Sunday, May 07, 2006

Retirement trip has begun

Wednesday, May 3, 2006


Our first stop was Suwannee River State Park campground, off I-10, near Live Oak, FL. It was 290 mile from home. Cost of camping and day use of the park was $16.35. Campground is wooded and there is nice buffer of trees between campsites. We walked the dogs along the Suwannee River trail and found a spring that feeds into the river. No alligators in the stream so we let Gopher go for a swim.
Thanks to the NEXT EXIT Book, we found the cheapest gas available. Stopped for gas, $2.73/gallon. Cost to fill up the motor home with 44 gallons of gas was $121 at a Pilot station.

Thursday, May 4th: We headed farther west to Black Water River State Park near Holt, Fl not far from Pensacola. It boasts “one of the purest sand bottom rivers in the world”. Price of camping $13.14. We saw signs for canoe float trips. The outfitter takes you up river and then you paddle down and they pick you up at the end. The campers near us said it was a beautiful trip with lots of white sand bars to stop at if you want. The sand along the Black Water River is very fine and when you walk on it the sand, squeaks’ like the powered sugar sand at Destin and Pensacola. The water is clear and we found a place for Gopher to get wet. Gator warning signs are posted in several places. The wood footpaths were elevated over cypress swamps, which are home to gators and snakes. On our way back to I-10, we came across State Road #1. Built in 1921. Paved with brick.

Friday, May 5th: Left Florida at 8:52am. Entered Mississippi at 9:56am. We found a Circuit City and stopped to buy a “gadget” that plugs into the cassette player so the Sirius radio can play through the car radio speakers. Went to Hattiesburg MS, and stayed at the Paul B Johnson State Park. It’s on a large lake. Right now it’s home to about 50 FEMA trailers. People displaced by hurricane Wilma. We are in a new section that just open this morning. Not quite what we were hoping for.
Filled up with gas. $2.759/gallon, total was $96.76. Found a Wal-Mart on the way in and did some shopping. We had fried chicken fingers and honey barbecue nuggets with Cole slaw and potato salad. My kind of lunch, I bought so much we ate it for dinner too.

Saturday, May 6th: Left around 7:30am for Lake Chicot State Park near Lake Village, Arkansas. Stopped in Jackson, Ms for a rest break at the local high school. Found a great breakfast /bakery. The Do-Nut Shop & Bakery. They had a breakfast buffet for $5.99. Carol bought one buffet & a bagel & coffee for $8. Enough for both of us. Crossed the Mississippi River at 10:48am. Stopped at the Louisiana State Welcome Center for a rest & to pick up a map. Carol met a truck driver with a long hair black & brown daushund. Passed through Transylvania, MS. They had a bat painted on the town water tower. Drove next to the levy along the Mississippi river all the way to Lake Village, AR. Saw cotton & corn fields, pecan tree groves and cotton warehouses and lumber mills. Lots of very small towns. IGA grocery stores. Went into a bakery in Lake Providence, AR. There were three Amish ladies with black hair nets & long dresses sitting in front of the bakery having a snack. Didn’t get any bread. By this time of the day, 12:15pm, everything but the plain white bread was gone. Sonic Drive In’s are popular around here. Most towns have one. Rained most of the way from about Lake Providence until we got to Lake Chicot S.P. Arrived at Lake Chicot SP at 1:30pm. The weather forecast is for rain for the next two days so we decided to stay here for two days to avoid having to drive in the rain. This is a nice place. On an old oxbow of the Mississippi River that was cut off when the river changed its course many years ago. It’s “situated in a grove of majestic wild pecans ringed with cypress trees literally “up to their knees” in water along the nation’s largest natural oxbow remnant”. Our campsite has a beautiful view of the lake. Rained on & off all day. This reminds us of Okee-Tanti Campground in Okeechobee. Mostly fisherman.

Sunday, May 7:
Decided to move on. Right mow we’re at the Willow Beach Corps of Engineers campground outside of Little Rock, AR. On the Arkansas River.

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