We’re off to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas again after a 2-year absence. We missed going in the winter of 2009-2010 due to 4+1, the Southern gospel quartet in which I sing, making it’s first CD, and we didn’t go in 2010-2011 due to my prostate cancer surgery and recovery. During the stay-at-home process, Kay said we were not going to spend another winter in the cold weather!
We’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting ready for this trip, basically starting from scratch in packing our new motorhome. We picked it up in early November in northern Iowa, but didn’t take the time to pack it or do a shakedown trip once we arrived home. Our lengthy packing process resulted in us bringing way too much stuff, but we’ll use the next several weeks to sort through things.
I digress. We departed home about 10 AM today, driving south to Mountain View, then across the mountains to Shirley, then south again to Little Rock. This is the first of several legs of our trip to the Valley. We’ve taken this route several times, but the roads were worse this time than either of us could remember. Heavy trucks from the oil and gas exploration industry have rutted the pavement, and lack of repair has resulted in many holes and peeling of pavement.
We finally arrived at Maumelle Park, a US Army Corps of Engineers facility in west Little Rock, just before 2 PM with sunshine and moderate temperatures. We got a campsite adjacent to the Arkansas River, and were surprised to find most of the riverside sites either occupied or reserved. It didn’t take long to set up, and it was warm enough to open a couple of windows. A couple of Kay’s longtime friends visited in the late afternoon, and after dinner, we drove across the river to visit Kay’s daughter, new grandson, and son-in-law. Babies change very rapidly, and Ridge seemed to have grown a bunch in the two weeks since we had last seen him. His body has elongated, and is becoming more proportional, though he’s still a big “little man”. He entertained us for a couple of hours, after which we drove back to the campground in high winds and cooling temperatures, eager to crawl under the covers for a good night’s sleep.