But from Pine Bluff to Camden the scenery was pretty nice. Rolling hills and pine forests. And the city of Camden (pop 11,600) was really quite nice. In fact Ruth and I wondered why anybody would live in Pine Bluff when they could move 75 miles south to Camden.
Stopped at the Camden Walmart for a few groceries, and then at the downtown library for some internet. We then headed for White Oak Lake State Park, about 20 miles NW of Camden. It was a nice drive on a back country road and there was hardly any traffic at all.
One of the things we've noticed since we got south of Kentucky is the low water levels. Tennessee and Arkansas have had an extremely dry summer this year and the lack of rain is continuing.
And so when we got to White Oak Lake and saw the tree stumps sticking out of the water, we were not really surprised. But this picture shows that the water in the lake is a good 3 feet lower than it should be. At the state park, they rent canoes for use in a tributary running off the lake, but there was nowhere near enough water, even to put a canoe in.
One of the reasons we chose this park was that they advertised "primitive" rates of $11 per night. But when I went in the office, they insisted that those rates were for tenters only, and that there was no way we would fit in the tent area. Otherwise, it was $18 for an RV site. I asked if we could park in an RV site and not hook up to anything for $11. Nope. The woman asked if we had anybody with us who was over 62, then she could charge us $13.50. Nope. I asked if we could park outside the gates. Nope.
I asked if we could leave Sherman parked at the entrance and go for a walk. Yep. So we did. Turns out there were only two RV sites that were being used, out of the 55 or so available. In other words, the place was dead. You would think they would have been scrambling to find a way to take the $11 I was offering, but nope. And we could easily have fit at the dead end of the tenting section. You could tell these people went by the rules, even if they didn't make sense. So I'm pretty stubborn, and I hate paying for electric when we don't need it, (especially when it's a $7 difference) so we left after our short walk. By this time it was already after 3pm, and we're not paying $18 just to park for the night. Too bad though, because they did have a nice looking hiking trail.
Headed another 35 miles to Hope, AR where there's a Walmart. Used the internet there (thanks Holiday Inn Express!) to find that there is a campground at the fairgrounds, also found that another RV blogger had stayed in this area at a baseball diamond parking lot, and that's where we ended up. The fairground RV park was kind of dumpy, and looked to be mostly long term residents. they wanted $15, so we were quite happy to stay at the ballpark just outside of the fairgrounds...for free.
Okay, so we're going to try the state park thing again. We're headed today to Atlanta State Park in Texas. The website says $12 for a water and electric site, which is pretty good. Not sure if we can do cheaper for primitive, but you can bet we'll ask!
I've been forgetting our maps....here's where we've been since we left Memphis...
We did 154 miles (246 kms) from Memphis to Pine Bluff on Sunday
We did 125 miles (205 kms) from Pine Bluff to Hope on Monday
And I'll update our month to date expenses tomorrow!