Rambling Westward

When I last wrote, I was camped by the J. Percy Priest Lake in Tennessee. Not long after posting, the sky turned orange and I was able to capture this magnificent sunset on the lake. Some of you have already saw it on Facebook.

The following day I drove to Memphis to stay with my good friends Shelly and Kevin.

Besides letting me do my laundry and enjoy their very nice shower, they gave me a tour of Memphis and took me to their favorite barbecue place. Who woulda thunk that barbecue spaghetti is absolutely delicious. (I forgot to take my camera with me, but I grabbed these shots on my way out of town the next day.) I was able to see the tail end of one of the famous ducks at the Peabody Hotel as he was getting onto the elevator.

We walked around the Bass Pro Shop so I could see the four live alligators.

We also saw the studio where Elvis made his first million-copies record.

Heading to Little Rock, Arkansas, to visit Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, I took the M bridge over the mighty Mississippi.

(“Mississippi” is as much fun to type out with my thumbs as it is to spell out loud.)

Little Rock is as much about celebrating the 42nd President (streets, parks and government centers are all named after Clinton) as it is about honoring the civil rights movement and desegregation. The exhibit transported me to my senior year at Pasadena High School.

Continuing through central Arkansas, I reached Hot Springs National Park early enough to obtain a campsite in their campground.

Once I had the ticket attached to the post, I was free to drive away and into the town of Hot Springs ten minutes away. The whole tourist street is one block long. I could walk up the “Row” with Annie in tow.

Neither of us were able to enjoy the baths, but strolling up the Magnolia tree-lined street was delightful.

The old bath houses that have been preserved as the National Park line the east side of the street. Commercial store fronts and restaurants line the west side.

This is the fountain where people can still fill up their water jugs with mineral water.

There is also a drive to the top of a hill.

Crossing into Oklahoma, I made it to Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Plenty of camping spots were available near its Lake of the Arbuckles for the night.

It was actually better to be slightly away from the children screaming in the lake, but close enough for Annie and me to take a nice walk the next morning.

It took only a couple hours to drive through the park. The main point of interest is the Bromide Pavilion. (Forgot to take a photo using my iPhone.) Once upon a time, in the early 1900s, trains brought health seekers to enjoy these mineral-rich waters. According to the ranger, the park had more visitors during those days than Yellowstone.

There was also a great nature center.

While in the town of Sulphur, where the park is, I was able to find a mechanic to check Ramsey’s fluids before facing the deserty stretch ahead of me through New Mexico and Arizona. SHE found everything in order and told me where to fill up on propane, which I also needed to do.

Thank goodness, because the tiny towns I have been driving through today would not have had what I needed. I’ve crossed onto Texas, where I plan to visit the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument near Amarillo.

Needing a place to stay on the way, I used my trusty app, AllStays, to find the only camping place around, Lake GreenBelt. It is another reservoir. It took me several dead end roads to find the Marina, where for $5, I purchased a license to park Ramsey “anywhere I liked.” So here I am perched atop a little mound overlooking the lake. I’ve had my cheese and tomato quesadilla and an ice cream that I also purchased at the marina store. I can’t post this blog entry until tomorrow because I only have one bar of cell service, which won’t download my photos.

Back to rambling.

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