Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Eastward to the Land of Tom Sawyer

Monday, April 2nd, we continued our eastward trip on I-30 from Caddo Mills, Texas into the state of Arkansas. Interstate driving is supposedly faster but at the same time has more traffic and not as scenic as other roads. We noticed in Texas that whenever we crossed into another county the road surface changed. Is it that counties are responsible for the maintaining of all roads? When we entered into Arkansas the road became almost like the roads in Alaska with frost heaves making the motorhome bounce up and down. When we reached Little Rock I-30 ended and we connected with I-40. East of Little Rock we were in very slow stop and go traffic due to a 10 mile stretch of road construction. Initially we had planned to stop for the night about 30 miles east of Little Rock but we then decided to continue to Memphis, about 80 miles further. We had plans to stop at Cookville, Tn. our next night to visit a friend and thought this would put us in a better position for that trip, even though it made for a longer trip on this day- 400 plus miles. Our preference is to do about 300 miles a day. We stopped for the night at Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. We had been told about this park by some friends that had stayed here. What a wonderful location right along the Mississippi River where we are able to watch the river traffic.

Barges (we saw as many as 35 barges being pushed by a tug boat) pushed by towboats travel up and down this river day and night. We were told that last year this park was flooded most of the summer. Enjoying this campground and the river we decided to stay a second night here.
Today, Tuesday, we went on a shopping trip. Since we would not be getting home until Friday, hopefully, and we were planning on Todd, Beth and the 2 little kids being at our house on Sunday for Easter we needed to get to a store and do some shopping for Easter. Following the GPS we went to the closest mall in Memphis but then thought for what we wanted we would be better off going to a WalMart. So again the GPS guided us to the closest WalMart. Waiting in line to get checked out, the man ahead of us had placed bags of chicken on the conyeyor belt, some juices from the chicken leaked out onto the belt and the cashier did not bother to clean the belt. So we moved to another line. As we were waiting a man was restocking a Hershey candy display and Tom thinking he was a WalMart employee mentioned that the conveyor belt on the previous check-out line was in need of being cleaned. The man said that he was an employee of Hershey not Walmart and then asked us if we were from out of town. He told us that we were in a very bad neighborhood of high crime and that we should be careful. (GPS does not give this type of information). Tom then asked about places for good barbeque and he gave a couple recommendations. After returning our purchases to the motorhome we went out in search of barbeque. We located Rendevous in Memphis but that restaurant opens at 4:30pm for meals although we could have gotten ribs at this time so we passed. The Cozy Corner restaurant was another recommendation so following the GPS we found that restaurant. As the man at Walmart had said it was somewhat shabby looking but the food was really good. We had smoked sausage, baked beans and cole slaw. My only complaint was with the cutlery- cheap plasticware that made it very difficult to cut through the sausage. We also shared a banana pudding that this restaurant is known for and we agreed it was also very good.
The hot, dry weather has continued with our travels into Texas. In eastern Texas we began to feel the increased humidity. It was in the upper 80's yesterday when we got to this Memphis area and the humidity was felt. Today it is cloudy, had a few brief showers and the temperature is a cool 70 degrees.