"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Slow Week

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Awoke this morning the the sounds of heavy thunder.  We have been wishing for a nice rain since returning from Arkansas last week.  The grass needs cutting, but as there’s  more bare spots than  grass in parts of our yard, it’s nice to have a rain to settle the dust.  Received a nice shower, along with some tremendous lightning and thunder. Had Sally hiding under the bed.  All gone now, so will spend the rest of the day on the John Deere.

Otherwise, not much happening around the home site.  Spent a few hours cleaning the Casita, preparing for getting on the road again.  Heading out for the big city of Crockett, TX.  Another Casita/FGRV rally.  Nearly a hundred rigs registered.  Should be a great time together.

We did find out what this little fellow was.

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He is destined to become a Spicebush Swallowtail. Isn’t nature amazing?


Thanks to all who have commented on various posts the past few days.  Also to those who have chosen to follow us on blogger.  My “my blogs”  list gets longer and longer with each passing day as I find more fascinating  sites to read.  Ya’ll keep up the good work.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arkansas Gold and the Mayan Calendar


While on our way to Ft. Smith we stopped for the night near Conway, Arkansas.  Shortly  after getting the chairs out to enjoy the view,  a young man from a site behind us wandered over and begin to ask about the Casita.  It seems most folks have never seen one and have all kinds of questions about it.  Does it have a bed? A bathroom? How long can you travel together in there, etc.  We usually just ask if they would like to see inside. After a short tour,  most walk away surprised, as this young man started to do.

As he was walking away, he turned and asked “do you look for gold?”  Surprised by the question, I said no, and also that I didn’t think there was any gold to be found in the state of Arkansas.  That’s when it got weird.

He fixed me with a stare, looked over both shoulders to see if anyone else was around, and said:  since you don’t know me,  and I don’t know you,  and we’ll probably never see each other again,  I guess I can tell you!

  He then started telling this story.

When I was a boy a neighborhood gentleman (old uncle Tom) came by and told my mom that he was going to take me for a ride.  I was about  9 or 10 years old at the time.  We loaded up in his old pickup truck, bout a 62 or 63 Ford, and took off.  He drove for a long time, then turned off the main road and down a narrow logging trail. Eventually we reached a creek and I thought we were going fishing.  We got out and began walking.  When I asked about fishing poles, he said we didn’t come to fish.  Just come on.

We walked upstream for a mile or two and came to a large waterfall.  We then climbed up to the top, and there were three creeks coming together to make the one stream over the falls.  Uncle Tom said to pay particular attention to which creek we followed as the others dried up after a ways.  We took the middle one.  Soon, we came to a large cave, of which the stream was pouring out the mouth.

Another look over both shoulders, and a check skyward for the black helicopters.

You know what was in that cave?  Buildings, like at that Mesa Verde place.  And that’s not all.  There was gold laying around on the ground. Lots of it.  I picked some up and put it in my pocket.  And artifacts; you know, Indian stuff.  I picked up some of them, too, and put them in my other pocket.  But the most amazing thing was the footprints.  Footprints in the rock. Like human footprints, but with 6 toes, and a rear claw.

I smiled and said something to the effect of, you’re kidding, right? Another look around and he continued.

No way! I took my gold and sold it. Got $6.48 for it.  Took some of the artifacts over to the University of Central Arkansas.  I thought they was going to keep them when I wouldn’t tell them where they came from.  They said they had never seen anything like them.  And then, when I told them about the footprints and the gold, they went ballistic.  They said that I had to tell them in the name of science.  They wanted to know who owned the land, but I told them I didn’t know, probably National Forest.  They then again told me I had to tell, but I didn’t.  Got to get back there and get that gold.  Got all the information in my GPS.

I then told him that he should file a claim on the gold and let the researchers in.  A find like that could rewrite the history of North America, if not the World. He then said:

I’ll tell them on December 22, 2012.  You know, the Mayan calendar says the world ends on December 21, and if it does, it won’t matter.  If it doesn’t, then I’ll tell them where to find it.  I’ll have all the gold out by then.

Another close look around, high and low, and he walks away.  Wanda and I look at each other and say WHAT? 

