Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ridiculous Road Trip #1, Part 2 - Floods

Back to Ridiculous Road Trip #1, Part 1

April 30
Day 2 arrived with more rain. We got moving early and since we hadn't unhooked the HodgePod, we got quickly on the road. Little did we know then, but the previous night, we had detached the sway control bar but had forgotten to stow it. The sway bar now lives somewhere on the side of the road in Mark Twain National Forest. Sigh.

Since we'd set up camp late and in the pouring rain, we needed to hunt down the Camp Host to pay for the previous night. We found her still in her camper. And due to the yappy dogs that lived with her (who wanted to eat my face off), and the pouring rain (she didn't want me dripping gallons of water inside while the yappy dogs ate my face off), she told us not to bother paying for the night. Woohoo!

As we set off west, we were more and more concerned about our route south and west. The Scenic Riverway route was a flooded disaster.

When we pulled into the town of Ellington, MO to fuel up the truck, we had to pull to a quick stop.

This poor town. Luckily we were able to turn ourselves around and get ourselves back out to higher ground. When we found a gas station that wasn't underwater, we had a chat with a nice state trooper. "Were you folks looking for the scenic route?" After being assured that we were looking for passable roads, he gave us some advice on good roads. Despite Google Maps repeatedly trying to convince us to drive on flooded roads, we were on our way, on less scary flooded roads. Mostly.

Since rain and wind were still an issue, we made a stop to pick up supplies to fix the leaky windows in the HodgePod. Trash bags and duct tape made a shield to give the new sealant time to set up on the leaky windows gaskets. We found a local restaurant across the parking lot and I was happy to waste some time eating a Garlic Butter Burger. Yum.

With the windows freshly sealed, the rain, of course, stopped. We got back in the road and had fairly clear sailing, except for one detour on a major highway near Branson, MO. Several nights later during our travels, we heard that lots of roads we had used were closed due to flooding, so we had been lucky in our timing.

Doug was lured again by roadside signs, and we stopped for a quick hike at Table Rock State Park. It was a very flooded state park. Please note, the picnic table and BBQ under the water.

And then we made it to the Ozark-St Francis National Forest, Long Pool campground in Arkansas. And it was dry. And warm. And we were camped just next to (but high above) Big Piney Creek.

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