Arkabutla Lake, Hernando Mississippi

Monday Evening October 15 through Wednesday Morning October 18

I got to the campground in the dark and tried to back in to a campsite. That went about as well as could be expected! It was horrible and I couldn’t do it. I even moved to an easier campsite to try there – one that was so easy, so straight up simple that a child could do it, you know straight as an arrow – and I still couldn’t do it. I was tired and it was dark and actually getting kind of cold and I nearly cried. But RVer to the rescue! I do not know how these immensely capable men in pickups manage to just appear at my hour of need but it happened again: this super nice guy showed up, asked if I minded if he just backed it up for me (this is the point at which I leap out of the truck and shower thanks upon him) and LO I was camped.

I got set up and sat down with a glass of wine and discovered that there was wifi of a sort! By which I mean that my Mifi worked and I had what I can get with that thing, which is essentially slow, almost read only internet. No uploading, but so what? Twitter! Instagram! I decided to stay for a while. Then I had a very scary nightmare – a guy in khakis and a white polo IN MY CAMPER bent over the controls (that’s how I got out of the dream: there are no controls in the camper!) and his companion, a very thin woman with blue Tammy Faye eye shadow that had melted down to cover most of her face. I might have screamed. It was bad.

But! In the morning it turned out not only was there wifi but the campground was lovely, the lake was large and the neighbors were essentially nonexistent. So I voted to ignore the nightmares and stick around. I went for a long walk along the lake shore and saw many tracks, like enough tracks so I began to suspect the woodland animals had been filming a Disney movie the night before. Entire gazes of raccoons! (That’s how many raccoons there must have been: I went back to the camper and googled the name for a collective noun of them.) Many deer! Large birds with large bowels! And wiggling sinuous track things that I thought were snakes but my friend Specklet tells me are snails. Large snails, then. Snails who fight with raccoons.Β  And it was scenic and I took a SHIT TON of extremely beautiful and, one would think, commercially viable, photographs of the lake and the shore and two ridiculously photogenic trees. When I figure out this Lightroom / Wifi / WordPress morass I’m currently in, I will show you them.

Lake Arkabutna was lovely and I liked it. It was also on the honor system: you are supposed to fill out a little envelope with your info and stuff it with cash or a check. There was no ranger. There was no oversight. Just, hey, fill this out and leave it here. Due to a serious act of idiocy on my part, my checkbook is deeply buried in a box at the bottom of the pile in my garage. . .

Reader, I confess I hesitated. I thought about stiffing the Mississippi State Parks.

But I am not that person (I probably will be once I get a bit broker) and I nobly filled out the info and stuffed the cash – the full amount, yo, $20 a night – into the envelope and put the envelope in the drop slot. Then I headed off feeling like a Good Citizen.

Which promptly bit me on the ass when I discovered that the tire on the camper I have thought for a while had a slow leak in fact does have a leak and it ain’t slow anymore. Fortunately I had a can of Fix a Flat and a very nice camper named Tony – I tell you it is a miracle – helped me open it. Now I have been sitting here at a Gateway Tire in Hernando for some time. I have reservations for tonight in Little Rock. But I am starting to think I might not get there today.


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