Thursday, March 24, 2011

On The Banks of the Arkansas River

We had another pleasant driving day today.  Well, for the most part that is.  Everything was great except the road conditions.  I-40 is really beginning to deteriorate.  We had noticed that yesterday, but it wasn’t too bad in Tennessee. Once we hit the outskirts of Memphis it went steadily downhill.  There were sections which were very good, but others that were very bad.  Bad enough to make your teeth rattle and everything in your RV, as well.

For the second day the rest area we had picked out for lunch was closed.  We noticed a few closed rest areas last year, but we had not seen any so far this year.  We’re two for two on our lunch stops, we’ll see what happens when we’re next on the interstate.

Pyramid in Memphis

Again we waited until about 9 AM to start our drive this morning wanting to miss the worst of the rush hour traffic.  Traffic was moderately heavy as we drove through Memphis, but not awful.  Once across the Mississippi and into Arkansas, we stopped for gas.  The best price we have seen in a long time was at the Sam’s station next door to the Walmart where we parked last night--3.26.  However, they only sold gas to Sam’s Club members which we are not.  Instead, we got our gas at Flying J and paid 3.35.  Their diesel prices were 3.87 cash and 3.93 credit.

We arrived in North Little Rock about 2 pm and are parked for 3 nights at Riverside RV Park.  This is a city campground and is located right on the Arkansas River.  It’s a small campground with only about 40 sites.  Most are pull-thrus with full hook-ups.  We chose a back-in site with water and electric only.  With our Passport America discount, we’re only paying $9.90/night.  Not so bad.  The interior road is paved and everything else is gravel.  There’s not a blade of grass to be seen in the parking area.  However, on the bank of the river is a beautiful stand of grass and there are even benches for sitting and enjoying the river traffic (or the I-30 traffic, which ever you prefer).

Little Rock across the river

I’ll try to get out with the camera in the morning for some pictures of the campground.  The sun was at a bad angle this afternoon and I was busy with dinner as the sun began to set.

After we got set up we went out for a walk.  Right next door is the public boat launch and beyond that is the beginning of the Arkansas River Trail--a paved recreational trail which runs along both sides of the river for eight miles.  This was the route of the Trail of Tears--the massive Indian removal under the direction of Andrew Jackson.  There are interpretative signs along the river denoting that Native American tragedy.

We’re settled in here for three nights. Tomorrow, we want to visit the State Capitol   Building and the Old State House and Museum.  Saturday will be a visit to the Clinton Presidential Library.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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