiet, we no longer had our peninsula to ourselves. But we did have a spectacular sunset to share with everyone!! 

I just can't believe standing in front of our motorhome, I could twist from left to right and do this panorama photo. All of this was ours to enjoy for three nights. 

Then it was time to move on... 

The upcoming blog will be 
about our next selected
Corps of Engineers Park, 

and a crazy crazy moving day!! 

Friday, March 1, 2024


We stayed here for eight nights, and I thought I better write a review about the park itself. My last blog post was our personal experiences, and enjoying the site at the campground. 

I was unable to find a campground map online, but I snapped this one from the maps on the counter at the gatehouse at the campground itself. 

We came here on a February weekday to try it out for one night. You need to check in online for a site. No pay post or envelopes for any first come first serve sites. 

The friendly host at the gatehouse (if available) will help you reserve... or use a direct oldfashioned landline phone located outside on the wall at the gate house will connect you to staff at recreation.gov

We used our America the Beautiful Senior Access pass for half price, which brought it from $24 down to $12 for the prime waterfront sites in the C loop. 

We liked it so much after one night, we went online and booked for seven more nights.

Three sites in the C loop are along the Arkansas River, and in our opinion the best sites in the park. Each one has a raised patio deck area with railing around, pergola covering over cement picnic tables and nice fire rings. Each site has electric and water. Some sites are 30 amp, some sites are 50 amp. There's also a fish cleaning table at each site! 

The rest of the sites are across the road in the woods with easier access to the bath/shower house. There's also a playground area in day use picnic area with additional bathrooms. Dump station at entrance to the park. Large parking lot for access to boat ramp and garbage dumpster.

Sites are spaced generosly apart with level cement parking pads and grassy areas, as well as some shade trees along the waterfront. The rest of the campground is shaded and sites are a little closer together. We noticed some sites have water spigots spaced quite a distance from the center pads, so bring an extra hose. 

Some vehicle traffic on road going through the park to the dam and the other campground further to the east. But not excessive. Mainly just workers from the hydroelectric dam being constructed down the river. 

Broadcast TV antenna pulls in approximately 9 stations, some substations with retro sit coms or police crime shows. One local ABC station from Little Rock faded in and out, but was better at night. 

LTE coverage in two to three bar range on my roaming cell phone with a Wisconsin plan. Husband's Verizon cell phone pulls in 2 to 3 bars 4G coverage. Enough to stream movies or upload photos. 

Stock up on your groceries and beverages before you come, no local shopping or stores within a reasonable distance. DeWitt to the north or Dumas to the south are the nearest cities with any type of conveniences. Camper and RV Propane available in DeWitt at Blue Seal Petroleum. 

Viewing of big barges going down the river on their way out to the Mississippi is very interesting and they are very quiet. Not a disruption or disturbance. The motors make a quiet humming sound and is not overly noticeable. 

We really enjoyed watching them push the empty barges upriver, and bring the heavy filled barges down again. Sometimes they would stop right in front of the campground to stage a few barges until a few more were filled. Then they were all lashed together and headed on down the river to the Mississippi. 

The barges take a quick left turn just past the campground and work their way down into a 9 mile long man-made canal. From there they are able to reach the White River, which then flows down into the Mississippi River. 

We enjoyed ourselves for eight nights and then moved on to another COE campground located further east on the canal. That campground name is Merrisach Lake. Will do my next blog post from there. 

We are here in February 2024 with a lot of beautiful birds singing and an occasional fisherman out on the river. Only three other campers in the campground besides the host. 

Traveling in a Winnebago View 25-ft motorhome and cargo trailer.