Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

First Days Back Exploring and Traveling

Location: Willow Beach Campground (Corps of Engineers); near Little Rock, Arkansas

I hitched up early Sunday morning with the temperature and humidity steadily rising. Brandon dropped by to see me hitch Freedom and Liberty. That is the first time he's seen the old man get ready to travel. Everything was hitched and ready after about 45 minutes of work. Before hitting the road, I had to change my shirt and socks due to being soaked through with sweat. I mentioned the humidity, right? I had left Liberty plugged in and the A/C's running while I hitched up just so I could change clothes in a cool place. After changing, I gave Brandon a hug and said I would see him in a couple months or so. I then headed north (actually it was east for a little while before headed north). 

When I'm traveling, I try to stay under 200 miles of towing. Sometimes I violate that rule suggestion and I did so on Sunday when I drove 270 miles to this campground. Coincidentally, tomorrow is moving day and I'll drive another 270 miles. Wow, two long days of driving in a row. I bet I did that on purpose. After sitting for so long in the same campground, a couple of long drives help get the cobwebs clear in my brain as well as in Freedom and Liberty. The radio wasn't turned on but I still listened to music. It was road-music. Travelers will know what I mean. Freedom and Liberty did a good job without any problems, well Liberty did, but Freedom was a different story. Remember, I got Freedom a new set of tires a few weeks ago. Those tires were not completely broken in before we headed out. For those not familiar with breaking in tires, it is that slippery feeling when driving on new tires. It is due to the chemicals/lubricants used during the manufacturing process. It takes about 500 miles for it to wear away. I should hit that 500 mile mark tomorrow when driving to my next campground. I'll be happy, because towing in the rain with slippery tires isn't fun. And yeah, of course, I passed through a couple of heavy rainstorms on I-30 in Arkansas. It slowed us down for a little while but, all in all, it wasn't too bad, just a different song on the road-music station. 

I stayed at this campground a few years ago. It is close to the interstates and conveniently located to the Little Rock area for exploring. Although I had to do a right-hand back in to my campsite, the overall campground is laid out pretty good. My campsite is on the banks of a little backwater from the Arkansas River. Water and electric, for $9.50 per night and a nicely laid out dump station that only RV'ers can really appreciate. 

You pass through a small subdivision of upper middle class homes to get to the campground. Just past that little hill on the road is the campground entrance. 

Our campsite for the next three days.
That is the Arkansas River in the background. I never have liked parking Liberty under trees and I still don't like it now. Those are gum trees. Their seeds, gum balls, fall on Liberty when the wind picks up. Luckily there have only been a few so far and no really windy days are predicted before we pull out. The shade has kept it cooler though, so that's a plus.

The sun sets over the water right behind Liberty.
Good planning uh? 

A nice sunset.
Not as spectacular as some of the ones out west, but pretty good for around this part of the country. I hope I've planned for more on this trip. 

One of the great things about staying at Corps of Engineers campgrounds are that some are located near navigable waterways. The Arkansas River is one such waterway. It starts in the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colorado which is just west of Denver. It passes through Canon City, Colorado where I drove the Skyline Drive a couple of years ago. It then passes through the Royal Gorge where I've visited also. The total length of the river is 445 miles and it passes through 17 lock and dams that makes it navigable. The river also produces oodles (technical term) of electricity at its hydro-electric dams. When the environmentalists talk about clean energy, they always conveniently forget about hydro power. Can anyone say "infrastructure"? As it passes through the farm lands of the mid-west, it is the most economical means of delivering harvested crops to market.

One of the locks and dam is located just a few miles downstream from the campground. I drove down there to see what I could see. Lucky me, this tow boat and his barges were just exiting the locks. It seems I get lucky a lot with my timing. Someone else is doing some planning too. :) 

I don't know where they are headed to, but I wish them safe travels.

This one is headed upstream and I took the picture from the day-use area of the campground.

I went exploring in Little Rock, but picked a bad day. A lot of the things I wanted to see where closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. "They" said the reason was so the places could be open on weekends. That may be true but it could also mean they did it because they knew I planned to explore on those days. For those that think that is a little paranoid, remember the wise words from the radicals in the 70's, "it's not paranoia if people are really out to get you". :) See what happens when the cobwebs get cleared out by longer than usual drives.  

Little Rock must have a very large liability insurance policy. They have hundreds of these motorized scooters parked everywhere. I didn't read any signs but it seems like you just use one and park it where ever it runs out of juice or where ever you quit needing it. I did not give it a try. 

The Bill Clinton Library was one of those places closed on Monday and Tuesday. Although he is way down my list of favorite Presidents, I thought I would give the library a chance. Notice the sign saying "Now Open". That's a lie, at least not on Mondays and Tuesdays. But after all, it is a politician's library.

One of the good things about Little Rock are their use of old bridges as Pedestrian Bridges. A big congratulations to those who carried it out. In this case it is an old Railroad Bridge.  

Then entrance to the Pedestrian Bridge over the Arkansas River.

The flowers were in bloom which added a lot more to the bridge than I would have thought. I'm not a real big flower type person, so this surprised me. Wait a minute, I just realized I didn't check them to see if they were real. They could have been plastic. Oh well, they looked nice anyhow. 
Notice the two people in the picture. They were an older couple traveling around the country in a car and staying in motels. They live in Billings, Montana now but she was originally from Cloutierville, Louisiana which is less than an hours drive from Mansfield, Louisiana, my adopted hometown. She was born and raised in Cloutierville, Louisiana and went to college at Northwestern in Natchitoches, Louisiana. It's a small world after all. Dang it, I shouldn't have went to Disney World because now I'll have that song in my head. 

A nice picture of the Arkansas River framed by the structural members of the bridge and the real flowers (maybe plastic). I wonder why they have an irrigation system run to "maybe plastic" flowers. Enquiringly minds want to know.

This is my neighbor that camped for one night. He personally refurbished the trailer and put it up for sale, online, while sitting at the campsite. He is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania and was familiar with the campground I stayed at up there several years ago. He and his wife relocated to Texas a while back. Since he was off-work for the summer, he was taking the trailer for a shake-down trip back to Erie. He was traveling solo, since his wife couldn't get time off from her job, as an engineer. Small world, again. Wow.

This is the view waiting for me after exploring.

Tomorrow is moving day and I'll be headed to a campground in the boothill of Missouri. It isn't as nice of a campground as here, but it is OK since it is only a 2 day layover. I do plan to explore one of those days. 

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


  1. I love your pace of travel. Glad to see you back on the road.

    1. Thanks Shawn,,,,, y'all be careful on the water

  2. It's a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small small world..... I've also been to Disney World.


  3. Awesome to see you out on the road again; safe travels, looking forward to your reports...

    1. Thanks Dennis,,,, it feels good to be out here.