Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014 - Traveling to Hot Springs National Park, Gulpha Gorge Campground

Well the day got started shortly after coffee, breakfast and packing the trailer up enough to pull in the slides.  It rained in the night and more was forecast for later today.  Since the roof was clear and dry we went ahead and pulled the slides in before going to do laundry.  WOW!  Why anyone does not have a washer and dryer I do not understand.  It cost a fortune to do laundry at the Laundromat today.  I lost track on how many quarters I put in the dryer.  $.25 for 6 minutes.  I had 5 loads of laundry.  The washing itself cost $1.75 per load or $8.75.  I'm sure I spent at least another $4.00 on the dryers; and the towels and jeans never did get dry!  So those were hung up around the trailer later in the day and we are still waiting for the jeans to dry.  WOW!  Next time wet clothes will be hung in the bathroom with a small electric heater running to dry them more quickly!  You live and learn.

As soon as we got back, we finished loading up, unhooking, etc. to leave.  Everything went well and we were on the road by 10:15 or so.  We only had about 87 miles to go.  We barely left Russellville and it began to rain and it rained all the way to Hot Springs.  Fortunately it was just a nice consistent rain - never hard so it wasn't too bad.  Thank goodness as we had lots of curves and up and down hill driving.  We arrived in Hot Springs about 1:30 or so.  I think it rained the hardest when we arrived - of course, while we are trying to park.   My job is to direct Dean into the campsite.  He calls me on the cellphone which uses Bluetooth in the truck - very nice so he can just talk to me while backing.  He started backing into the first site and a ranger came out and talked to Dean.  Come to find out we didn't check it too closely - no hookups of any kind (water, electric or sewer) so he suggested we try #30.  So we drove around the loop and made it in on our second attempt.  The first one I had him cut it to sharp, but the second time went well.  All in all, I think it went pretty good since we were naturally trying to hurry due to the rain.  We are in a pretty spot, there is a nice brook behind us and with the rains it is running quite well and I think we will enjoy the sound of the water when we get out later today.  It's pretty cool so we probably will not venture out until after lunch. 

You must pay cash and have exact change since you pay through a kiosk at the registration station.  This allows folks to come in at any time of day or night.  We did not expect there to be many spots taken, but there were very few campsites left when we arrived.  Thank you God for letting us have one of them.  We don't mind getting by with little water and not having sewer, but since we are not prepared for going without electricity (no solar panels or a generator) we would miss that a lot!

We did not have the right cash so we had to run into town.  While there we grabbed $5 foot long sandwiches at Subway!  What a deal.  We ate half yesterday for lunch and will have the other half today.  Pretty cheap meal.  Before we left I put on some crock pot pork chops for dinner.

While we were talking to the ranger he was telling us about some of the drivers of trailers/ motorhomes.  It was so sad I almost cried hearing some of the stories - the worst being a guy who had just retired, bought a motor home or trailer and took out to travel the country.  Within just a few days he had sideswiped something and creased the entire side; and tried going through an underpass, but it was too low.  It took off his air conditioner.  The ranger told us the man was so upset he could not even back it out.  Whoever was behind him in traffic had to back it out for him he was in such anguish!  Can you imagine?  I know anything is possible at any time but I am thankful for Dean having had experience driving vehicles pulling trailers, our boat, etc. which has helped immensely.  I really felt this guy's pain and have no idea who he was.  I do wonder if he sold that motor home or if he took some lessons and is still traveling?

After lunch we watched a little TV - and I mean a little since there were only a couple of channels available by antenna.  Fortunately for Dean one was the golf tournament he wanted to watch so I entertained myself by checking email and messing around on the Internet.

We decided we'd run into Hot Springs (National Park Area) and check out the sites and see if we could find any flea markets.  We did find one, but nothing we could not live without.  It was a neat building though; sometimes those are almost as fun to check out as the merchandise.

There are a number of bathhouses so people can make use of the "hot springs" that the town is famous for.  Not sure if we will try this out or not - we are going to visit the Visitor Center tomorrow and find out the details of how that all works.  Some of the downtown area looks really neat especially the old bathhouses that have been maintained, but there are a lot of old buildings that are sitting empty and are very deteriorated. 

We came back and had dinner.  Pork chops were so tender and the gravy of hidden valley dressing packet and cream of chicken soup is really tasty.  I made some "cheat" mashed potatoes and heated a can of green beans.  Pretty good hot meal on a cool, damp day.

I wanted to watch the Country Music Awards last night but we never could get them to come in so we pulled out one of the movies we brought for times like this and watched "Fool's Gold" with Kate Hutson and Matthew McConahay-hay-hay as Cindy refers to him!  Cute movie with some really good laughs.  Dean hurriedly put out the "Tailgator" Dish antenna last night in the rain so we will spend a bit more time with it today and see if we can't manage to pick up some better reception.  As we were watching the weather this morning, we at least know we will be able to watch "Dancing With the Stars" tonight so I'm happy about that!  :)

Well, I hope each of you have a wonderful week!  Stay tuned for more Travels with Bentley!  (Note:  I may cut back on the pictures since it seems that is really using up our bandwidth.  We just started a new month and we've already used over 2mg of our 4 available, so I am going to have to slow down.


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