Arkansas Trip November 2017, Day 2

It has been a little while since I wrote about day 1 of the Arkansas trip. We had some friends staying with us for about a week (which I will have to write about in a different post!) and our church had its annual missions conference, which kept us busy. So, I am just now getting around to writing about day 2!😐

Day 2-November 19, 2017

I awoke in the morning to the same hum of the tractor trailer that I had fallen asleep to the night before. Some or all of the other members of my family were up already. I quickly folded up my “bed” and put it in the back in its spot. After eating breakfast and reading our Bibles, we were eager to leave. We carefully pulled out of our spot between the tractor trailers and proceeded to the gas station that was part of the Flying J we had stayed at.

The GPS showed us where we had driven at Flying J. It makes it look like we couldn’t find our way around! Well… I guess we couldn’t!!😆

Our bus in the row of tractor trailers. Makes it look small!

 

a view from closer up

After filling up with diesel, we got on the highway. The land was so flat and full of fields. It didn’t feel like we were driving on the highway, it felt like we were driving in the middle of one huge field!

view from windshield

farm along the highway

flat plus flat equals very flat…(you didn’t know I was that good at math, did you?😉)

 

It didn’t seem like a Sunday, since we were driving instead of going to church. But, of course, we were not going to miss the service! At 10:00, we logged onto Livestream and watched the church service at our church while we drove. By the time it was done, it was noon and time for lunch. What we were planning to do was make lunch and then go find the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Before I was old enough to remember, my family had gone and eaten lunch and gotten pictures under the arch, and that is what we wanted to do. So off we went in our bus to find it. The arch is not far from the Missouri border. So we crossed the border and began trying to find a way to get to the arch. The road was very confusing. First we went across a long bridge and once we were across, we tried to find our way around. It seemed like we were going in circles. Oh, here is a fenced-in parking area that might be just the thing, as the arch is not very far away. What does that sign say? No RVs? Swallow. Oooookay, then! Let’s try something else. We turned a corner, and the next thing we knew, we were back on a bridge again, and crossing the state border into Illinois! Oh, brother! We tried to find a place to turn around, but next we found ourselves on some back street. What are we doing out in the middle of nowhere next to a train track? We finally got turned around and went back to Missouri on the same bridge. It doesn’t look like we are going to make it to the arch.😢 We got pictures of it from the road and decided that was enough. Sadly we left the neighborhood without getting up close to the arch.

Sign for St. Louis, MO

view of the arch from the highway

That bridge that we got familiar with after driving over it twice!

sideways view of arch

beautiful view of the arch beside the water

Here we are next to the railroad track out in the middle nowhere…

After all that running around, our big rig was quite thirsty for some diesel. So we went to fill ‘im up. We got off the highway, but unfortunately, the gas station was on the other side of the road! So we had to go farther down the road to find a place to turn around. In doing so, we somehow ended up in a neighborhood full of curving roads that went up and around very high hills! Naomi puts it this way: “We felt like we were going to fall off the edge of the world!” We were very glad when we finally found a church parking lot to turn around in! We eventually found our way back to the gas station, and, wouldn’t you know, right across the street from the station was a Dairy Queen. We thought, “Hey, while we are here, why don’t we get ourselves some blizzards?” So before getting diesel, we went to the Dairy Queen and ordered blizzards. After we got them, we went back out to the bus and headed across the street for diesel.

 

Naomi’s blizzard

Naomi eating her blizzard

Annabelle eating her blizzard

me eating my blizzard

As the afternoon wore on, we got tired and some of us took naps…

Annabelle sleeping

Mom driving

Naomi and I played Phase Ten for a while, but with the sun shining in the windows it made us very sleepy and we eventually went to sleep also. Once, while we were playing, we stopped on the side of an off-ramp to switch drivers instead of going to a rest stop. Apparently Mom just barely kept the RV on the road!

 

Half the wheel was sticking off the edge of the road! Yikes!

