After bidding a fond farewell to Lake Greeson, we headed west to Oklahoma. Within an hour, I was already tired and the wind was strong, making driving tough on Chuck. We decided to drive on to Queen Wilhelmenia State Park in Mena Arkansas, about 2+ hours north of Lake Greeson. It is beautiful there! It is perched on top of Arkansas's second tallest mountain! The 12 mile climb up from Mena was a bit challenging but Chuck handled it like a pro! He is really doing a great job leading the MotherShip to all these pretty campgrounds!
At the entrance to Queen W's State Park sat this train engine. I don't know why and I could find no information on the train at all, but it made for a couple of pretty pictures! :-)
At the top of the mountain sat this beautiful hotel built of rocks! Very nice and the rooms were very modestly priced! They also have an outstanding restaurant too! I still wasn't into cooking much as I still was recovering from my time in Hot Springs!
We didn't need to stay in a fancy hotel, after all, we had the MotherShip which is better than all the fancy hotels anywhere! The campground at Queen W SP was great and Chuck decided to stay 2 days to give me a bit more recovery time. I was in full agreement! Not many trails to hike here, the Reservoir Trail and Lover's Leap Trail. I didn't really feel much like hiking anyway, so Chuck and I sat around reading books for 2 days! Pete had convinced me how much he enjoyed his Kindle Reader so I got online and ordered one and had it sent to
Emily in Kansas!
We finally left Queen W's State Park and headed down the mountain. Once we arrived at the main
Highway 88, we found this neat old country store! Turns out the owners also know Larry and Betty Harmon and they serve a great breakfast besides! We ate breakfast, had great conversation with the owners (forgive me! I can't remember names now!) and I went outside to get a photo of their country store. Before I could get it in focus, the local law comes rolling in and Chuck gets in a conversation with him about the wind conditions west of us. WINDY! Well. we had several days of windy driving ahead of us!
By sticking to the back roads, you get to see all the fun things. I loved these water towers labeled Hot Warm and Cold! I wish I could remember the name of the town! It's in Oklahoma on Route 59N !
The next night found us camped in Grove OK. Nice campground, called Cedar Oaks Campground. But if you go there, take a back in site because all the pull thru sites are very narrow. So tight that when we put out our awning, it almost touched our neighbor's pull out! We were packed in like sardines there! When we left the next morning, we noticed that the area where they had back in sites had plenty of room, easily twice what we had!
Then Sunday night May23rd, we spent at Alabaster Caverns State Park in Freedom OK. As you can see from the above shot, we had the whole campground to ourselves! Chuck got to see the bats come out of the caverns just after dusk! We were going to tour the caverns the next day, but after finding out it was a 45 minute tour up and down lots of stairs... I decided not to do this tour this year. I was still to tender and still not much energy since the surgery in Hot Springs! We will very definitely be back to this campground. Even though we were the only ones there on this night, the campsites were huge and beautiful with trees and grass everywhere. We both enjoyed sitting outside listening to the sounds of nature there! (We love our anti-gravity recliners!)
On the advice of our friend Sherry Cavannaugh, our next stop was in Beaver OK. Chuck posed in front of the town's mascot Beaver holding of all things....
A Cow Chip! Seems like Beaver hosts the Cow Chip Throwing Championship of the world! Every year, they get bored and go throw cow chips to see who can throw them the furtherest! Think I'm lying? Click onto the photo and read the sign! HaHa!
We left Beaver OK and headed north into Kansas on highway 83N. I'm told that 83 goes from Canada to Brownsville TX. It is mostly a 2 lane road we travelled but the majority of the road is very good. But it did tell the story of how flat Kansas really is and of how windy it is here! We arrived in Oakley Kansas on Monday May 24th. Our friend Emily Ogle workamps there at High Plains Campground. Well, before we even got unhooked from the camper the wind showed me who was boss! I was trying to close the door against the wind when a sudden gust (weather said wind was gusting 65mph and I believe it!) grabbed the door and pulled me outside and threw me on the ground like a rag doll! I felt like I had dislocated my shoulder so off we went to visit the Oakley ER! Turns out, no breaks, no dislocations, I was very lucky! I have a bit of whiplash and scraped up back and bruised arm and shoulder but I am fine. All of this explains why there are no photos of Emily or of High Plains Campground. If you are ever in Oakley, it's a great campground with hot tubs, big pull thru sites and a great restaurant next door. Be sure if you go to the campground to tell Mary hi from us! We are now in Ellis Kansas,where Emily lives. The wind has died down and the campground here is beautiful. More about that on our next post! Just wanted ya'll to know what's going on in our corner of the world! Keep in touch! Geri, Chuck, Scotty and Doogie-Bowser.