Sunday, October 20, 2013

Camping in Arkansas for the First Time

Wagon Circle RV Park, Heber Springs, AR (35.449483, -91.911632)

The day started clear and cold with temperatures near freezing. The Walmart parking lot, so busy last evening, was almost empty. This was no leisure morning. We took care of bodily functions in Walmart, closed up the rig, got underway at 0747 CDT, and went directly to a gas station which fortunately was only 0.2 miles from our spot.

No water dripping this morning. However, the truck tire pressure (normally 35 psi) was very low (high twenties with LOW warning light) -- because of the cold? Headed out watching the tire pressure display. Pressure gradually climbed to mid-thirties but LOW signal did not go away.

I usually seek out government campgrounds primarily because I have the Federal Senior Pass which lets me camp at federal facilities for half price. Corps of Engineers (COE or ACE) by definition means lake, dam, and river. Heber Springs exists because of a Corps of Engineers dam -- Greers Ferry Lake, Greers Ferry Dam, and the Little Red River. My experience at COE campgrounds has been uniformly excellent, so I use them whenever possible and recommend them at every opportunity. This time, however, I was trying to make plans during the government shutdown. Expecting a large influx of campers for a special event, it seemed prudent to secure a camping spot at a local commercial campground. So I reserved and paid for a space at Wagon Circle RV Park. By today the government shutdown was over and the two COE campgrounds were open. Wagon Circle RV Park probably did very well because of the shutdown. Win some, lose some.

Since we picked up an extra 44 miles yesterday, there was no sense having a very short day with an unnecessary stop, so we decided to press on and finish the trip today. I called ahead to find out if the campground could take us a day early -- no problem. We did the 326 miles in 8:13 and arrived at the Wagon Circle campground at 1600 CDT.

The campground is a giant field with utility and sewer connections. So we had no problems getting into a pull through site.

Our adventure for today was leveling the Cougar with our new level. I bought this level primarily because I can see it in the rear view mirror from the driver's seat and the graduations are big enough to mean something. This level is a steel ball contained in fluid in a smiley face tube. Bubble levels are an air bubble contained in a frowney face tube. Bubble levels respond instantly. This level responds slowly so you have to wait while adjustments take effect. I cross checked the new level with the bubble level and with a carpenter's level several times. OK, I'm convinced both levels are giving me good information.

Still concerned about a water leak, I decided to search for the leak by filling our fresh water tank and using it instead of hooking up to city water. My hope was a leak would reveal itself by causing the water pump to run frequently. The pump stayed silent so the leak is not on high pressure side of the pump.

We have cable TV here, so I hooked up the TV and we relaxed for the evening. We both need a shower: that can wait until morning.

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