Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Big Dam Bridge and Maumelle Campground

Location: Maumelle Corps of Engineers Campground; Little Rock, Arkansas (elev 260 ft)

all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone

19th and final stop
This is the last stop before getting back home and today is day four at this campground. It's a great Corps of Engineers campground right on the Arkansas River but still close to all of the big city things you may want or need. I chose to spend these days and the ones at Russellville as sort of a decompression chamber from the trip. When I travel quickly, as I have done in the last several weeks, my sense of time and events get distorted. I've experienced this ever since I began RV traveling a little more than five years ago. A lot of it has to do with the speed at which I travel. When I'm changing campgrounds every two to three days and traveling over landscapes I haven't seen, it sort of overloads my senses. It's as if I'm on high alert all the time. For X-Navy folks, it's as if I'm constantly at General Quarters. I have thought about this over the years and figure it has to due with my brain/mind/memory receiving a constant flood of new things without a chance to rest. When I'm stationary for longer periods of time new things are rarer and rarer so my mind has a chance to back to normal. It has time to process and file away memories. For me, I call it "letting time catch up".
This picture was taken as I was hitched up and pulling out of the Old Post Road Campground in Russellville. An older lady, probably late 60's to early 70's, is staying in that campsite/tent. She is dressed in really nice clothes, has make-up on and jewelry. She was dressed as if she was going somewhere fancy. She set up camp the day before I pulled out. After hitching up I noticed she was sitting in her chair, reading a book. I walked over to ask if she needed anything since I noticed she was alone. She said she was going through a divorce and this was now her home until things got worked out. At least she has a nice truck. She said she didn't need anything so I left her as she began a walk in the campground with another woman who came from a large motorhome. It's a reminder that things can always get worse. 

Campsite B-01 at Maumelle. It is steep and short but the only one available for the four days I was here. It has good shade. 

I had to back up far enough to get to the level part of the campsite. 

I got lucky and was able to straddle the concrete bumper block to get Liberty's wheels back far enough. Once off the pavement, everything was nice and level. It turned out to be a great campsite after all.

A view from the campground at the Arkansas River. The white dot in the lower right is a guy fishing near the boat ramp.

They have a couple of benches, but this picnic table made the best picture.
Ok, now that I've admitted to being a little crazy, let's see one of the reasons stopped here other than to let time catch up. The Big Dam Bridge is a bridge that was added to a Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River near Little Rock. It is a pedestrian/bicycle bridge and supposedly, the longest in the world at 4,226 feet. At least that is what the plague reads as you enter the bridge. It was not part of the original construction of the lock and dam so it had to be retro-fitted onto the dam structure. I can imagine the amount of discussing and cussing that happened when it was first proposed. It took eight years from conception to completion. I wanted to walk it for the fantastic view of the lock and dam. It is a view that is rare except for maintenance workers on the dam. I walked about out to about the middle of the river and turned around. The total distance was less than one mile. It was a nice walk and I went before the temperature got too hot.
See the sign at the left. They call it the big dam bridge. I bet some thought I made the name up on the title to the post.

It's a little steep at the beginning, but not really too bad.

First glimpse of the dam and river. 

Looks like all the gates are opened maybe half way. They are creating lots of turbulence just downstream.

They have a screen on the top of the walkway when it is directly over the lock. I figure this is to prevent people from throwing things on the tow boats.

Looking down into the lock chamber. A lot of barges pass through here but not much since the recent floods from last month.

Looking upstream. The structure on the left is the approach to the locks.

They have a nice "bump-out" on the walkway so you can look directly down on the gates. 

A bench with a view looking upstream.

A nice American flag flying proudly.

A house with a view of the river and dam.

A better house but not as good a view. 
Other than the Dam Bridge, I've been taking it easy with walks around the campground and going out to eat. I had a great Reuben Sandwich the other day at a place called Gandolfo's Delicatessen. It ranks in the top 10 that I've had from places around the country. The best in recent memory is still the one from a little cafe in Hinckley, Minnesota, population less than 2,000.

I emptied my waste tanks when I got here at a nice dump station. I'll add some Borateem and Dawn to my tanks today and allow tomorrow's 260 mile trip agitate the contents. The Borateem and Dawn will coat the insides of the waste tanks and help keep them cleaner. Calgon works better than Borateem but it is super hard to find liquid Calgon in Walmarts. I also have to strain the Borateem so grains of sandy material doesn't end up in my tanks. They will harm the seal on the valves. Awwww,, the joys of RV'ing.

Tomorrow is moving day and I plan to reach New Rockdale RV Park, in Mansfield, Louisiana sometime in the early afternoon. There are thunderstorms predicted for the area about the time I plan to arrive so I'll be watching my Accuweather Radar to keep track of them. I may have to slow down or speed up.

I'll post a Trip Re-cap in a few days. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.   


  1. When I leave on a trip I'm always excited anticipating the things I'm going to see and do. And when I return home, or what passes for a home in my full-time life, I feel a sense of contentment that I'm in familiar surroundings again, and satisfaction that I've traveled unfamiliar roads, overcome minor problems, and safely returned to my family once again.

    So I guess you could say that I enjoy going to new places, and I also enjoy going to familiar places, but most of all I enjoy going home, wherever that might be.


    1. Be safe out there Tom,,,on your mini-vacations.

  2. I agree on the information/visual overload when traveling quickly. We need the slower pace, long stay travel mode. Beautiful campsite you stayed at. Your story about the lady reminded me of last week at our campground a lady who was traveling alone had a medical emergency and was taken off to the hospital. We were leaving the next morning and it left me worrying about her situation. But the campground employees seemed to have it in hand. Safe travels through the weather.

    1. There sure seems to be a lot more solo travelers on the road than in the recent years. Yes, Maumelle is a really nice campground with a big city located real close. It is a nice place to let time catch up. Be safe out there on ya'll's travels.