Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trip Travel - Part 2 (DeGray Lake, Caddo Valley, Ark)

OK, so after my last post of staying at a convience store/gas station on the night of May 25th, I moved on into Marshall, TX. Bad luck there. One incident happened on what I wish not to go into again...the other incident happened just a few blocks after getting gas. I hear a funny sound, then I hear thumping under the hood. OK, that's not right! So I pull over in a strip mall. Open the hood, strings? Huh? Oh crap, sepertine belt is disengrating!! That's not good. Can't drive anymore. So I go into a store for help, it's a holiday (of course), the girl at the store calls her mechanic. No luck. He doesn't answer, he's not working that weekend. And it's a Saturday to boot.

So my next decision is to talk to people in the parking lot..

Me:"Hi, are you from here" (yea, really dumb question coming from me as if someone asked me that, I'd run!).

A couple of folks, "yes, we do".

Me: Can you refer me to a mechanic?

Them: "No, no one is working this weekend, due to the holiday."

Me:  OK, thanks.

Finally, someone else pulls into the parking lot. He's stopping at the store for a new phone card. I ask him, he says, "Oh yes, I'll be right back! I'll go to the mechanic & talk to him!"  Do I trust this? What choice do I have otherwise? I can call my roadside service, but they'd have the same problems I'd have finding a mechanic on a holiday too. So I decide to trust that this guy will be back.

About 45 mins later, he returns! Yay! With a phone # for the mechanic. We call the mechanic, I get an answering machine, with an incomplete message. Kind of actually sounds like a bad fax machine. Bummer. So I hang up. Then mechanic calls  back! Good! We're in business. He comes out with his son. Sends his son to get a new serpetine belt AND a new power steering belt as well! Cool. Life isn't so bad after all. AND the man that was helping me stayed with me the entire time! We visited & spoke of family, he spoke of his wife & children. A really nice guy. He works for the commissioners office. Fortunately, I have bottles of water in my fridge, which I hand out to the mechanics & him.

So we get that job done. All in all, they only charge me $85, which includes both belts. Good & great that there are still really good people in this world! So I get back on the road, back on my way.

I've lost time, but I am once again, stupidly DETERMINED to make it to the Iron Mountain State Park at DeGray Lake, in Caddo Valley, ARK. And I make it there! Fortunately before the office closes too. No spaces!! NOOOO, that can't be!! I'm an idiot! I don't even take it into consideration that it IS a holiday weekend. DUH! They tell me that I can go to one of the boondocking sites & pay $10 a night for that. They only use those for emergencies & with the way I look, I guess I qualified for an emergency. I have less than a quarter tank of gas...not good for boondocking & needing to run the generator to keep the dogs cool! So I pull over & cry at one of the sites. I decide to move on because why pay for boondocking when I can find a WalMart after it cools down for free. But bummer. As I'm leaving the park, the lady runs out of the building & tells me I'm in luck! A cancellation! So I grab it for 3 nights! Yay! Now I can finally relax, take the dogs for walks & run the a/c!
Things are going well. Then on Monday, I hear a terrible noise! I'm thinking wow, someone is really doing something LOUD! I"m outside working under my awning. Then I realize that it's coming from INSIDE my RV! Uh oh...not good. A/C is making a horrific sound! So I shut it off. Turn on fans, wet the dogs down & climb up on the roof. Take the shroud off the a/c to see if there's any frost on anything. The fins are badly damaged from hail storms, so I sit up there & straighten every single one out with my hands. Clean up the unit, put the shroud back on. Climb down the ladder, turn the a/c back on. Sounds good for about 3 mins, then the horrible noise starts again! Crap! So now I can't use the a/c. But I have to stay there because it's early in the day & I need to keep the dogs cool with electricity, fans & water. (wait, that sounds a bit lethal huh?) BTW, it's 95 outside, no breezes. It's 95 inside, the only breezes are from fans...
So the next day, I leave early in the morning. So we can all benefit from the cooler outside air when I pull over to RV shops. NO ONE CAN HELP ME!!! I have very little, if at all, phone service there! So I get friends to call around for me. NOPE, no one can help me!! So I drive to Little Rock. Camping World. They'll take a look at it, if it's my fan motor, they can order me one & have it delivered to Missouri. Um, no thanks. They were $129 & it would have cost me another service fee at a different RV shop in Missouri. So I decided to drive straight to Missouri. Made it about an hour or so outside my destination, but it's now night. So I pull over for the night. Get to Beyerle's RV in some town in Missouri. I beg, plead, offer my first born (which I've not had yet & at this point in my life, it ain't gonna happen), so they say, OK, we'll take a look. I flip on the genny, I turn on the a/c. It's quiet. No horrific noises. So I tell them it'll take a few mins, I'll come get them. Nope, no more noise! So then I tell them it's like taking a sick dog to the vet -- you get there & the dog is fine! So we all figure that a mud dauber nest was probably in the squirrel cage & got dislodged on those rough roads getting there. As did the top panel of my fridge! Found it on the floor....but no biggie. It just popped back into place. But those roads were horrid!

