Day 101: Blowing through Arkansas in a day.

Our long stay in Tennessee is officially ending today as we continue our trek westward with our sights set on getting home to California sometime soon. With Memphis under our belt, we don’t really have any other solid plans on where we are going. But we need to get some miles under us today. Wake up sleepy heads!

last morning in memphis.

Here is a little secret I need to confess. Back when we were in Asheville and we took the girls to urgent care for Mila’s fever, I went under the rear bumper of the car to check out the rear suspension air bags. While I was down there, something fell and landed in my left eye. I didn’t know exactly what it was but I got it out when we finally got back to Mali Mish after being sent on a wild goose chase by the Walgreen’s pharmacy for nearly an hour.

It has been itchy and irritated ever since and I did my fair share of rubbing and poking to probably make it even worse. This morning however it has hit a new height in irritability. A quick look in the mirror I found a cut under the left upper eyelid. It was so uncomfortable and since I knew it wouldn’t get better until the wound healed, I decided to keep my eye shut as much as I could.

gooing eye.

Don’t worry, I am not getting fresh with you with a wink nor am I giving you my best Popeye impression. I can do much better with a corncob pipe.

going to arkansas.

During this entire trip, Marlene has not yet been behind the driver seat. In fact she has never driven the van while towing the Airstream since we bought it. She was not quite ready to drive it out of the parking lot, through the city, across the bridge and back on the freeway. I got in and gave it a shot as we drove across the the great state of Arkansas.

marlene at the helm.

It didn’t last long before I had to pull over and hand over the keys about 15 miles down the road at a truck stop. It was so uncomfortable that the only thing that keeps me from rubbing my eyes raw is to keep it closed. That means we get to check out Marlene’s driving skills with the van and the Airstream in tow for the first time! Check out her death grip on the steering wheel!

We thought we might stop for a break to check out Little Rock since it was on the way across the state. But Interstate 40 actually skims right across the north end of Little Rock without going through it. Considering our driving circumstance, we just kept going until we got the the city of Conway, AR. and took our first break at the parking lot of the Wal-Mart.

stop at conway, arkansas.

Just why do you think Ava is so excited here? Well, she is for one happy to be out of the car on a long driving day. But the real reason is the little place called ‘Jump Zone’ right behind her.

jolly jumpers!

We came across this by pure luck. Beside giving the girls a fun place to take a break, since today a boiling hot day in Arkansas, we were happy to hangout inside the air-conditioned warehouse full of inflatable bounce houses.

one eyed pirate.

“Arghhhh! The giant octopus got my pirate ship!”

batman.

Being in here is a nice change from the usual break we get walking along the aisles of Wal-Mart or sitting at a fast food restaurant eating junk food.

the girls.

So much so that the girls did not want to leave. At least not without a little bribe with a short trip to the frozen section of the Wal-Mart. I think you probably have an idea of what I am getting at.

ice cream!

That’s right. This hot day deserves an ice cream break. No one was happier than Ava to get a whole ice cream drumstick to herself. Even though half of it ended up on her face and melted around her hand.

more eye gunk.

The underside of your eyelids are kind of like the inside of your mouth. It has high blood circulation so it heals relatively quickly when you get a cut. But it isn’t fast enough. I think I am going to have to stay off the driver seat today and see how things go tomorrow morning.

marlene needs coffee to drive.

That means Marlene is back on the job. After a quick coffee refuel, we were back on the road again heading towards the Oklahoma border.

girls on the drive.

We decided to stop near the border before Oklahoma at a little town called Van Buren just north of Fort Smith. I have an old buddy who moved to Arkansas a few years back from California who we are going to be meeting up with tomorrow.

van buren walmart parking lot.

Tonight, we will camp out at the Wal-Mart in Van Buren, Arkansas. We are only about 10 miles shy of the Arkansas/Oklahoma border. It’s a bummer we missed pretty much all of Arkansas but we will have to come back another day. Tomorrow we will see if I remember what seeing out of both eyes with depth perception is all about.

over and out,
dan

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