We were on our way to Memphis to rendezvous with our friends Kristin & Jason when we had our ‘brake-down’.
Chilling in Memphis
After getting back on the road nearly 24-hours later, we made the final two hour drive and happily parked next to our neighbors who assisted in our rescue!
While we had big ambitions to tour Memphis, eat some BBQ and maybe catch some Blues – we just couldn’t get the energy up. We were simply exhausted.
Especially after arriving to Tom Sawyer RV Park (our review) in West Memphis, AR and realizing what a gem it was. We had a waterfront spot, with barges pushing up and down the Mississippi in front of us.
On top of a wonderfully scenic view, we just loved the park. It’s very well kept up, well managed and clearly the owners have paid attention to what RVers want. The WiFi was fast, and worked reasonably well when the winds weren’t blowing. There were lots of maintained hiking trails. Two tree houses to explore – one right on the water’s edge (my favorite!).
And .. free laundry!! Their laundry facility was not only one of the cleanest public laundromats we’ve encountered, the machines were exceptionally high-tech. I even ended up giving lessons to fellow campers on how to use them. And did we mention.. free??
So, we spent our time catching up on sleep, resting, watching barges, hiking and doing laundry.
As Kristin & Jason had an out of town friend visiting, they did the exploring for us. We enjoyed our catch-ups with them and hearing tales of their adventures. Sometimes, that’s just enough and we have to honor our homebodied nature.
And we obviously weren’t the only ones who had discovered the charms of Tom Sawyer’s RV Park – as soon as we pulled in and checked into RVillage.com, we discovered two other couples also checked into the park who we didn’t know in advance. Sweet!!
So, we scheduled an RVillage Happy Hour Get-Together in one of the campground’s tree houses. It was perfect, and great to meet up with folks. All and all, we had 9 in attendance, including some locals who are gearing up to RV in a few years. It just warmed our hearts to see the potential of RVillage play out so perfectly, and so soon after launch! (RVillage is now up to over 6300 members, and has been endorsed by Escapee’s and Workamper News!! Wow!)
Our stay here was absolutely perfect, and we’d definitely return in a heartbeat. Heck, toss in a hot tub at this place, and we’d likely never leave. Well, at least until Old Muddy flooded her banks and floated us away.
Columbus-Belmont State Park
The Snowmads headed on to St. Louis as Kristin’s parents were inbound to meet up with them – and Chris’ folks wouldn’t be arriving back to St. Louis after their Florida winter until later in the week. So we took the opportunity to stop at Columbus-Belmont State Park (our review) in Kentucky. Also along the Mississippi River, but on a bluff.
We had actually stayed here back in 2009 on a trip back to the Oliver factory for tweaks and enjoyed it.
Our two night stay was tranquil and peaceful. We had very limited cellular signal – almost no Verizon, and just some faint but boostable AT&T HSPA+ (4G). Enough that we decided to cancel our live video chat we had scheduled and focus on non-computer time.
We enjoyed some hiking, some reading and watching the sunsets.
The one thing we didn’t like however was how sloped the sites were – particularly ours. Even putting out all of our wood blocks, we were still pointed downwards. To their credit, Reserve America has all sites in the campground marked as ‘slightly sloped’ – but this was a bit more than ‘slight’ in our opinion.
We ended up sleeping backwards in bed – which did afford us nice morning views of the river.
On Friday morning we continued up the Great River Road to St. Louis, where we’ve been ever since. We’ll continue the tales later.
What’s Next? We actually have no clue. Our next solid plan is Burning Man at the end of August, and then hosting at Cape Blanco Lighthouse in Oregon for September & August. We’ll be working our way west in general over the coming months – but we have no plan or destinations in mind. We’ll probably do a bit of casual caravanning with Kristin & Jason, and there’s talk of possibly following Route 66 to Albuquerque from here. But, nothing is firm and we’ll figure it out as we go!