We drove up to Rayford Tuesday afternoon after work without incident. When we got to the park, Ricky and Dee were waiting for us so we could go to Donnelly's Pizza for supper. After a great meal, we came back to the park and sat outside talking about when we were going to leave. We decided to try to leave between 6 and 6:30, or just about daybreak. I woke about 4:30 and went outside to start my chores. Lo and behold, Ricky was up and was outside doing his own stuff.... We ended up pulling out about 10 minutes 'til 6.
We made good time along the way, and only had to make one "pit stop" for Stella at a rest area around Lufkin. Our next stop was at a Valero store in Marshal. We went 215.3 miles and used 18.6 gallons for a 11.5 average. Not too bad! Diesel there was $4.69. Yikes!!!
The Police Department emailed me with the results of a felony DWI case that I had been working on. The results were .223 blood alcohol level, taken about 6 hours after the arrest. I'm not sure what the suspect would have done if we had been able to take a breath sample, probably over .35 BAC.
We managed to freak out our GPS units somehow. Ricky and I have identical Garmin units, but for some reason, they tried to take us a different route than US 59. They finally got on track but still couldn't locate the Cloud Nine park where we stayed overnight. Maybe it was because the park is on a private road that doesn't show on the map.
We stopped for lunch at the "Arkansas-welcome" rest area. It's a very nice, very large rest area with plenty of parking. Stella and I had stopped here with the Boomers a couple of years ago when we went to Tennessee for the national rally. I believe we sat at the same tables that we sat at before. Cassie enjoyed being able to get out and stretch her legs a bit too while we ate.
We got here about 2:30. The park is right off US 70 outside of Hot Springs Arkansas. When you turn off the highway you immediately begin a long climb (about a 6-7% grade) up to the top of a hill. Ricky and Dee stayed here before and said it was beautiful. They were here in the fall, so the trees and everything were changing colors and made the views were better down into the valleys around the park. Now, the views are still there but all the trees are filled out and green. I saw one of the couples that were backed in, overlooking the valley sitting outside at the rear of their motorhome. I'm sure that there was probably some wildlife back in there to see, but we were in a pull through site with no views except the other rigs.
After hooking up the water and electricity, I came inside the trailer and laid on the couch and took about a hour's nap, in spite of the heat. I guess I needed it because I felt much better after. Stella made hamburgers for us and then Dee made us walk the nature trail. It was just before it started getting dark, and was a nice walk, but it's hot! We came back and sat around to cool off. We finally came in around 8:30 and after a cool shower, I crashed!
It was a great start for our first long road trip with the Bighorn. I think it's appropriate that we're going to the manufacturer-sponsored rally.