We want to live on a lake. That is why we started this convoluted, continual camping trip! This deranged desire has caused us to do some fairly idiotic things, like selling a perfectly wonderful home and moving into a truck. We’ve been vagabonds for nine months. There have been countless sacrifices made to obtain this dream. Above all, I miss being in regular, close proximity to my family. I also, wholeheartedly, miss my washer and dryer. I never thought I would find myself yearning for major appliances, but I want my Whirlpool!!!!
I digress. Despite mourning my Maytag, we are still lusting after the lakefront life. So, we have been practicing, planting ourselves on some rather remarkable RV sites in Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Lake Charles State Park in Powhatan, Arkansas has a great number of lakefront sites. In fact, it is hard to find a site that does not include, at a minimum, a scenic lake view.
The park offers hiking, but mid-summer must be spider season in Northeast Arkansas. We trudged through web, after sticky web, emerging from the trail looking like an episode of The Munsters, with tangles of spun silk haphazardly hanging from our hiking togs. Looking at each other, we made an enlightened, unanimous decision to find a less arachnid-filled activity.
If it were not for the unique opportunity to observe turtles mating, which isn’t easy with all of that shell getting in the way, this walk through the woods may have been a total bust.
After washing off the webs, we headed to the nearby town of Pocahontas for a little urban hiking. Urban is a bit of a stretch, but it is a quaint town with some interesting history.
It was here that CSA Brigadier General Jeff Thompson, known as “The Missouri Swamp Fox”, who led raids all over the swamps of Northeast Arkansas, was captured by the Union Army at the St. Charles Hotel on August 22, 1863.
Henry Morton Stanley, of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” fame, joined the 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment in Pocahontas. After being taken prisoner following the Battle of Shiloh, he joined the Union Army.
Pocahontas is also the type of small town that still has a pay phone, and a number of charming shoppes, including one that bears the name of our Gypsy Girl.
After leaving Pocahontas, we walked through the Davidsonville Historic Park. Davidsonville, which was on the frontier in the early 1800’s, was founded by some businessmen who hoped to find wealth in land speculation. It was Arkansas’ 1st county seat, but its existence was short lived, lasting only from 1815 until 1830. Transportation in and out was difficult, and the Black River could not be contained, causing ceaseless flooding conditions.
We trekked onward to Tennessee, where we found a fabulous site at Natchez Trace State Park. This ten-acre park has 208 campsites, cabins, a lodge, and an Inn and Conference Center. There are over 23 miles of hiking trails and it is home to FOUR lakes. If it were not for the complete lack of cell service, this may have been my favorite campsite of all times. No cell service is a deal-breaker. I got a quick “ring” one night, and recognized it was the ringtone for my son. I, being an anxious (meaning nervous wreck) mom & grandma, jumped out of bed in my pajamas. I drove the truck several miles, sans license, until I had enough Verizon signal to make a call. It turns out that my son merely butt-dialed me. Sigh.
While in the Jackson, Tennessee area, we ventured to Parker’s Crossroads, a Civil War battlefield on which infamous Confederate, General Nathan B. Forrest, utilized some unorthodox strategies to thwart a Union attack and to evade capture.
On December 10, 2021, a six-mile wide tornado passed through Natchez Trace State Park. It caused heavy damage to roughly 1,400 acres of forest land. The land is still being cleared of this debris.
At Lake Nolin, near Leitchfield, Kentucky, we again found ourselves in a lovely lakeside sight. We did have to make a supply run, but have still found time to enjoy some floating around and a Scrabble Game or two. It is also noteworthy that Gypsy, who is not yet 1-1/2 years old, has now peed in 33 states.
Due to the unprecedented flooding in Eastern Kentucky, we have had to re-route a portion of our trip. Our hearts go out to all families that have been impacted by this relentless deluge.
On to West Virginia and Virginia, and finally back home for a brief stint.