So then I move onto Purina Farms, where the dog shows are. I'm finally glad to be settled somewhere for the next several days!!

Below are some pics of Ellie at DeGray at the campgrounds. $14 a night. Good deal! You get electricity, but you have to fill up with water when you get in if your tanks are empty. And you dump on the way out...or on the way in...or both like I had to do. I like to camp at the Iron Mountain section:

 Our campsite, site #54 I believe. Thanks soo much to the lady at the front & good timing for a change!

I didn't have any ground covers with me. I now have them, but didn't have any with me then. The ground did have weeds on it, but fortunately, they didn't seem to stick.

Views of the lake. I could walk down a short trail to the water to sit & watch the boats. There were boats everywhere. I took some pics, but haven't edited them yet.

Wildflowers everywhere.

My workstation. Day one, I finished up on some beading projects. The man of the family on the neighboring site kept staring at me, watching me. He was curious over what I was dragging outside in those black bags. It almost made me wish I had guns to clean or something just to see his look change! But I guess beads aren't very threatening huh?

My workstation day 2. Where I got on the internet just long enough to leave a post, then get dumped before I could post it! Could not get online again after that. Nor did I have any cell phone service here. A friend later asked me where I was as she hadn't heard from me. I told her I was in the woods on top of a mountain! And I was ;-)

From the lake looking up...can you find Ellie?

 Some of the other campsites.

 The view out my back window. BTW, I took the bike off my rack yesterday...totally flat tire. Bummer! The tube is not holding air. Bummer!

It's high time that Murphy go away now -- forever!!

~As always, be kind to your pets, clean up after them on your travels & respect your neighbor~


  1. Things can always get worse! Although the air conditioner was troublesome, I think that it getting better on it's own was good luck!

    A pretty place, good, flat tire, bad.

    Hope it is all good from ere on out.

  2. Yes Merikay, the a/c & getting the campsite for 3 nights was good luck. At least the flat tire is on my bike & not on the RV huh??!! Thanks, I hope all will be much better from here on out too...

  3. I think you must be relocating Murphy to a different part of the country. Maybe if you left early in the morning without announcing your plan he would miss the bus.

  4. You sure had a rocky start.

  5. You can always chalk it up to it being an adventure ... one best in the rear view mirror, lol.

  6. Stay away from anything beginning with the letter "M", as it might be you-know-who disguised and trying to do you-know-what! Good grief! Hoping the following days are better n' better!!

  7. All your bad luck ended with very GOOD luck!

  8. If all times for me ti be a zillion miles away! I could have been there in an hour to help!

    Glad you made it to your family!

    Murphy needs to take a hike!!!

    BTW the Going to the Sun Road is open! so excited..

    1. Typos due to iPhone ... always always hit an i for an o ... ;)

  9. Thanks all, I did all I could on the a/c at the time. What it needed was a good long drive over bumpy roads, well, that did do the trick!!


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