Setting out for Arkansas

This was the morning that we woke up and acted on yesterday’s decision to pull back and chase toads. Instead of driving a thousand miles back to the familiar surroundings of Second Chance Ranch (and doing our shopping there), we pointed Ernie east and covered ground toward Arkansas.

It was the longer of the two days we’re taking to get there. In Oklahoma City we jogged from I-40 to I-44 and headed in the direction of Tulsa. As we departed the Red Bed Plains and entered the Sandstone Hills, I got the distinct impression that we were gradually climbing — and for a while we were, actually ending up at a lower elevation than the one we left.

Last night’s storms cleared the air. The winds today were moderate and manageable. The roads were, for the most part, smooth, and traffic was pretty typical of a Sunday. On a pretty damned perfect day we had only two hiccups.

The first annoyance was road construction in Tulsa, which for miles had me playing high-speed thread-the-needle between concrete barriers. The second came while filling with diesel at the Love’s in Big Cabin — the pump nozzle didn’t shut off when it should’ve. It came flying out of Ernie’s filler tube like a Saturn V off the pad, spraying fuel everywhere before I could stop it.

The result was a first-class mess. I paid for probably two or three gallons that didn’t go into the bus.

In spite of all that, this was a good travel day — very good. We drove our pace, relaxed and relaxing. The scenery was pleasant, a lot greener than most of what we’ve seen lately.

Tonight’s campground in southwest Missouri is, well, adequate. It’s not polished and the grounds aren’t very well kept up. The hookups are ok and our pad’s level, though, which I guess are the most important things.

We have shade, too, and a view of the woods through Ernie’s windshield. Since we’re here for only one night — and because we’ll have long-term full hookups beginning tomorrow — we decided to connect just the electric and put out two of the three slides.

We’ll knock back the rest of the miles in the morning and by noon we’ll be back in Arkansas. We’re looking forward to that.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

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