Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday April 8, 2014 - Hot Springs National Park - Gulpha Gorge Campground

We slept in this morning - which doesn't happen too often.  I didn't wake up until 6:45.  I got the coffee started and Dean got up soon after. 

It rained last night and I think again early this morning.  Everything is in bloom here.  It is just beautiful.  After we got around this morning I started a good cleaning of the trailer.  I gave it a really good dusting, swept the floors and wiped all of the counters and cabinets down.  I'll wait until we are ready to leave tomorrow and do a quick vacuum. 

Dean hung a towel rack for me in the bathroom.  Since space is pretty limited in Bentley, we put up a shower curtain rod at the back of the shower to hang our towels after we've showered.  The towel rack hangs behind the toilet so I don't really care to leave our towels there all the time; but we needed somewhere to hang the other towel when someone is showering so the new towel rack will work great for this.  Once we finish our showers I can hang the bath mat here.

Once we finished our chores we decided to take a walk around the campsite.  Everything was so pretty this morning after the rain.  All of the bushes, trees and flowers are blooming, there is a beautiful brook behind our trailer that is running quite well.  The sound is very soothing.  We knew there was a trail near the campground.  It went right up the side of the hill behind us.  The hill is higher than the bluff in Riverside Park.  We did two legs of the trail and estimated we walked at least 2 miles all together, maybe a little more.  Here's a picture looking down on the trailer about half way up.

By the way, you think Oswego has lots of sweet gum trees - you should see them here in Hot Springs.  The same fool who sold them in Oswego must have come straight to Hot Springs and started giving them away! 

While we were having lunch, I thought I heard something fall in the closet in the living area but I could not find anything amiss.  Pretty soon I heard it again, but I also noticed something outside the window.  Just like home, a bird was trying to get in!  We opened the window and a pretty brown bird was sitting in this bush outside our window.  Does anyone know what kind it is?  We believe it has built, or is building a nest in the bush.  There were two of them and one carried a twig into the bush.

We decided we would do some more sightseeing.  Dean wanted to go by and see Oaklawn Racing where the horse races are held and I thought the Garvan Woodland Gardens sounded like a neat place to see.  We also needed to take one of our propane tanks to be refilled.  These cold nights have caused us to go through one tank already.  In fact Dean had to switch one of the tanks yesterday morning because the first one emptied in the night.  Brrrr - no wonder it was so cold yesterday morning!

Dean has been researching the best road to take out of Hot Springs to Durant, Ok (our next stop) without having to go through the downtown area.  He wanted to drive the route and make sure it was going to work.  Sure enough - it will be perfect.  It took us close to the Garvan Gardens, and shortly before we got there it started to rain!  We were near Lake Catherine Campgrounds, where I first thought we would stay while we were in Hot Springs, so we decided to drive on down and check it out.  It's quite a ways from town but what a beautiful area.  It's on a small lake that would be great for kayaks or canoes.  The trees are gorgeous.  This would be a great camping spot for a group setting.

Since it was still raining we decided to take care of the propane and take it back to the campsite.  After it rained the temperature dropped, so we decided to grab different jackets as well, along with another umbrella.  We headed back to Garvan Gardens.   We walked through this garden area for one and half hours or more (it was almost time for it to close) and we could have spent the entire day here.  It covers 210 acres and the flowers, trees, buildings, walkways, bridges, and use of stones is breathtaking.  The tulips were in bloom and there were thousands of them in every color you could imagine.  Azaleas, dogwood, redbuds and numerous other shrubs and flowers were blooming.  The waterfalls, ponds, were running full with the recent rains.  We could have set and listened to these sounds.  There were several areas we never made it to, and there is an entire other "island" that is a bird sanctuary.  If you've never been to Hot Springs - put it on your list and make sure to visit this wonderland! 


(You can click on these pictures to enlarge them and they are much prettier).

From here we traveled to the Oaklawn Racing and Gaming facility.  Dean was pretty disappointed as we could not see the racetrack or anything to do with the horses at all.  We walked through their casino and back out.  As we were driving away, we did go by part of the track you could see from the road.  I told him we will have to check into their racing schedule and come back and stay again.  He loves horses.  The gambling side does not interest us much, but watching them race would be a fun thing to do.

We came back and I fried a couple of hamburgers inside and I guess they got a little smokey because next thing I knew the smoke alarm was going off.  Geesh!  Dean opened the door, and I turned on the exhaust fan and that worked until he closed the door and we set it off again!  From now on the cooking is left to him on the grill - outside!  Not only that, I had all of that grease to clean up that splattered everywhere.  BUT - those were sure some darn good burgers and worth the commotion it caused!  :)

Tomorrow we will be heading to Durant, OK to the Choctaw Casino RV Park.  We will be attending a Heartland Rally - everyone in attendance is the owner of a Heartland trailer of some type.  This will be the first time we have ever participated in something like this but it's a good way to meet other campers so we are jumping in.  I'm sure we'll have a good time.  We will be there for 4 days.

Stay tuned to see what Bentley has in store for us..... down the road!

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