Saturday, March 30, 2024

Trip Wrap-up

 Rocky Point Corps of Engineers Campground; near Texarkana, Texas

This trip will end tomorrow around noon when I arrive at my Mansfield, Louisiana home-base RV Park. I decided to use this campground as a transitional campground between RV traveling and RV "staying put for a little while". It was a good choice. The campsite is located nicely with a view out to Lake Wright Patman thru by back window and door. The sun sets directly behind me over the lake. I fueled up before getting here so I haven't had to leave the campground at all. All I've done is walk a lot and reflect on the trip. The campground is nearly full so people-watching is easy when out walking. 

I left on this trip on February 20, 2024 and had reservations for the entire trip before departing. The main purpose was to explore the Arkansas River from its junction with the Mississippi River and Fort Smith on the Oklahoma border and as usual, see as many sunsets as I could see. There is a finite number of sunsets/sunrises in our lives and we should see as many as we can. There were a couple nice places other than along the river such as Hot Springs and Queen Wilhemina State Park. 

Some of the raw statistics are: 1,100 miles of towing, 40 days of travel, 13 campgrounds (11 COE's, 1 NPS, 1 State), average nights per campground = 3, average cost per campground = $13.77 per night, cost of fuel for towing and exploring = $513.66. If ya'll want any other information, just ask in the comments. I used to keep a lot more when I first started traveling, but then reduced the amount. 

Eight of the eleven COE campgrounds were on the banks of the Arkansas River. I saw, up close and personal, too many tow boats/barges to count and each was a treat to see. I saw a museum dedicated to the disgraceful time of the Japanese Internment. I also visited the site of one of the internment (concentration) camps. The incident wasn't new to me as I had learned about it in school and read about it over the years. However, seeing the actual place put me in a depressed mood for a few days. This is not even the first internment camp location I've visited, but this time had more of a profound affect on me. 

There was also a visit to an old familiar campground near the Dardenelle Dam that my father worked on in the 1960's. As usual when in that area, I drove up to Mount Nebo but was not as interested as I have been in the past. I haven't figured out why.

I've had a few emails asking how my personal memory demons are doing. It's funny how they tip-toe around asking me. It doesn't bother me, you can ask me point blank about them or anything else. I'm like an open book. On this trip, the demons only came out to play a couple of times and were not a major problem. In fact, I was able to resolve a couple of issues with them and they seemed satisfied. I have a feeling I'll be seeing less of them in the future. Ok, now is the time some of you readers say I'm crazy. Maybe, maybe not. I like to think of it as reality since I'm pretty sure everyone has these memory demons but only a few will admit it. Once you face up to them and recognize them for what they are, they tend to lose a lot of their power over you. Enough psychological BS, how about some pictures? The captions will explain more about the trip and emotions.

I put this picture here because it was the first campsite on the trip. It set the tone because many of my campsites were right on the water.

This was the first of many sunsets on this trip. Each one was special in it's own way. To me, sundown is a time of reflection on the day. I use it to take stock on the times I'm living in. 

This picture is the campsite from Hot Springs with a nice flowing creek directly behind Liberty. It was a National Parks Service campground. The campground was very nice but Hot Springs, to me, was kind of a bust.

I always try to choose campsites that are oriented to a nice sunset or sunrise. Several times on this trip I was able to catch them just by opening my door. Specials, each one.

I saw a lot of tow boats with barges on this trip. I chose this picture to represent all of them. If you are interested in this, just about every COE campground in Arkansas is on the navigable part of the river. 

I started RV traveling 10 years ago next month. Ever since the beginning, I've carried my gun in my gun case. It rides in Freedom when towing and I take it inside Liberty after setting up camp. This campground was the only time in all of those years that I've removed it from its case so it was be easier to reach. It also spent the night on my nightstand. 

This picture represents the Japanese Internment (concentration) camp. It is the actual location where thousands of Japanese families spent the war years. The trees in the distance has a memorial and cemetery. When I first saw the miniature guard tower, I thought it looked cheap and cheesy, but now it represents so much more.

This is one of my favorite thinking benches on the trip. I resolved a few issues while sitting there and hearing the water pass by. It was very peaceful.

Dardenelle Dam. I father was the concrete Superintendent on that project. That is the powerhouse on the left, the dam in the middle and the locks on the right. I've been here a couple of times before and feel a connection to the place. 

This represent Mount Nebo. I had strange feeling when visiting it and the bench wasn't comfortable. I still like the view though.

The National Cemetery at Fort Smith, Arkansas. 'Nuf said.

This was the best sunset picture from the trip. It was also unexpected and almost missed. The first couple of day at Queen Wilhemina was rainy and windy. The sky was overcast and I was sure there wouldn't be a noticeable sunset even though it would be right out my door. However, a little storm passed through and created an opening that I noticed while doing something else inside Liberty. I open the door and it looked like the mountain was on fire. Serendipity is great, uh? 

Although it was windy and rainy while at Queen Wilhemina, it added to the good vibes of the campground and area. I got a very good vibes when I checked in and it stayed with me until I left. I will be returning, maybe.

Now we're up to date. This is a sunset at the campground I'm currently at. That is Freedom/Liberty on the right in the dark. 

Tomorrow is moving day and I have about 120 miles before getting "home". As usually, it will be a nice thinking drive about things I'll be doing for the month or two I'll be there. As much as I like traveling, I have a feeling I'm going to like "staying put" for a while, this time.

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


  1. At my age of 77 I also have a small equalizer near by when I travel. It is a great hope I will never feel a need again. I have enjoyed your coverage of the areas. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome Barney. Take care, keep an eye on your BP.

  2. Enjoyed your trip. I want to take a trip up the Miss. from NO to Memphis.

    1. Thank you Anon,,,, That would be a good trip on either side of the river.

  3. Sure enjoyed tagging along on your trip and thanks for sharing it with us. Vern in Boise Id.

    1. Glad you were along for the ride Vern. The next one should start maybe in July.