Starting my Big 2018 Road Trip – Oklahoma City & Arkansas

I started my 2018 road trip and first multi state trip with the teardrop a week ago.  Due to last minute things at work and a need to conserve vacation days  ended up leaving after work on Thusday.  My first stop was the Lake Tawakoni RV park in Point Texas with my Thousand Trails pass. I don’t recomend this campground. The only positives for the night were that I was right acoss from the bathroom and I tested my boondocking skills.

Because there was a car chase on I-45 as I was leaving Houston, my leisurely arrival time of 7:30 turned into 9:50. By the time the night ranger, who was clearly annoyed that he had to deal with me, got to the front it was 10:00, at which point he informed me they don’t let people in spots after 10:00. A fact that I pointed out was not on their website and rules.  He ended up letting me in to the front section only.  I found  spot by the bathroom that I discovered had a sign on the power box saying “out of service.” I thought this just meant that the power did not work.  Since it was just one night and cool outside I decided it didn’t matter, proximity to the bathroom was my biggest concern.  I was informed the next morning that the sign is supposed to signify that the site is reserved by someone on an annual basis.  We had words about this because “out of service” and reserved are not the same thing.  At that point I had already had breakfast and coffee so I got dressed and left. As I went through the park I found that most of the sites either had one of those tags or someone was clearly living there.  I’m not opposed to the idea of living full time in a camper, but these people were not traveling in their campers.  They were clearly permanent setups and most had piles of junk and trash all over their site that made it feel like driving through a trailer park. They were not friendly either and when I tried to wave, like you do in campgrounds, they would just glare at me.

I did make a discovery that was important for later parts of my trip. From reading the manual, I thought that when I was at Lake Medina I had turned the power setting to run on battery to test out running the heater and electric blanket. I discovered that as long as you are plugged in it always uses the shore power, no matter the battery setting.  The battery settings are simply whether you are charging it or not. This is important because the inverter in the camper only runs the refridgerator, lights, radio and fan.  The 110 outlets in the camper are not hooked up on the inverter.  That means that to run anything with a 110 outlet I would need an inverter to plug into the DC outlet.  So not all was lost on that night. I knew I had to buy an inverter before the Great Smokey Mountains to run heat.

Since I left earlier than planned I made the most of the rest of the day as I traveled to Oklahoma City. The camper did help make it a more leisurely trip since I could stop and eat lunch in the camper and relax.  We also stopped and took pictures at the state line and I rolled over 160K mikes in the Escape. At this point on the tip Bella was still enthusiastic about going somehwere.

Our first stop was in Oklahoma City. It was not a Teardrop adventure persay since we stayed with friends but it is a very dog friendly city so if you are traveling with pets I highly recommend it. We stayed with friends who had pets and one of their cats decided he was my new BFF. Bella was not pleased about how he would just jump right in my lap and roll all over me, with no regard to the fact that I was her mamma. She would still sit beside me but she would turn her butt to me to make sure I knew she was not pleased.

While we were there we visited Myrid Botanical Gardens. It is beautiful and I can see how it influenced my friends to move there.  The weather was perfect that weekend too. I didn’t know how to act to not sweat just from walking outside.

I love tulips, probably because I can’t grow them in the South, and they had a huge variety all over the park.

Bella was happy she got to go.

We also rode the canal boat in Bricktown.  It also allows dogs so Bella went on her first boat ride. She did really well.  She didn’t care for the sites but she enjoyed sunning herself in the boat.

The canal includes a large section of Bronze statues depicting the great Oklohoma land rush.  We even got a somewhat contenious explantion of what a “Sooner” is. Hint, don’t use the word cheater with a real Oklahoman.

After 2 full days of food, good company and sites in OKC we went on to Ouchita Lake State Park in Arkansas. This campground is now the gold standard I judge all other campgrounds against. To begin with all the roads getting to it are in great condition, wide, well marked with plenty of reflectors.  Getting to it at night was no problem. All the roads in the park were also in great condition and all the sites are paved and wide.  I had no problem backing in at night. The picnic tables and grills were all like new and clearly taken care of. I was able to select a site when I booked and got one on the water and right by the bathrom. The view was beautiful.

The bathrooms were amazing.  The one by my site was not men and women, but 8 individual, privite bathrooms.  Even the outide of the bathroom was nice.

Inside was like a spa.  They have a toilet, sink, shower and bench and locks for privacy.  It even has a dual head shower with a upper and lower shower head.  They were clearly built with high grade materials and well maintained and clean.

I got up and did some exploring in the park before we left while Bella got caught up on her beauty rest.

I really wish I had planned to stay longer.  The firepit by the water would have been lovely at night.  Unfortuneatly someone else had the site booked for the next night and I had reservations at other places. It is a 7 hour drive from Houston though so completly doable for a long weekend.

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