Walmart, Lonoke, Arkansas
I slept like the dead last night, I never heard a sound until 6 am CDT. It was so quiet at the Walmart and when I looked outside I noticed only 3 other rigs in the lot. It was a bit crisp but not bad probably somewhere around 45F/7C, but that is a guess.
|Greener and greener as we drove along east....|
We were both out of bed and starting to pack up the inside of the Igloo by 7:10 AM. We were both looking forward to getting on the road. I think we are both looking forward to a less wind prone area for a while. We were on the road by 7:35 AM.
Our plans had us leaving Texas and stopping in Benton, AR for the night. Benton is just west of Little Rock. That would be close to 300 miles/482 km for the day. A bit further than we're used to driving or than we like to drive. However Arkansas isn't too friendly when it comes to quick overnights stays, or maybe it's just the Arkansas Walmart's but either way, the ones that will allow you to park overnight are few and far between, and you can only park at a rest area if it's an emergency (such as truckers being due for sleep according to their log books). The skies were blue, the temps cool and the road was good, we of course were still going east on US 82. It goes down to a two lane highway with a few passing lanes but traffic backed up behind us as the speed limit was still 70 mph/112 km. We pulled off a few times to let folks pass but also to stretch and just get out of the Dogsled.
|Some of the views on the roads today....|
We passed a number of small towns and wide spots in the road. The drive was scenic and interesting. The grass is so green, the trees are leafing out, and there are blossoms everywhere. Gone are the flat lands and in view are more of the types of scenes we're used to with rolling farm land, sweeping valleys with houses perched atop the hills at the far end. Less sky and more vegetation. Did I mention how green it is? Did I mention the grass? Green Grass? We also noted some daffodils along the way but failed to get pictures. Interesting little towns with interesting little names, the advertisements and gimmicks are smart, cute and attention getting. The road was good, a bit rough here and there with one very rough patch (which I mention later), but overall everything was good.
|More views while on the road......those planes, one is landing at, and one took off from Clinton International Airport in Little Rock, AR.|
At noon we left Texas in the rear view mirror and headed into Arkansas. Two hours put us at the outskirts of Little Rock, a bit past Benton, our original stop. We instead opted to drive the extra 50 miles/80 km to Lonoke, Arkansas. Benton is on the west of Little Rock and Lonoke is on the east. We now do not have to concern ourselves with morning rush hour. So a total today of 352 miles/566 km, it took us 7 hours to drive including 3 stops of approx 10 minutes each. We consumed approx 27 gallons of fuel. We traveled on US 82 East, I-30 East, I-440 East, I-40 East. All good roads EXCEPT about 5 miles not far into ARKANSAS where I-40 was horrendous, I thought for sure certain we had two flat tires. The thumps, bangs and herky-jerky of the Igloo had me thinking something was seriously wrong. I was about to pull off to check (which I dislike doing on the Interstate) when I noticed the big rig in front of me slowing down as quickly as I was, as I slowed down I also noticed the noises and movements were less. I pulled over a bit but still kept moving and as soon as my tires were a bit out of the regular groove the noise pretty much went away. Then we came to a bridge and the noise went away completely, only to return once we were back on the pavement. Worry over, it's the roadway. After that little stretch the rest of the drive was good once again.
We scampered into Walmart to ask about overnight parking as there were no campers of any kind in the lot but it was full to overflowing with big rigs. It is the first time I've ever been asked if I'm in an RV or a big truck. When I said RV the lady said 'absolutely you may park overnight.' So I'm thinking come dark the big rigs will be out of here and gone. I even noticed a police car making the rounds of the lot about an hour after we arrived. We did a quick 'lunch' shop in the store before coming back and setting up the Igloo for the night. After lunch we headed back into the store to pay for our nights parking as last night we shopped only for the dry products we wanted, and saved the produce for today. Kind of makes me feel like I'm paying for staying, if you know what I mean.
|Love the Blossom, Texas ball. The small towns and of course Texarkana just at the Texas/Arkansas state line....|
Back outside we put away the groceries and finally sat down to rest. I had called my dad earlier to say we'd made it and were safely tucked away for the night. He was happy to hear from us and although we usually talk for about 15 minutes, my brother Rick was there so it was a quick chat.
|Some of the place names we noted today. You can even get to Atlanta, Georgia from Texas!!! That would be Paris, Texas as well.|
So tomorrow will be an easy day for us, less than 200 miles/321 km to our destination of Big Buck Resort in Tennessee. Even though the weather looks like rain ahead for many, many days we'll still enjoy our time there. We have a few things to do while in the area and hopefully the rain won't be too constant or heavy and we'll be able to get outside and enjoy some spring weather.
|Water towers from Texarkana, TX and Arkadelphia, AR. We have arrived in Arkansas, and of course passed through Emmet and Little Rock today as well.|
After that it was time to edit the pictures Riley had taken today through our streaked windshield. So please forgive the streaks and splotches in the pictures. That completed, time to write this post. As I write it is still warm and sunny, we have the big door open and the time is 6:40 pm CDT. It's actually pretty quiet with the door open, not too many vehicles going past. The noisiest part of the whole time we've been here is the big rig beside us with his engine running. We're hoping he wakes up soon and moves on. Not a refrigeration truck so it's just to keep the noise from bothering him while he sleeps and he's been here since we arrived. We had limited options of places to park as the entire front end of the lot was lined with big rigs, parked side by side and this was the only open slot available at the time. Many have moved out since we've been here, a few more have pulled in but also at least 2 more RV's are here, another 5'er like us, and a big Class A. I'm sure there will be more as we very close to I-40.
|We passed over the Arkansas River today. It's very large and seems to be a pretty busy river.|
So on that note, thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to drop a comment.
Until next time.... take care, be safe,