Once we finally managed to find a few days of decent temperatures in Ohio, we packed up the Castle and headed out.
We first backtracked west, the way we came through Indiana and into Illinois.
Once reaching Illinois, we headed south. It was a long day of driving, one of our longest for sure. Even though Jason wasn’t feeling all that great, but we were desperately trying to escape the freezing rain.
We stayed at the Wayne Fitzgerrel Illinois state park for two nights. Although I had done my best to get the camper packed up before we left, I spent the day trying to get things resituated and reorganized. Jason used the time to rest and re-coop.
Pushing further south, we made it to Arkansas, and found a nice spot to boondock off state route 40. It was the first decent weather we’d had, so staying 2 nights was a must.
We then headed farther west a few hours and decided to check out Hot Springs National Park. Although it was a little spendy, the Gulpha Gorge Campground was very nice. And it was our first campground where we had full hook-ups, not that we used them. But the electricity and water was nice!
The actual Hot Springs Park, however, left a bit to be desired. It was right in the center of the town of Hot Springs, which was very busy and the area where the original bath houses were located were quite run down.
So we headed back to the camper and explored a few of the trails by our campground. Josie had a fantastic time, which you can read all about HERE.
As we pushed farther west, we came to discover we were making a racket! When we pulled in to re-fuel, we looked under the camper and found that we were dragging a bent angle iron that supports the water tank. Apparently the screws had busted off. Thankfully there was no major damage, and the angle iron did not come off completely while going down the road!
So while at the fuel station, Jason removed the angle iron and put it in the truck. Then we found a place where we could drain water from the tank.
We debated about what to do next, but in the end, we decided to go ahead to our next spot as planned, and do the repairs there. It was close to a major town and Jason was certain he could get what he needed to fix our issue.
Our next spot was Buzzards Roost Campground in Lake Murray State Park of Oklahoma. We really enjoyed our stay here. And although there seemed to be plenty of activity around the day use areas, there were hardly any campers. Which is just the way we like it!
We had a gorgeous view of the lake and temperatures in the 60s. It finally felt like we had escaped the freezing temps.
We took a trip into Ardmore to get a new a-arm, re-provision, and of course take Josie to the local dog park.
We spent 3 nights by Lake Murray. Josie enjoyed basking in the sun while Jason bolted on a new a-arm. We were good to go.
It was about this time my folks were looking to head out of Ohio and come do some camping with us. So we had to make a few plans – even though no plan is the plan!
We decided we would all meet up in New Mexico, since it was state #49 on Dad’s list to visit.
In the mean time, we would make one more stop at Copper Breaks State Park in Texas before getting to New Mexico. This is where Josie met her first armadillo, which you can read about HERE.