After our short stay in Metropolis to enjoy some time with my parents, we continued our journey south. Our travels took us across the Mississippi River at the point where the Ohio River ends. the flat land of bootheel of Missouri was a welcome sight, except for the high winds that we encountered. The wind gusts were in excess of 30 mph so the driving was difficult. The route took us to West Memphis, Arkansas and the west on I-40 to Little Rock. It was on that stretch of road that we encountered torrential rains...made driving difficult, but it washed the salt off the trailer and truck.
We spent the night at Willow Beach Recreational Area. It is a site operated by the Corps of Engineers. The site was fantastic, water and electric connections, and the parking area was paved so the truck and trailer were so level I did not even need to unhitch the trailer. The site was on the Arkansas river and Willow Slough. It was a very peaceful and restful place to stop, and as luck would have it the rain stopped just as we arrived! Too bad it was cloudy perhaps we could have seen a beautiful sunset if only the sun had been shining!
The route from Willow Beach to Dubach was largely through rural areas and not on the interstate highway. We certainly traveled through many miles of forested areas but did see how folks in the soth part of Arkansas live. It was a very interesting drive, but not many good stopping and resting places along the way. We arrived at our final destination shortly after lunchtime. Our first project was to unhook the trailer and go find lunch...which we found was not an easy task, but when we saw a shopping center, McDonalds and Walmart Linda realized that civilization existed in the south. The challenge with traveling in Louisiana is when I enter a destination, it always tries to send me to Los Angeles instead of the location selected in Louisiana (LA).
The OWL (Outdoor Wilderness Living Center) is a part of the United Methodist Childrens Home of Louisiana. The center was donated by a family to the Childrens Home. The size of the property is 800 acres and it has many facilities on it now. It is used as a retreat center and a recreational area for the children, who stay at the home in Ruston. The site is sitting on a large pool of natural gas so at night we hear the hum of the drills and pumps. Unfortunately the center does not own the mineral rights so they are not benefiting from the gas drilling that is going on.
Tomorrow we will start exploring the area more and will continue to update you on the happenings at OWL.