 

When I woke up, I went into the back and read a book. When I looked up from my book a while later, it was dim because the sun was setting.

the sunset

I thought that we were probably in Arkansas, because the countryside was very much characteristic of Arkansas! I was right, we were. In a very short time, it was pitch black outside, and of course, all the roads were very twisty and windy! We carefully threaded our way through curves and twists, until we reached the town, where it was straighter. By then, we were recognizing things from other times that we visited Grandma. In a short while, we turned onto the gently sloping street that Grandma lives on and pulled into the church parking lot that she lives next to. After going inside and visiting a little with Grandma (and Uncle Paul and his son Jacob, who live with her) we said goodnight to them and went back out to the bus for bed. We decided not to try to go to where we had been planning to park until the next night, since we were too tired to that night. It wasn’t as simple as the night before. Since we didn’t have a tractor trailer on either side of our RV, we could put the slideouts out. First Reese leveled the RV, then we put them out. After that was done, Annabelle and Naomi unfolded their beds and made them. Reese and I also set up our beds on the floor. Finally we all got to bed, this time without anyone stepping on my arm!😅

So there’s the end of day 2! The lesson learned from day 2 is: When you’re going somewhere, stick to the road and don’t try to go find some arch…at least not when you are in a big RV!!!🤣🚍

Pictures from Arkansas Trip-Day 1

Here are the pictures that go with day 1 of the Arkansas trip!

The list of ingredients…

Mom and Annabelle trying to get the shades to open before we left.

Me sitting on the couch while we were waiting to leave.

Annabelle and Naomi on the other couch.View of the front end of the bus.

Naomi and me sleeping while we drove.Reese looking at the owners manual for the bus when we stopped somewhere. 

Naomi and I ate lunch at the little table in the bus. (We were stopped somewhere, as you are not supposed to sit at the table while the vehicle is in motion.)Rain!

And more rain!

And, some MORE rain!💦

Tuna casserole that we made for supper. (It does taste better than it looks in that picture!)

When we got bored that evening we made a “tent” by putting a blanket over the bed. The trick to keeping it up was to latch it inside some cabinet doors that were above the bed!😄

Annabelle and Naomi playing “Phase Ten”. 

Phase Ten again.

So there are some pictures for day 1. I hope to get day 2 out soon!!😁

~Karen~

 

 

 

Arkansas Trip, Thanksgiving 2017 (By Karen)

Thanksgiving was quite a while ago—all of four months! But I thought that it would be of interest to some to read of our adventurous trip down to Arkansas to visit family for Thanksgiving. So here I go!!😀

Let me start with the night before we left. We had had a birthday supper that evening to celebrate Trevor’s birthday that was that day. After he and Dylan and Emily had left, we began taking things out to the RV. (We were going to be taking our RV on our trip.) During the few days before the trip, we had taken a lot of things for the trip out there already, so these things were just some last-minute things we had forgotten earlier. For example, a sleeping mat for me to sleep on. (I was going to be sleeping on the floor during this trip, and I definitely didn’t want to forget THAT!) We went over our list of ingredients that we were going to need to make meals, to make sure that we had everything out in the RV pantry that we needed. (We had made a list of what meal we were going to make each night, so we could take only the ingredients that we needed.) After it seemed like there were ENOUGH things out there, we went to bed in hopes of getting up early the next day and getting our trip started nice and early.

