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HAPPY THANKSGIVING…Columbus, MS, Stock Car Races, and Troy, AL

Thursday, 11/24/2011

Deer Run RV Park

Troy, AL

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!  Terri and I hope that all of you are having/have had a wonderful holiday.  This is always a day of reflection for me with so many blessings to be thankful for, way too many to begin to list here.  This is the beginning of a new tradition for us.  For many years, Terri and I would fly down to Texas to spend the holiday with my parents until my Dad passed away.  We continued to fly down there every year to be with my Mom.  Then after she passed away, we started a new tradition with some friends in Richmond.  One year we would have them over, the next year they would have us over, and we would alternate each year.  We all got very comfortable with this arrangement, and it seems really strange to not be spending the day with them this year.  So now, we start a new tradition.  We’re going to the park’s Thanksgiving Potluck today.
turkey 2
Here’s an update on where we’ve been and where we are right now.  After spending Tuesday at Graceland, we headed southeast towards Columbus, MS, on Wednesday, the 26th of October, to Parkwood RV Park
Parkwood is a small campground with only eighteen sites.  We were in a spacious pull through site with full hookups.  I did a lot of internet research on this park’s location, and I’m glad I did.  It’s located at the end of a dead-end street.  Even with the signs that were posted, I probably would not have ventured down this street if I hadn’t researched it ahead of time.  Most of the sites are occupied by “long-timers.”  It was a quiet park except for the highway traffic noise during the daytime.  It’s conveniently located to Wal-Mart and other stores and restaurants.  We stayed four nights.  We went to Columbus so that I could go to the stock car races at the Magnolia Motor Speedway, also known as “The Mag.”
The pictures of the track were taken on Thursday night.  It was just a night for practice only, no actual racing, with free admission.  It was rather cold, and not too many people turned out to watch the practice session.  The track is only about ten minutes away from the campground.  I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings over at the track while Terri stayed at the campground.  She’s not a race fan, and we determined many years ago that it was better that I attend the races by myself.  We drove around town a couple of different days but really didn’t do anything noteworthy.  We did go to Wal-Mart, and we also stopped and got a dozen of our favorites.
I didn’t take a picture of the actual donuts because I forgot, and they didn’t really stay around long enough anyway.
Saturday afternoon, the 29th of October, I started getting ready for an early Sunday departure.  I dumped the tanks, added some fresh water, and then disconnected and put away the water hose and sewer hose.  I also hitched up the truck to the trailer and checked and adjusted all the tire pressures.  As some of you know, we usually don’t get a very early start on travel days.  Often times we don’t leave until very late, late morning.  I wanted to get to our next stop on Sunday in time to see the NASCAR race at Martinsville on TV, so with that incentive we left the campground Sunday morning just before 7 AM.  That’s really early for us.  Including a stop for diesel and a couple of other quick stops, we got to the campground just a bit after noon, checked in, and got all set up with about a half hour to spare.  It seemed really strange to be done traveling for the day that early.  We both agreed that we liked it and will probably try for earlier departures in the future.
The campground we travelled to is Deer Run RV Park
located about six miles north of Troy, AL, on U.S. Route 231.  We learned about this campground through our friends’ blog.  Jim & Linda stopped here in September on their way south.  They gave the park a good report, and so we decided to give it a try.  We arrived on Sunday, the 30th of October, and decided to stay through the month of November.  They have a really good monthly rate here, and we decided to take advantage of it.  The park is really nice, the people here are very friendly, and we’ve enjoyed our stay here so far.  In fact, on Wednesday, the 16th of November, we decided to extend our stay through December.  Every Tuesday, they have a potluck meal.  The first week was supper, the next week breakfast.  It alternates back and forth every week.  We’ve attended two of the suppers, but not the breakfast yet.  We were told, though, that the breakfast had lots of good food, so we may have to get ourselves moving next Tuesday to try it out.  I’ll take some more pictures of the park and do a more extensive blog post about it soon.  We haven’t really done too much since we arrived here.  Just day-to-day things, relaxing, and enjoying the milder temps.  Montgomery, Dothan, and Enterprise are all places we want to go to and explore.  Hopefully I’ll be able to post about some of those adventures soon too.

Graceland, Memphis, TN, Home of ELVIS!!!

