Dardanelle State Park

Friday, October 20 – why the hell is this posting from the future now? As far as I know it is actually FRIDAY OCTOBER 20 right now, today! At least that’s what the phone thinks and I obey my phone like a good 21st century girl. Oh well! I digress.

The oh so sweet guys at the tire place in Hernando did not, it turns out, actually fix my tire. I wondered why it was free – they got all overwhelmingly nice on me and said, “We don’t charge ladies to fix a flat!” which I should have realized was code for, “We put some air in it, bitch, now go away.” It took them like 3 hours to do that, too. Bah. This morning when I went to hitch up and head out of Little Rock (reluctantly, I wouldn’t mind spending more time in Little Rock) I discovered that it was near flat again. So I limped it over to a Firestone place by the mall where they told me that they couldn’t find the leak either and it was somehow my fault for using a can of Fix A Flat.

Well, whatever. I actually do not care, I said, just get me a new tire then because this shit of hanging around tire places has gotten old. And they did, and while they did that I went to the mall and wound up shopping for clothes because this camper is HAUNTED and the camper ghosts have managed to eat an entire giant bag of black t-shirts. Which is to say, like half my wardrobe and I am extremely bummed – my San Miguel de Allende skull shirt! My MOUNTAIN GOATS SHIRT! ARGH! – and also, naked. OK not naked but CLOSE ENOUGH.

While I was doing this, I got the legal documents I was talking about earlier and thus I ended up running to an Office Depot across the street and then to a bank and another bank to find a notary and then back to the Office Depot and in general I basically worked today. Which is good because it means I don’t have to worry about wifi on Monday and bad because I only got about 70 miles away from Little Rock, since I didn’t actually leave until about 3.

Now I am at a campground in Dardanelle State Park. It is small and there is a highly reflective lake. I got a bit lost getting here – the Garmin seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown and just sort of loses her nerve and can’t find anything – but eventually I found it. I keep thinking I am in Gargamel State Park and giggling a bit, hee hee! But I recognize that this isn’t actually all that funny, particularly if you are a Smurf. But, while I am fast becoming a campground snob who is like, hmph, this one is too open, also too crowded, miraculously, crazily, I have full bars and it turns out that that is all it takes to make the Mifi act like real wireless! So I was going to leave tomorrow but maybe I won’t. I don’t know, though, the camper is so slanted on this hilly site that I will probably be rolling into the wall all night. Also, there are a lot of dogs.

I thought I was getting better at backing up but, well, I was wrong. I tried two different campsites here and after I hit a tree (gently, we are all OK) and damn near jackknifed a couple times I got a little loopy and about wept. Then finally a big fifth wheel came along and I basically jumped in front of them and said HELP ME! They had to stop or hit me and that is when I realized that the cab of their truck was mostly dogs. I mean there were at least five or six dogs in there, possibly more, along with the man who was driving and the lady in the passenger seat. And they weren’t all small dogs, either, although the small ones were the most vocal. They all started barking like crazy at me – I was clearly making their day, most exciting thing in a long time, this human who dared to approach their truck! They all had something to say. The smaller dogs got so excited they started biting the lady in the passenger seat. They were actually biting her face; it seemed uncool to me and something I would not let my dogs do, but she was mostly unfazed. She kept grabbing them as they bit her and holding them at arms length which made them bark more and bite air. This made the other dogs snarl at each other and all in all, whoo boy, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to completely fill the cab of your truck with dogs. But the driver, bless him, leapt out of the dog truck and into mine and backed it up perfectly into the space in literally 30 seconds as if I hadn’t spent the last 30 minutes trying and failing utterly to do just that. Then they took the spot next to me and proceeded to offload their dogs into their camper. Or, well, they put some of the dogs in the camper and distributed others strategically around the campsite, where they are all sitting now on full alert. The people hopped back into the truck and roared off, doubtless to collect more dogs. Arkansas! You do not fail to bemuse.




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