Travels With Dick and Judy

Follow us in our trials, triumphs and tribulations, while on the road in our motor home "The Liberty Belle". We chose to forsake the conventional lifestyle in our 3,000+ square-foot home to move into a 40-foot Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. Travel with us as we take you on the road with us in our new lifestyle.
I may grow older, but I'll never grow up!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

RV Vacation continued-Mountain Home, Arkansas and more–July 11-18, 2014

I am shocked that I got another blog completed today, so come along and enjoy the ride!

We got a later start than planned on Friday, July 11th, and our destination was Dam – Quarry COE Park near Mountain Home, Arkansas – approximately a 277-mile drive. Again, way, way, way too long to drive in our motor home (“MH”) – partially because we had no clue that we would be going 40-45 miles per hour up and down hills most of the afternoon. Arriving in an unknown area after dark was not our plan! At least we were staying 7 nights, with day trips during the week! Other than our site having no trees and a bit of a drive to town, this was another great campground, so check it out when planning to be in the area - Dam - Quarry COE Park. I will say that Dick was not really thrilled to be camped below the dam.

Since the park had no sewer connections (as with most COE and State parks that we have found), we had to make a trip to town the following morning for one of my least favorite things to do – wash clothes (especially since we have a washer/dryer on board the MH). On a positive note, while I did the laundry, Dick made a Walmart run to buy a few items and get Logan a haircut.

Earlier that morning, we discovered our slide that was extended (from behind the driver’s seat to the hallway past the kitchen) would not retract. Naturally, we worried about this newest challenge; however, since this was a Friday, we decided to research RV repair shops in the area and continue with our plans for the week. More on this wrinkle later!

We spent the weekend settling into the area and recuperating from the long and stressful drive – plus checking out the lake for swimming and the creek for fishing, and giving Logan time to ride his bike and hang out.

Thanks to Facebook, we kept in touch with one of the rangers we worked with at Waco Lake Reynolds Creek COE Park over 2 years ago. Liz now works with the COE in and around Mountain Home, Arkansas, and she stopped by for a visit on Sunday morning. Liz, it was great catching up and hope to see ya down the road!

Ranger Liz Anderson_resize

Since we were in the park that day, Dick fixed his awesome spare ribs, which we served with candied yams, baked beans and garlic-buttered bread. Yummy - and one of Logan's favorite meals!

Spare rib dinner_resize

After hearing that a short walk from our site to the Norfolk River behind the campground and below the dam was about 10 to 15 degrees cooler, we took an evening stroll with Logan, and here was our view from the boat ramp - and it was actually chilly. Amazing!

Norfolk River below Dam_resize

Logan enjoyed his swims in Norfolk Lake, which was across from our campground at the end of a winding road around the dam.

On Monday, the cool front arrived – with temps in the low to mid-70s during the day and 50s at night with very little rain for the next few days. What a treat for us! We took a drive over to the White River State Park for a drive through and had lunch on the shores of Bull Shoals Lake - with the dam and visitor center in the background.  Unfortunately, we ran out of time to do more this trip!

Bull Shoals Lake_resize

When we returned to the park, we went with Logan to the creek near our site, which is catch and release for under 16 years old, and Logan caught his first brown trout! While sitting on a rock watching him fish, this was my view. Can you say peaceful and beautiful?!

Brown trout_resizeCreek_resize

Dick took this awesome shot of Logan fishing, and here is the way Dick described it: “Grandson Logan trying to apply the discipline of fishing and not getting too excited when watching those big Browns just a few feet away.” Dick actually considered trying to pass for under 16; however, he decided it would not work!


The following morning (Tuesday), we headed out for Blanchard Springs Caverns near Mountain View, Arkansas, and stopped for lunch at Mikey’s Smoked Meats & Deli – an excellent choice for our first meal out in a week – great food and service for a reasonable price.

Mikey's Smoked Meats & Deli_resize

After making a reservation for a 1 p.m. Dripstone Trail tour, Logan entertained himself and, then, we took the tour. Our guide was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed touring the caverns; however, pictures can never do them justice! We returned to the visitor center by bus over a narrow, winding mountain road. There is a longer, more strenuous tour, as well, and I would encourage anyone who gets a chance to include one or more of the tours while in the area. For more information, check out

@ Blanchard Springs Caverns_resizeTour of Caverns_resizeMore tour_resize

Logan in Caverns
Phenomenal Ship
Following our tour, we walked the trail to Blanchard Springs, where Dick and I took some pictures and Logan had tons of fun climbing over the rocks and down to the springs. We learned on our tour that all the waters from the caverns flow into here. 

Logan also got to swim in the nearby creek and, then, we drove into Mountain View – hoping to tour some shops, but EVERYTHING closes at 5 p.m., so we did not have much time. We did have a frozen yogurt break and bought some homemade fudge before heading back to the park.

Mountain View, AR_resize

I love old courthouses (maybe because I worked in one for a number of years), so Dick took this picture of the Mountain View courthouse for me. My friend Janice visits and photographs state capitols. I would love to do the same for courthouses, but it would be a voluminous undertaking - so I (or Dick) photograph those that call to me!

When we had discussed returning to Branson, Missouri (where Logan, Michelle and I spent a day 3 summers ago), Logan did not want to attend any shows, but wanted to return to Dick’s 5 & 10 to browse and shop! Since our time was limited and this saved us tons of money, plus Dick had no interest in going to a show, that is what we did the following day (Wednesday). Branson was about a 2-hour drive from the park and we had a great afternoon.

Our first stop was a small shop called The Copper Coin. All items in the store are made from uncirculated pennies. The founder of the store has quite an interesting story and has written a book, all of which can be found on the website at

We spent 2 hours at Dick's 5 & 10, where Dick could have bought out the kitchen gadget area, but he controlled himself, and we only brought home a few items - but the prices were right.

We browsed a few more shops, bought stuff, went to a park for a picnic and drove back to Mountain Home.

I forgot to mention that, prior to leaving the park on Wednesday morning, Dick made arrangements with Good Sam (“GS”) Roadside Assistance to have Leach RV Sales and Service (“Leach”) come to the park on Thursday to at least bring our slide in, so we could travel the next day. For those RVers who might not know (like we did not), by calling GS Roadside Assistance, the travel to and from us was paid for, and that also covered the first hour for Leach.

On Thursday, while waiting for the RV tech to come later in the afternoon, Logan had a final swim in Norfolk Lake. I knew it was cold when Logan said he was ready to go back to the MH!

When the RV tech arrived, he released the pressure on the hydraulic line, and the slide retracted. He also checked the jacks and assured us that lowering and raising them would be fine – and more on that later. At this point, we made the decision to continue our trip and deal with repairs when back in Texas. Fortunately, with the slide in, we had (and have) 2 feet of walking area so, even though it was a bit more cramped, it was doable.

Now that we knew we could travel on Friday, July 18th, that night, we made reservations for the next week of our journey and got ready to roll the next morning.

Stay tuned and thanks for traveling with us!


1 comment:

  1. Those spareribs look delicious! Anyway, it must've been a great feeling to find an answer to your slide problems. It looks like a simple enough solution for you to use, until the pros get to repair your RV in Texas. Good luck with the repairs!

    Liza Pilon @ Prairie City RV Center