Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Labor Day Road Trip

We started Labor Day weekend with saying goodbye to the Schroeders on Saturday. We spent 2 weeks alongside of the garage like this. Other than having to back down their cul de sac, it was a great visit. I love that this lifestyle lets us visit with family like we would not have been able to before.

Leaving Huntsville, we got into Mississippi a short time later. We were excited- after 4 years, this is the first time we were spending the night in the state! (That's our criteria to be "counted".)

Mickey has been through some miles up there.

I found this Army Corps of Engineers (COE) park, South Abutment Campground, on Campendium.com while looking for an inexpensive place to stay in Mississippi around Memphis. We initially planned to stay for a week, but we have a schedule to keep to make it to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta by the end of September AND we lost a week to Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago.

So, just one night.

I was nervous about coming into a first come, first served campground on one of the busiest camping holidays of the year. There were plenty of spots, but we did almost have an incident getting around one of the loops- my tires fell off into a depression on the inside and Mandie was certain we were driving off the road on the outside (full-on panic attack, which is super unusual for her). We had to back out of a loop and up a road. No damage, just a little excitement.

Our campsite was nice.

We parked and went exploring the "project" as the areas around the lake are called. Here's a view of one of the campground points. No spots were open out there being that we arrived so late. Pretty, though.

Dam Rd. And let me tell you, 7 year old Logan got a kick out of talking about that road.

The same campground point as before, but from the opposite side. Gave us a nice sunset view.

We packed up on Sunday morning (which was pretty simple- stow a few things, unplug electric, and hitch up). We got on the road and in no time were through Tennessee and into Arkansas.

There was a mix-up at the campground, Treasure Isles RV Park, and they gave our site to someone else. They put us into a 2nd site and shortly after we pulled in (but before we unhitched), they showed up to tell us they really messed up and had given that site to someone else. They offered us a lake front spot for the same cost. Which is even better as we got the Passport America rate for the park.

The camphost described it as "a little snug but has a great back yard". He wasn't wrong.

Where he was wrong, he tried guiding me in to back up. I only take backing directions from Mandie. He was usually telling me at odds with her. I tried to tell him but he wasn't ready to listen- actively stepping in front of her so I couldn't see her. Ultimately, he walked away frustrated. Oh well.

See that gazebo? By night fall, that campsite probably had 20-25 people at it. Loud music, corn hole, and a lot of kids. At 10:30pm, they played "I WANT MY MTV" on repeat about 5 times. Right about the time I was fixing to go say something, it stopped.

Holiday weekends in the RV park- it's just part of life.

Inspired by my neighbor with their deck down, I set ours up for the evening. And then promptly never went back up to it. Mandie sat out while the kids and I played in the lake/river. We even broke out our river floats to bob around in.

We headed into Hot Springs National Park on Monday for a bit of exploring. The Fordyce Bath House is setup as a museum. The Fordyce itself had some pretty neat mechanical "therapy" options. And some crazy ones- like the "electrowater" therapy.

There was a guided tour that started as we got there, but was too many people for our liking. We opted for the self-guided tour instead.

The museum was nicely done. Going to Hot Springs has been on my bucket list since we launched into fulltime RV living 4 years ago.

A few doors up is Superior Bath House. Its name was purely ironic as it was the most simple of the bath houses in its day. Now it's a brewery that uses the hot springs water as part of the brewing process.

Cute decal to the tap room. (Is that the right name for where they brew the beer?)

We were in it for the root beer. I'm not a big craft beer guy, the flavors are usually a bit too strong for my tastes and Mandie doesn't drink beer at all. It reminded me of the Amish root beer from Lancaster, PA but with a bit more carbonation (still not like a "regular" soda, though).

Tasty, but Logan didn't care for it. Fortunately, he got a sweet tea. We also got a couple of appetizers, but they were a bit disappointing overall.