Saturday, June 14, 2014

Back on the Road!

Well, folks, we're back on the road again, after a week in Red Bay with the Tiffin Service Center.  As I write this, we're sitting on the banks of the Arkansas River, in the shadow of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock--more on that in just a bit.  First a word about this past week.

We drove from West Memphis, Arkansas last Saturday to Red Bay to check into the Service Center Campground and get our number in line.  Turns out that the new rig had a few things that needed to get adjusted and settled a bit before we continued, just to make sure we didn't have any serious issues down the road.  Ever since we got this new rig, we've talked about going to Red Bay to see the factory, so this worked out to be a bonus for us.  We were glad we went on and came in on Saturday, so we got a jump on the line, and we had a couple of fun days meeting other Tiffin owners and learning about the new world of this kind of RV.  We got into the express bay on Wednesday, and they finished up on Thursday morning.  Stayed overnight, as one of the techs came by after hours to give us a hand on a new addition, and this also gave me time to get the laundry done.  On Tuesday we took the tour of the factory and it was really impressive to see the level of detail that goes into the making of a coach.  Really enjoyed that.  Met lots of nice folks, and also got to see a number of movies we'd missed when they were in theaters, as there was a video rental store just down the road--a buck a movie--hard to beat!!  Watched 12 Years a Slave--hard to sit through this, to see how horribly humans can treat other humans--Captain Phillips, Quartet, The Sessions, Life of Pi, and Hitchcock.  We enjoyed our time here, although they had more rain than they've ever had for this time of year, according to the campground hosts.  Couple of nights there were severe thunderstorms with winds high enough to cause us to pull in the slides.  Rained every day we were there except Thursday, but the rains returned overnight Thursday.  So glad to see sunshine and clear skies as we drove today!

Left Red Bay this morning and drove to Memphis, where we stopped to get the oil changed at the Ford truck center.  They got us in and out very quickly and we were glad to get that taken care of.  Back on the road and made it to Little Rock by late afternoon.  Our friends, Jennifer and Wendell, had suggested this lovely city operated RV park right smack in the middle of downtown, just across the bridge from the Clinton Library.  Seemed a bit out of place for an RV park but it's a lovely setting.  Right on the Arkansas River.  After we got settled in, we walked across the bridge to see the library--the bridge is an old railroad bridge, and for those of you who know me well, you know I'm fascinated by all things railroad!  (This was Sophie's first time walking across a high bridge, with the side rails making it seem like it was totally open, and she was a bit reluctant at first.  But on the return trek she had no hesitation as she smilingly bounded across!) After several iterations as a railroad bridge, it fell into disrepair, such that the last railroad company to own it had planned to tear it down, so the city bought it.  Since one side is right at the entrance to the Presidential Library, the Clinton Foundation donated substantial funds to refurbish it as a pedestrian/bikeway, and it was renamed the Clinton Presidential Bridge.  Although by the time we arrived, the Library was already closed, we were glad we had the chance to walk around the grounds.  The main building is quite unique architecturally and the surrounding grounds have a lot of lovely greenspace, with winding footpaths and lots of neat places to sit and relax.  There is a Chihuly exhibit going on, which we would really like to see, but we'll probably just head on out early in the morning.  Since we had to alter our travel schedule, we have some ground to cover to get to LA in time for our commitments there, so we'll have to boogie for the next several days.  We're really disappointed that this schedule change will cause us to miss our planned visit to one of my best friends from high school and her husband in southwestern Colorado, but we'll just catch them on another trip, since we know we'll be in Colorado many times again.  But, hey, we looked at each other this evening and smiled as we remembered that this is Volume II of the No Hurries, No Worries Tour, so we'll just take it in stride.

Met some nice friendly folks in the campground this evening, one couple with a shih tzu.  Everyone just loves Sophie, and she, of course, has never met a stranger, human or canine.  She loves to greet people and other dogs, she just strains to run see whoever comes into her line of sight.  She's so cute and we're so happy we have her now.  She's still adjusting to this new RV--when we first got her down in Sarasota, we had the smaller rig, but it was parked the whole time we were there, so this is her first experience moving around.  Sometimes she looks at us with a confused expression, but I think she'll get into the routine.  The best thing so far is that she's gotten right back into the habit of ringing the bells when she needs to go outside, so that's a big relief for us!

So happy to be back on the road again, and to have all of you along for the ride--it's gonna be a great adventure!!

 Coming into Tennessee from Alabama--y'all know that's Trisha's home state, so we never enter without a picture!
The Pyramid Arena--had never seen this before, but it's apparently a big sports venue, as well as housing other exhibits.  Right on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis.
Crossing the Big Muddy into Arkansas

Tug pushing loaded barges under the bridge
Pretty yellow wild flowers on the median as we drove from Memphis to Little Rock

The Clinton Presidential Bridge, shot from our campground

The Presidential Library, across the river
Looking back down on the RV from the bridge
Sophie's not quite comfortable yet going across this bridge!

Little Rock skyline
Lovely flower boxes lining the sides of the bridge walkway

Some of the grounds around the Library

Large wing of the Library, cantilevered over an outdoor cafe and the grounds
Sophie much preferred Trisha to hold her!

Not sure if these glass spires are permanently installed in this infinity water pool/fountain flanking either side of the main entrance to the Library, or if they are just there for the Chihuly Exhibit

This shot is of the base of the dedication structure as you face the bridge from the Library side--just above this plaque is a really lovely glass panel with an etching of a locomotive, but with the way the sun was, I couldn't get it to show up in a photo

This is the old railroad depot, now home to the Univ. of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, just across from the main Library building

Sophie looking satisfied--she had just figured out how to grab a quick drink from the side of the infinity pool
On the way back across the bridge, she's now more comfortable

The bridge, lit up as the sun is setting
Sunset shot of the Little Rock skyline
Two shots of the "honey" or "strawberry" moon--the first time there has been a full moon on Friday the 13th in June since 1919; the next such moon won't occur until 2098, and chances are we won't be here for that one!



  1. Sorry you won't get to see Mary Sue! I thought I heard they were planning to move back to Florida soon. Are they keeping their home in Colorado?
    Be safe and take care of each other! Mary Lou

  2. Yeah, we're sorry too, that we won't get to see them, but we just gotta roll with the punches. When we were with them at the reunion, they did say that they plan to move back to Florida eventually, but I don't have the sense that it's anytime soon. Mary Sue said they do plan to sell their home in Colorado, and that may be part of it, as they are pretty out in the middle of the wide open spaces from what she said. Anyway, thanks for your good wishes. We have a few days of pretty much just driving, until we hit Sedona, Arizona, where we'll stay for a day before heading on into LA.

  3. Super to read your comments and great pictures.