Right up front, let me say that I need forgiveness for not keeping up with this blog daily. We have been so busy and I have been so tired at the end of each day, I just haven't kept the thing going the way I should have.
We left the Cloud Nine RV Park at 7:30 on the nose. We had our breakfast sandwiches this morning before we left, so we were ready to travel! After driving the 12 or so miles back to I-30, we continued our drive to Branson. We stopped at the Wal Mart in Benton Arkansas for fuel. This leg of the trip we went 224.4 miles using 18 gallons of diesel for a 12.5mpg average. Not too shabby considering we were pulling our home with us. As we drove through the northern part of Arkansas, we saw much tornado damage, including what appeared to be a school that had been flattened. I hope no one got hurt in the tornadoes.
We then began to drop down into a valley, going through about 40 miles of twisting, turning roads. The worst grades were about 19% but the old Duramax got us through them with no problem. I love that Allison transmission with the tow-haul mode. I don't really believe that anyone that has a truck with the towing mode on their truck needs anything else for braking. Our truck and trailer is very well matched and I don't think we need to consider anything else. Of course, if we decide to get a bigger trailer someday, we'll need a bigger truck. Ricky and Dee's rig is very good also, just using more diesel to get the job done. They need the bigger truck for their trailer. We stopped at a Wal Mart to take a break from the road after negotiating the road for so long. I think the worst thing about the unfamiliar road was the 18 wheelers that we held up because of being unfamiliar with the roads. When they passed us, they almost caused an accident two different times. Sorry about that truckers! In my opinion, that is why there is so much animosity between RV'ers and truckers. They feel like they own the road and have a right to get by us as needed so they can get down the road and make some money. Many of us RV'ers are retired and don't get in a hurry at all, or like us, are not familiar with what is coming at us around the next turn or bend in the road, so we drive very carefully and slow the truckers down. Again, sorry about that truckers!
We all thought our GPS units were freaking out when we were directed on a back road to the park, but we later learned that Gertrude (the name I gave our Garmin GPS) was just taking us off the main drag through Branson. Again we had to make a steep grade, but made it through with no problem. We arrived at the KOA about 2:30, tired but glad to be here. We got checked in with the office and picked up our rally packets. There were two bags inside the packet, one with information and one with our rally tickets and other information. Ricky and Dee's packets got separated somehow and they couldn't their tickets. Ricky went back down to the office and looked in the box and found their second packet, so all was well.
We walked around the park and discovered that we are on the back side of the park, away from the rally hall and the rest of the group. We walked over to the rally hall (KOA calls it the Convention Center) where we saw some of our friends. We got the low-down on the rest of today and returned to the trailer to prepare the food for the hamburger and hotdog supper that had been prepared for us. Stella had bought some potato salad at Wal Mart that looked pretty good. By the time we got back to the rally hall, there was a huge amount of food on the tables. We filled up four 8 foot tables with all kinds of food. I can tell that this is going to be another rally where we won't have to worry about going hungry. After supper, Jim Beletti gave us the agenda for the rest of the weekend. We visited with some of our friends and went back to the trailer about 8 o'clock. I sat down in the recliner about 8:30 and the next thing I remember is getting up at 1:30 to go to bed. I slept hard until about 7:30 Friday morning.
It was a good start to the rally