Day #1, November 18, 2017…

I got up early and got ready for the day. When I went downstairs, there was no one around down there. I figured that they would be up pretty soon and decided not to worry myself about that. I believe I got something and took it out to the RV, but I don’t remember what it was. I was in the office and when I came out I saw that Reese was lying on the couch! Gulp! Well! I got him up. By this time Naomi was downstairs. (By the way, that day was her 16th birthday, in case you wondered!) We discovered a few bags that Mom had put by the door and we took them out to the RV. Annabelle had eventually found her way downstairs by then. When Mom came down, I honestly can’t remember what we did before we went outside to the RV. But I do remember that it really took us a long time to get going. FINALLY we went out and locked the door! When we got out to the RV, it still took a long time before we left. Reese was trying to navigate the GPS to a place where he wanted to stop and get diesel. While he was doing that, Annabelle remembered something that she had left in the house! So she had to take the key and let herself back into the house. I can’t remember anymore what it was that she wanted. But she eventually came back out. Finally Reese had the GPS set up how he wanted it and we could leave! After we sang and prayed, we started out…FINALLY!! It was much later than we wanted to start, but at least we were finally on our way! 😊 The thrill of watching the scenery whiz past our windows very quickly lost its appeal. Besides, it was familiar landscape for the first half-hour or so! We read our Bibles and looked at the birthday cards Naomi had gotten in the mail. It didn’t seem long until our big ol’ RV was rumbling its way into the gas station to get diesel. By now, we were in COMPLETELY unfamiliar territory, and we were watching the things around us with interest. A tractor trailer truck pulled up to the other side of the pump we were at and a lady got out and started pumping herself some diesel. We had already gotten ours, and while Reese was inside paying, I got out and offered her a tract, which she declined. When Reese came out a couple of minutes later, he also offered her one, not knowing that I already had. She refused his, too. He came inside and soon we were on our way again with Mom driving. Since Reese had his license but Mom only had her permit, he had to sit up there the whole time she drove to “supervise” and he couldn’t go lie down or anything. Since it is not against the law to ride without seatbelts in the RV, Naomi and I went to the back of the RV to the “bedroom” and made the bed, so that at nighttime it would be ready for Mom to sleep in. It is really fun to lie on the bed and watch out the window. And in the summer, it is really fun to do that with the window open! But back to making the bed! Annabelle came back there after we had the bed made. Soon we were starting to talk about lunch. The plan for that day’s lunch was to make tuna subs with a bunch of sub rolls we had gotten for free. It was then that Annabelle made the interesting discovery that we had not brought the can opener. So we decided that we would have to stop somewhere and buy one. Of course, Reese was sure that we didn’t need one, but he wasn’t the one making lunch! We stopped at a gas station/store with an interesting name, but I can’t remember what it was. Reese and I went in and asked if they had can openers but they didn’t. The lady said that there was a Dollar General down the road a ways that would probably have one. So we thanked her, and left. We drove to the Dollar General and Reese and Naomi went in. They came out with a can opener! So we continued to drive, while we girls made the subs. We cut them and passed them out. They were pretty good, especially since I had not eaten breakfast. After lunch, we girls went to the back where the bed was and watched out the window. It was drizzling outside. After a while I stopped looking out the window at the boring highway and sat down at the end of the bed to read a book. I was so tired, and the next thing I knew I was waking up. While I had been sleeping, my head was in a funny position so my neck was sore. I fell asleep again in a comfortable position and when I woke up the next time, my neck didn’t hurt anymore. By now it was POURING!!! Reese was driving, and Mom was sleeping on the couch. It was super bad visibility out there, and a lot of people had their flashers on. Oh, I didn’t tell you that by that time we were in Ohio! When we stopped the next time at a gas station, we decided to make and eat supper before going on, which would give the rain a chance to stop. We made tuna casserole, and while it baked, Mom took a nap and we girls and Reese watched people out the huge windshield. We saw some Amish people. After the casserole came out of the oven, we ate it. We were really eager to get a move on since the storm had stopped and we still had quite a ways until we reached where we were going to be spending the night. We eventually did leave. It was dark in the RV but we did not turn the lights on because it would have made a glare on the windshield. We dozed sitting on the couches or on the bed. We finally crossed the state border into Indiana. After that I fell into a really deep sleep…
Slam!
“He said to go around the building and we should be able to park over there.”
I sat up suddenly and rubbed my eyes. Where were we? Why had the door slammed? Had Mom gone out and talked to someone? Who had told us to go around the building? I was too tired to try to figure out the answers to those questions, so I lay down again. I was aware that we were driving around slowly. Then we were backing up. Next the RV engine shuddered to a stop, and all was quiet. For a while I lay there, not moving. Then I sat up as they turned the light on. Apparently, we had gotten to the truck stop we were going to spend the night at. Reluctantly I got off the couch. I went to the back for my sleeping mat, pillow, and blankets. Annabelle and Naomi put their blankets and pillows on the two couches. Reese put his sleeping mat on the floor of the kitchen and I put mine on the floor of the living room, between the couches. And Mom slept on the bed in the back. A tractor trailer pulled up beside us while we were getting our beds ready, but never turned off. I lay down on my mat and pulled the blanket over me. All around me everyone was talking. Then… OUCH!! Someone stepped on my arm!! Finally they went to their respective beds and the light was turned off. I closed my eyes, soon fell asleep to the hum of the tractor trailer beside us, and never woke up until the next morning.

So, there you have it—day 1 of the trip down to Arkansas. The lesson learned from day 1 is- Don’t forget a can opener when going on a trip, especially if you are planning to make tuna subs in an RV while you drive!!!😉