Saturday, June 13, 2015

Arrival at Prairie Creek COE and a Settling In Day

Prairie Creek 06132015

Home for the next few months. (Taken from the road below.)

Friday – Russellville, AR to Prairie Creek COE in Rogers, AR – 150 miles

We rolled out of Ivy’s Cove RV Resort around 11 AM and got back on I-40 West.  From there we hit I-49 North (formerly I-540 North) for the rest of the trip up to Rogers.  Arriving here around 2 PM and being in touch with the rangers en route, they were on alert to stop traffic while our rig was being put in place.

I was prepared to have to back our rig in with some spotting assistance, but I tell ya what.  It’s a darn good thing the volunteer manning the booth has a big 5th wheel and had been a semi driver in previous years.  Otherwise, I could not have managed the maneuver. 

Prairie Creek fee both 06132015

That’s the fee booth right across from our site.  The photo doesn’t show it, but there’s a road to the right and this area is on a decent downhill.  Combine all the obstacles in front of our site with the massive speed bumps and the slope . . . well . . . it would have been a struggle for yours truly.  Thomas right away offered to get us in; even with his experience, he had to use the 4-wheel drive feature on our truck as he had done with his truck and rig.

Once our rig was on the site, it wasn’t really level, so we had to use our leveling blocks.  That took a while and once we thought we were ready to open the slides . . . oops.  The rear stabilizers would not be hitting concrete.  Fine.  More jockeying back and forth and rearranging the leveling blocks.  Okay!  Ready to lower the front landing gear.  That’s when we discovered this . . .

Metal in our COE site 06122015

See that brown thing above the orange pad that looks like a dark-brown caterpillar?  That’s a freakin’ iron rod.  The foot in the photo would be landing right on that, resulting in being unstable.  Lovely.

After more jockeying back and forth – Dave sure worked hard getting the Lynx levelers arranged just right – we were finally able to open up our home and start settling in.  Needles to say, we were wasted.  I’m surprised my liquefied brain didn’t start oozing out my ears.

The trip itself was uneventful and we traveled 150 leisurely miles.  We even went through a tunnel, something we had not done since 2010 in North Carolina.  Whoohoo!  The scenery really was beautiful.  Our beast of a truck had a nice workout and performed beautifully, getting us here safe and sound.  Have I mentioned I love our truck?

Our boss Ranger Brian came over in the evening to welcome us, bring our caps, vests and procedure book and give us a quickie tour of the booth.  In 24 hours, we have met and been welcomed by about five Rangers.

Saturday – Rest Day

We aren’t on duty until Monday, so we took the opportunity earlier today to run to Walmart for a few things like groceries, citronella candles and new camp chairs.  I also managed to take a few photos.

Prairie Creek marina 06132015

Part of Prairie Creek Marina – this park has a marina, day use/swim beach/boat launch area and campsites.  There is also a restaurant down at the marina.  The park is the closest to town and stays fairly busy on weekends, including the staging of various events throughout the Summer.  I’ve seen the events sheet for June . . . it’s gonna be  hoppin’ around here!

Prairie Creek our deck 06132015

Our deck

Prairie Creek our hut 06132015

Our hut behind our rig.  Attendants are provided a hut for storage.

Prairie Creek vew from our deck 06132015

View from our deck – that’s a little bit of a hill down to the road

It began raining not too long after our return from shopping and there’s a good chance of rain in the forecast the next several days.  I had wanted to do some walking and exploring the park . . . oh well.  Not today!  At least we’re set up and got supplies in before the heavens opened up.

Currently it is an absolutely delightful 74F out.  Even earlier while out shopping before the rains, we noticed it was not nearly as humid here as in Texas and the temperatures have been running 10-13 degrees cooler than Texas.  I know it will heat up as Summer progresses, but this is a welcome relief.

We haven’t deployed our batwing TV antenna, but are still able to pick up quite a few broadcast TV stations.  Yay!  Our only Internet is supplied by my iPhone, so we won’t be streaming Netflix and will need to be somewhat conservative with our data usage.  There is no cable and we don’t have satellite TV, which is really okay with us.  We enjoyed cable in Texas, but not having it leaves no great void in our lives.

Maggie’s been having a ball checking out the new sights, sounds and smells.  We saw a momma and very young deer cross the road out front yesterday and several deer in the field around the corner last evening.  I heard “something” rustling and walking in the woods behind us last night; I think it was deer. 

Not sure how often I’ll be blogging, as our duty hours are long and six days a week.  Long hours, yes, but not physically draining work in the hot Texas temps, and we are being paid.  Yay!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I hope this gig works out better for you than the last one.

  2. You're in tick and chigger country, so make sure you check on each other daily. They're insidious little critters.

  3. Getting paid is always a good thing. Best of luck with the new position.

  4. Ditto Allison's comment. We've stayed at Prairie Creek and really enjoyed it. Glad you made it safely and jumped through the set up hurdles. You liquefied brain line was PERFECT! I have sure been there but never described it as well.


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