Friday, 6 April 2018

The First Leg...kind of nice, really.

Oh hell...oh!  Hi again and here we are, back on the road.  Me, slightly huddled on the tailgate of the truck soaking up the sun on my back through several layers of clothes, using the rest of the truck as protection from the wind.  Yes, we have made it back to cold.  After an amazing three days at Millwood lake in Arkansas, we mosied our way over to Tennessee to this here Natchez Trace State Park, before we make our way on to our next destination...over there yonder.  Abby, Macy and I have been practicing our accents and nuances to fit right in, wherever we are.  I have noticed Abby’s saying more often “God bless America” as an expletive, followed shortly behind by Macy’s “well just dig a hole and roll me in...I’ve seen it all…”.  Those two...
A beautiful night on an Arkansas lake (Millwood)

Despite, so far, being located next to nothing at our destinations, we have still had an abundance of gratitude.  Millwood Lake, is a haven for fisher-folks and anyone just wanting to sit around and be perfectly lazy.  I prefer the former, but practiced the later, having brought no fishing gear on this trip (not sure why not).  We prefer to hike a trail, but alas, due to heavy rains before our arrival, our trails were mostly washed out.  So I had to learn to just “be”.  Nearly impossible.  Abby relieved some of my pain by finally locating a brewery for us to visit.  Fantastic!  Except it put us BACK in Texas.  Pecan Point Brewing in Texarkana, promotes itself as brewery and gastropub.  While plenty enjoyable, these points are arguable, having (at the time) no in-house brews and my hamburger was well out performed by one a few days later at a bait shop within a mile of our campsite….still thinking about it….that was a damn good burger and can be found at ‘Hooked Up’ Bait and More in Ashdown, Arkansas if you ever, for any reason, which I can not think of other than fishing on Millwood Lake, find your way in that neck of the woods.  When we got home, Abby furthered my R&R experience by introducing me to a contraption called a “hammock”.  Lying in a hammock, in the sunshine, on the lake, with a cool breeze, watching people fish...ain’t a bad way to kill a few hours.  Education, absorbed.
camp at Millwood Lake, Ashdown, Arkasas

Now we are in Tennessee, experiencing Natchez Trace State Park.  I am freezing my butt off….but not really.  I know how to wrangle the sunshine like a dream catcher processes dreams.  We arrived in a storm last night.  The frogs calling out the discourse while we set up camp.  The storm escorted a cold front, which left our weather perfectly beautiful, but chilly about five hours later.  We still got a good hike in this morning and another planned for tomorrow.  Arriving in a storm was worth the couple of stops we made getting here.
Abby, sportin' an aqueduct on our hike

My first trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas was bountiful.  While it did not consist of any experience of hot springs (which I have enjoyed near our property in Colorado) or cigar smoking like a gangsta’, it did consist of a brewery renovated from one of the original bathhouses. Superior Bathhouse Brewery and Distillery not only had a pleasant vibe which left me not really wanting to leave, but yet another introduction.  Abby ordered a giant pretzel that came with a horseradish sauce (“horsey sauce” we Walkers have always called it), a delicious grainy mustard and of course a beer induced cheese sauce that was not thick and gooey, but rather light and oh my gosh delicious.  How well did this snack of giant pretzel thingy go with my beer flight? Amazingly!  I could do that every day.  Out with high tea -  In with giant pretzel and good beer o’clock!  What a great break from the road trip to Tennessee from south-east Arkansas.  Arriving near our park in Tennessee, we stopped in Jackson, Tennessee for local brew and pizza from a place called ‘Rock'n Dough Pizza’ and Brewery. The beer was great (I had the “Strong Silent Type Blonde...well, just because) and the pizza was spot on..  We stopped off next door at the little local grocery store for salad makings tonight.  I am looking forward to it. Evening snack popcorn has already been popped….dinner of antipasto style salad and hot showers on the way… the book we’re reading in queue.  Looking forward to a peaceful night.
Superior Bathhouse Brewery, Hot Springs, Arkansas

We are a different style of camper… the kind that leaves plenty of room for gratitude, as we are likely going to go looking for it, rather than sitting around complaining.  No, we are not 3rd world travelers doing good works and not posh seekers of every amenity.  Just your average persons, reporting on the typical experience across America as we come to find it from one simple camp spot to the next, hoping to encourage others to get back into it also. The camping I remember from childhood, on steroids. How else do you get in touch with an owl up close and personal that is rehabbing from an injury?  Or learn about how our country developed through travel and colonization?
Antipasto Salad in the Eggcellence

That being said, I am now writing within the walls of the Jackson, Tennessee Public Library.  I have so much research to do from our simple travels so far, plus of course, publishing this blog.  We had a delightful meal last night of pork shish-kabob with lots of good grilled veggies and Abby turned the leftover grilled veggies into yet another amazing breakfast.  A rainy forecast for us the remainder of the day; tomorrow we head on to our next destination.  I am looking forward to my research this morning in this library.


  1. Are y'all ever gonna head to Iowa? The Quad Cities are beautiful, and right on the Mississippi. Plus, I would get to meet Anne and catch up with my old college pal!!!

    1. I would love to go on a Michigan, Minnesota, down the mississippe river loop... probably not 2018, but who knows :-)

  2. It really sounds like though it's cold you are having great fun! Will you write a book about your travels? Have fun on your next leg!

    1. We are planning several coordinating projects, including a travel type book.