He was, without a doubt, the best bull******* I’ve ever met; or the nuttiest.  Maybe he just liked to see peoples reactions to his tales.

So there you have it.  If, sometime after December 22, 2012, when the news breaks about a new prehistoric find in Arkansas, you can say that you knew it was coming.

OBTW! Did I mention the Crystal Skull?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More on River Valley FGRV Rally


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Didn’t take many pictures during the rally, itself.  It was a more a gathering of friends than an organized rally and everyone seemed to enjoy the informality.  We had some light rain on Friday and Saturday, but it didn’t stop folks from visiting around and sharing a little lagniappe.

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It “was” a full pot of delicious gumbo.  It’s always nice to have someone from South Louisiana around.  Especially someone who loves to cook.


One of the things I like about Arkansas is riding the back roads.  You never know what you will find.  I love all the old towns and crossroad communities with their stone buildings.


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You can round a curve and find yourself looking down on a huge river valley.

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Or a herd of buffalo, hundreds of miles from Yellowstone.

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I don’t even know what to call this little fellow.  Showed up on our doorstep, Saturday, during the rain.  Thought he looked like a clown.  Hope he turns into something beautiful.

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Sunday afternoon the thunderheads starting building to the West and around dark they let loose an awesome display of lightning and Thunder.  It lasted for a couple of hours, and put a quick stop to all the card playing in the pavilion.

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Awoke Monday morning to no electricity due to a transformer being hit by lightning.  Decided to hook up and make our way back home for a few days.  Pine Knot Rally in two weeks.  Egg’ll be rolling again………………jc

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miss Laura's Social Club

Only in Ft. Smith, AR would you find the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in an old house of prostitution.  In fact they not only converted it into their offices, they also created a museum to the working girl.

The downstairs had been remodeled into the way it looked around the year 1900, or so. There were different displays about the girls and the clientele.

The gentleman's waiting lounge.

The upstairs was a mixture of modern day offices and museum.  You must have been special to get your name etched in glass above your door.

A typical room, or two.

Traveling day.  If you look closely, you can see part of a modern office through the doorway on the left.

He apparently left in a hurry to forget his hat.

One of the more unusual museums we have visited.  Very informative and fun.  And all we were looking for was the Visitor Center.................................................jc

Thursday, September 15, 2011

River Valley Egg Rally

Arrived in the Ft. Smith, AR area on Tuesday afternoon.  A lot of eggs already scattered around Springhill COE campground. Another nice facility with lots of room between sites and W/E for $10.00.
As I was downloading a few pictures I took today, there were a couple left over from Toad Suck.  Thought I would post those also.

A shot of falling moonbeams!!

And the results!!!

On to more believable things.  Did a tour of the old Ft. Smith this morning.  Ft. Smith was at the center of all the different Indian policies in the early 1800's and played a major part in the enforcement of law within the Indian Territories.  It was home to the Western most Federal Court at the time and the site of trial and judgement for many individuals

It was presided over by Judge Isaac Parker. Known as the "hanging judge" he heard over 13,000 cases and sentenced 160 to death by hanging.  Below is a shot of his courtroom and a replica of the gallows where the most violent criminals met their fate.

There was also a replica of the jail in the exact location, and different displays about the deputies which risked life and limb traveling in the Indian territory to arrest the criminals.

Another building on the property was used as a commissary

Back at the RVER, there was a catered dinner tonight which was well attended.  Lots of visiting with old and new friends.  Looking forward to more tomorrow.

More on the rally, and the area in te next post.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toad Suck, Arkansas


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The evening finds us at Toad Suck Campground on the Arkansas river, near Conway, Arkansas.  A very nice COE facility.

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The story goes that back in the days of steamboats on the river, the boats would have to tie up here to wait for higher water to proceed on upriver.  There was of a course a tavern nearby, and it’s said that the crews would “suck on the bottles till they swelled up like toads”.

Since that time the name has been used for a ferry, tavern, settlement, community, and finally, a lock and dam on the river.

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We watched towboats passing through the locks and had a very nice evening. A good place to spend the night.  S10.00 water and Electric……………..jc