As usual, we took off with plans of Jello
(the best part about owning a small Class B Van).
Our first destination was the First Friday Art Walk in Springfield Mo. Springfield is a funky little city (3rd largest in MO) with an energetic art community. They seem to have been working on rehabilitating “Downtown” for a decade or two. We packed up some groceries and headed up the highway a couple hours North. Though we arrived a little late, we quickly slid into a normal city street parking spot and began wandering the streets somewhat aimlessly trying to find galleries and participants of the Art Walk. Street Musicians were on nearly every block, and “people watching” was the highlight of the evening. The local residents, rednecks, punk, goth, Rock N Rollers, clean cut college kids, 50 something tourists, farmers, business owners, art and wine connoisseurs, and many “blends” of the above, seemed to have turned out on this pleasant March Evening. I was having too much fun to think about snapping any photos. Jennifer and I shared some Soup & Veal/Portobello Mushroom Raviolli at Brunnos, a great little Italian restaurant recommended by our friend, Joe Golden. 🙂
Enough of the City. We headed South and found a great free (out of season) COE Campground called Cape Fair Marina. As Jennifer slept off her Zuppa, late into the night, I was having a ball listening to the stereo, following Siris instructions on the GPS, and driving through the darkness over the twisty hilly roads in the Ozarks down to the lake. …and we camped in Style; Lakeside, Free, Again 😀
In the morning, we started out early looking for something to paint from a list of “attractions” another friend had recommended… The first “must see” item was a shabby place called the Golden Museum… It was closed…
Next, was the “Little Golden Gate” Beaver Bridge.. ehh…
Then we stopped by “Roaring River State Park” and Fishery, only to discover it was the first week of trout season, and the place was packed with THOUSANDS of fisherman (literally -Thousands- spaced every 10 or 20′ along the river for 2 miles fishing) It was a ridiculous sight, and so disappointing we didn’t think to photograph that either… They did have a cool spring there though, and we got in a quick steep hike; up, over and around this canyon.
So, that was enough of planning. We just decided to “drive” after that… Got out the good old fashioned DeLorme Arkansas paper atlas, and went to check out Withrow Springs State Park in Arkansas, which was nice. A modern state Park with new, well maintained facilities (and a $32.00 Big Rig RV camping price to match). I really don’t like paying that sort of money just to park and “camp” alongside a bunch of others in big R.V.s. so, another look at the atlas showed a much larger Wildlife management area, just a few miles up the road, where there was Free “Primitive” Camping. 🙂
A few miles down a lovely rough gravel road and BINGO! A perfect little spot, right beside a creek, and a cave just across the field!
heh heh heh… Life IS Good.
And This was in our backyard… About 20′ away from the Van 🙂
Finally, something inspiring…
So, I went to work; slaving away in the hot sun…
while the “Queen” did what she does best….
She did warm up some of her Homemade Chicken Soup (which she made for me last week when I was feeling a little ill), and we hiked around a bit to check out our new place..
That is NOT the road we drove in on… But it wasn’t much different.
It dropped down below freezing Saturday Night but we didn’t know it, because we were cuddled up sleeping with our silent furnace in our toasty little Travato. In the morning, I got up early and turned the cab in to my own little personal painting Studio..
Jennifer made us Eggs on the “fire” and we painted and read some more, and went to check out a Spring and Cave nearby..
We hung around awhile, and then headed towards home. On the way, we rolled down to Steel Creek, and took a stroll down the River..
Tried to get these folks to flip there Canoe for a more interesting picture, but they just wouldn’t bite..
There’s just no place like Newton County..
Got a start on a new painting,
and shared another great weekend with the one I love.