Thursday, September 10, 2009

Couldn't find the Flippin Wal-Mart

We are at the Elks lodge in Mountain Home, Arkansas (map).

We spent another private, dark, and quiet night at the Moccasin Gap Horse Camp -- the mini-C that had rolled in after noon pulled up stakes and left the park by 4 or so; we were mystified, since they had set up their chairs and tablecloth, and it looked like they had settled in for the night. They had even walked over to the iron ranger, and we had assumed they had paid for a night. Not that I am complaining; we prefer the solitude, and besides, we were able to spend another evening in the hot tub umm, "as designed."

Yesterday morning some yahoo rolled up in her car, got out, and put several large bags of trash in the receptacles, then drove off. The Forest Service had just emptied the bins the day before; I'm guessing this is some local who doesn't pay for trash service, and has figured out that the campground bins are emptied on Tuesdays. She did not stop to pay the day use fee. Later, the guy who mows the grass showed up, mowed all around us, then left. Other than those four vehicles, we didn't see a soul after the Labor Day off-roaders left.

Since all is quiet on the disaster front, we decided to get moving again and clear out of Arkansas, so first thing in the morning I hooked the hose up to the hot tub and ran it off into the weeds to drain. We had everything packed and loaded by mid-day, which was good because it was starting to rain again. Which reminds me, we've had two or three big gully-washers here in Arkansas, including Tuesday night, and I am happy to report that most of our major leaks seem to be gone. We have a drip or two here and there, what I would characterize as "normal" for any RV older than a year or two (and before anyone writes in to tell me they have a leak-free rig: all RVs leak after a while, it's just a matter of how much, and whether they leak where you can see it or not).

We had a very pleasant drive north on scenic route 7 (although we both noted that this hardly qualifies as the most scenic road in America, notwithstanding people making that claim on the Internet). Unfortunately, we we pressing into not only rain, but also extreme fog -- at one point, I had to put my rear fog lights on for safety -- and a couple of the scenic overlooks were completely socked in. I'm sure in better weather we would have had a nice view of the Buffalo River valley. And speaking of the river, it was, indeed, quite scenic where we crossed, near Jasper, and we got to see at least a little of the limestone canyon. We opted, though, to keep moving instead of circling back to one of the campgrounds.

We were completely out of some supplies, including milk for our morning coffee -- and we do not function without our coffee. So after the driving workout that was route 7 (no cruise control here -- the road is winding and hilly, requiring both hands on the wheel, and one foot on the throttle and the other on the retarder), we set our sights on the nearest Wal-Mart on our route, in Flippin (really). Jill-the-GPS didn't even know about it, though, and Google Maps knew it was there but couldn't seem to place it.

If we had gone through town on the old highway, which would have been the direct route and was also the way Jill thought we were going to go, it turns out we would have driven right by it. apparently, since Jill's database was last updated, they have diverted the highway around the town (the "Flippin Bypass," I assume), and we were already past the turn for the old road before we realized it. Only a GPS (and over-reliance on its accuracy) can screw up like that; had we followed the signs, I think we would have been fine. In any case, we went all the way past the town on the bypass, then circled back into town from the east on the old road, and we went back and forth past the spot where Google said the Wal-Mart was twice. Had we gone just another two blocks past town to the west, of course, we would have run into it.

After the 15-minute Flippin diversion, we gave up and decided to continue another 15 miles here to the Elks lodge. There is also a Wal-Mart here in Mountain Home, just a few blocks further east, but this resort destination, unsurprisingly, does not permit overnight parking. We'll stop there today for the supplies we couldn't get at the Flippin store.

This turned out to be a fine spot, fairly quiet and away from the road. Plus, the lodge was having burger night, and we had a pleasant if casual meal with all the fixin's, complete with wine, for $20. We seldom eat in the lodges, because often they are too smoky for us, but I did not see a single smoker at this one. Some states have banned it, but there was plenty of smoke in Fayetteville/Springdale so I assume Arkansas is not one of them.

Today we will continue east. At some point we will face a choice between crossing the Mississippi on the 60/62 bridge at Cairo, or taking the Dorena/Hickman Ferry. I expect, though, we will still be west of the river tonight.

Photo by .bobby, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. I phone... I phone... some day you will! Has great GPS...
    MY RV does not leak...My curtains are only leak-dyed for looks...
    Miss you guys... Think Texas soon...
    Be well... Ara & Spirit

  2. Just as long as you guys don't go out of your "flippin minds" ha ha Glad to see your leaks have gone south, no fun trying to keep up with that stuff. We are in a BLM campground in Wolcott Colorado getting ready for the wedding we have to shoot on Saturday. This place is near I-70, but also near 20' from eagle creek. Nice, but no hot tub aarrgghh. Steve & Carol

  3. By "as designed" you mean with water in it, right? ;)


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