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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


  1. I know you weren’t going to do any sightseeing, but the Clinton Presidential Library and Little Rock Central High School are worth seeing if you come this way again.

  2. The Canada goose... rats with wings!

  3. Your travels sound wonderful !!
    I have heard from friends in the past that they love the Berkey.
    Linda a.

  4. I have found berkeys on FB marketplace. Failing that the have a scratch and dent page on their website. When the filtration slows down just run a new green scrub pad over it and it's good to go again. We've been traveling with one for 10 years, won't leave home without it!

  5. Our walmart has a Pure machine for refilling water jugs. Reverse osmosis, charcoal, blue light & one other filter I can't recall. Tastes good, gets rid of the swampy FL & chlorine smells, is ph neutral so good for fish tanks, irons, etc. You need to salt your food with some sea salt to get your minerals though. Also, have a Berkey. Uses separate flouride filters. Kinda costly & am thinking of trying the other brand (?) that the black filter also removes the flouride. More research:o) Thanks for your most excellent campground reviews.

  6. Are you home yet? Hope you're ok!

    1. Soooo sorry.... Yes, I got another blog post done: https://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/2024/04/i-dropped-ball-continuing-our-vacation.html?m=0

  7. I really enjoy your travels and have a hard time waiting for the next update. The last I read you were going to a different camp ground. I hope you are doing well and are enjoying your travels. We have been in Florida for the last 6 months and are heading back to 🇨🇦 Canada tomorrow. Waiting patiently for your next update. Janet

    1. Thanks Janet. I finally got another one done: https://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/2024/04/i-dropped-ball-continuing-our-vacation.html?m=0

  8. Wondering if you folks have arrived home yet? Lots of ugly weather in that area.


    1. Yup, we made it home and had a blizzard and our kids had power outages all week. Just got another blog post done: https://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/2024/04/i-dropped-ball-continuing-our-vacation.html?m=0


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