Tuesday, 10/25/2011

Harrah’s Casino Mid-South RV Park

Robinsonville, MS

We headed north from the casino campground up to Graceland in Memphis, TN, the home of ELVIS.  We had considered staying at the Graceland RV Park & Campground right across the street from Graceland but decided instead to remain at the casino campground.  I didn’t really want to negotiate the rig through the city and deal with all the traffic.  In retrospect, it wouldn’t have been that bad.  However, by staying at the casino we did end up saving a bit of money, even though we had to pay to park at Graceland.  The Graceland experience was well worth it.  It was very interesting, informative, and entertaining.  Elvis made 31 movies as an actor.  I didn’t realize he had starred in so many feature films.  Perhaps they should have a movie theater showing these films.  There is actually a lot of exhibits to see, and I suggest that you try to get there as early in the day as possible.  We didn’t arrive until late in the morning, and we stayed almost to closing.  We probably could have stayed another couple of hours.  I wanted to take more pictures, but I ran out of memory and didn’t have a backup memory card with me.  Here are some of the photos from our visit to Graceland.
The living room…
Elvis’ mother’s bedroom and bathroom…
The dining room, including color console TV…
The kitchen, with a close-up of the carpeting…
The music room in the basement…
The jungle room including carpeted ceiling…
The trophy room with a close-up of his Grammy awards…
This piano is in the racquet ball building.  He actually sang and played this piano the morning of the day of his death…
That’s it for the photo tour.  There was much more to see and experience, but unfortunately no more photos.  We both really enjoyed our visit to Graceland and recommend it to anyone who is an Elvis and/or rock and roll fan.  By the way, this is a great time of year to go to Graceland with the cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.

Carthage, MO, to Russellville AR, to Robinsonville, MS

Monday, 10/24/2011

Harrah’s Casino Mid-South RV Park

Robinsonville, MS

We ended up staying seven nights at Prairie Band Casino RV Park near Holton just north of Topeka, KS.  We liked the RV park and the rate of just $13.13 per night with our Camp Club USA discount.  We may have stayed a bit longer, but the discount was only good for seven nights.  We didn’t really do much during the week.  We went to Holton, KS, a couple of times to Wal-Mart.   One day we ventured in to Topeka, KS, to pick up a few things at the Wal-Mart Super Center and PetSmart.  Otherwise, it was just rest & relaxation.

Wednesday, the 19th, we moved down to Carthage, MO, just east of Joplin.  We stayed two nights at the Coachlight RV Park.
We just stayed here as a stopping point on our way south.

We drove over to the Downstream Casino RV Park just across the state line in Quapaw, OK, to check it out.  The first three nights are actually free with water and electric hookups and a dump station nearby.  We considered staying here a night or two, but there are only twenty three sites and when we were there only a couple sites were available.  We didn’t want to take a chance going over there and not have a site available.  It would be a good stopover when traveling through the area, and the price is right too.

Friday, the 21st, we left Coachlight RV Park and headed south down to Russellville, AR, to Outdoor Living Center RV Park for three nights. 
This is a small park with very tight sites and full hookups.  There was a motorhome parked next to us the first night.  They left on Saturday, and a fifth wheel moved in.  As you can see in the pictures below, the fifth wheel wasn’t parked on the site very well.  The right side tires were actually in the grass instead of on the gravel.
To their benefit, I hadn’t hooked up our sewer hose yet.
That’s the sewer hookup right there by their “Welcome” mat.  As a courtesy to them, I dumped the tanks at one point while they were gone, but I didn’t leave the hose hooked up.

Friday night we went to Cracker Barrel for the Friday night fish fry.  Saturday we found a recycling center and got rid of a bunch of stuff we had saved up.  Then we checked out a COE park near Russellville called Old Post Road on the Dardanelle Lake/Arkansas River.  It looks like a place we would’ve liked and would’ve had a bit more room.  The sites have electric and water with a dump station nearby.

By the way, when we arrived the other day at Coachlight RV Park we didn’t have a reservation.  I usually call ahead before we leave and I didn’t even do that.  I got a bit nervous when we got there because they looked like they were really full.  Luckily they had a site available, but we learned a lesson to call ahead first, especially during this time of the year when many of the snow birds are heading south for the winter.  In fact, we ended up at Outdoor Living Center RV Park because our first choice was full and had no sites available.  We didn’t stay at Old Post Road COE because they don’t have cable and I didn’t know if I would be able to get a clear view for DirecTv.

There is a dam and lock just north of Old Post Road COE.
A view of the Arkansas River below the dam and lock…
The dam and lock are huge.  See the people in the center of the picture for perspective… (click the picture to enlarge)
We crossed the river and checked out another campground just north of the town of Dardanelle and south of the dam called Riverview Recreation Area.  It has water and electric and a clear view of the dam and river.  However, there is a VERY STEEP road to go down to get to it and, of course, you have to go out the way you came in so a VERY STEEP road up to get out.  We probably won’t stay at this one.

This old Avion travel trailer was sitting out by the road at the campground where we’re staying.  It’s very similar to the first Avion that my parents owned back in the late Sixties and early Seventies.  My parents, sister, and I had some great times in that trailer as we traveled all over the county with it.  Avion travel trailers were a very high quality built unit out of Benton Harbor, MI.  My parents liked them so much that they actually owned three different Avions over the years.  Unfortunately, the company was bought out and then eventually discontinued.

Monday, the 24th, we left Russellville and headed to Robinsonville, MS.  We stopped at Camping World near Little Rock on the way and picked up a few things.  We’re staying at the Harrah’s Casino Mid-South RV Park for a couple of nights.  Here’s a couple pictures of the signs.
For some reason, I forgot to take a picture of the park and our site.  This is a big RV park with full hookups and all paved roads and sites.  It’s located about twenty miles south of Memphis, TN, near the Mississippi River.  We didn’t go to the casino or restaurants so I can’t comment on that.  This is a nice park, and we’ll stop here again if in the area.

Next up, a visit with the King.