Arkadelphia Freedom

Woke up feeling rested. I even convinced myself to do the physical therapy exercises I’m supposed to keep up with. Got everything together and was on the road by 11:00. Empty farm roads for a while then busier little rural lanes where I always find myself impeding traffic. After a half hour, we reached the main highway and there was a Pilot service station at the ramp so I filled up on the cheapest gas yet this trip, $2.28 a gallon with my Good Sam discount. Onto highway 30 for the rest of the afternoon.

We pulled off in New Boston and did a grocery shop at the Walmart there. Doesn’t look anything like old Boston. Fed Cali some Milo’s chicken meatball treats then jumped back on the road. Finally reached Arkadelphia around 3:30 in the afternoon and exited the highway. Took a rural highway up to Iron Mountain campground on Degray Lake. It had some decent reviews, but when I got there I realized that not all reviewers think alike. It was 3:45 and the office staff had already bailed for the day. I drove in and the campsites were old asphalt that had crumbled and was not only uneven but far from level. One end of the campground was empty and the other end had a few campers spread about. For some reason, it just wasn’t appealing to me. It was up on the mountain far from the lake. I plugged Degray Lake State Park into the GPS and drove around to the other side of the lake and got site 80 on the end of the campground and near the marina.

Arkadelphia, not to be confused with Philakansas

Long day driving. Didn’t bother setting up right away. Took Cali for a excursion across the road to the boat ramp where some good old boys were pulling their boat out of the lake. “Any fish out there?” I asked. “Not as many as there was before, har har”. They inclined their motor and Cali pulled me over to the beach area on the side. Good to stretch the legs.

Went back and set up camp. Set out a mat and chair and ate a Caesar salad in the pleasantly warm afternoon air. A nice breeze was blowing through the trees and it was a comfortable spot to take a deep breathe and unwind from the day’s drive. I cooked up a chub of ground beef for Cali. The vet said to aim for 1100 calories a day. The fatty burger has 1300. At first she acted like she wasn’t going to eat it, but soon she was snarfing it down. I had a few bites so maybe she only got 1100 calories, but add that to the meatballs I gave her and the high calorie gel I squeezed between her squirming lips this morning and she has had a pretty good day.

We chilled in the camper for a while doing the books and checking e-mail then Cali made it clear she wanted to go for another walk just after the sun went down. I leashed her up and we stepped outside where the neighbor down the way was standing outside his camp. I asked about his little motorized electric scooters and that started the conversation rolling. Dan is ten years older than I, so once I mentioned having a new hip the conversation veered off into all of the aches and pains of old age. Cali and I started walking up towards the boat ramp and Dan was headed that way, so we had a stroll with our new pal until Cali found a good smelling patch of vegetation that needed a good sniffing and Dan went on ahead. Quiet night in the camper and outside. Laid back camping zone.

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