Monday, October 29, 2018

Hobart Street Park


    Noise from both the highway and the rail line is the only drawback of this little free campsite in Pampa, Texas. It has tables, grills, dumpsters, fresh water, and a dump station. There's little traffic on the park road itself.

  I couldn’t find very much information about the park but I did find a photo of a sign that has since fallen to pieces. 35.52857, -100.9715

          Screenshot (5)           texas1

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site


  General Phillip Sheridan, who fought for the Union in the Civil War, was appointed head of the Department of the Missouri in 1867 by President Grant with orders to keep the Native Americans living on the plains under control and restricted to reservations. His tactics included harsh treatment of woman and children, destruction of villages and food supplies, and unrestricted killing of buffalo.

   On November 27, 1868 the 7th U.S. Cavalry, led Lt. Col. George Custer under Sheridan’s command, attacked the sleeping village of Cheyenne Peace Chief Black  Kettle. The village was the western most of a series of winter camps along the Washita River and relatively isolated. The men in the village attempted to hold the soldiers at bay while the women and children fled to safety but many were captured and held as hostages. Custer and his men began marching towards warriors from the other villages who had been gathering on the nearby hilltops. Fearing that the women and children would be harmed the warriors retreated which allowed Custer’s troops to retreat back to their camp and supply train.


  Black Kettle and his wife were killed along with village men, women, children although an exact count is a disputed matter. Custer lost 21 soldiers. Native Americans refer to the action as the Lodge Pole Massacre which seems a more appropriate name than the Washita Battle.

  The site includes a visitor center, a paved loop trail, and a 1.5 mile grassy trail to the village location.


  The visitor center is accessible. The paved trail is accessible but, due to grades, wheelchair users may need assistance.

The visitor center parking lot is large enough for RVs. The Washita trailhead lot is small but RVs can be parked in the grass along Route 47.  Battlefield  35.61617, -99.68677


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Washita National Wildlife Refuge


  The accessible, paved trail is short at only 1/3 mile long but it  loops through several different habitats of meadows and forests to a boardwalk view of the wetlands. We did not see many birds or animals but the insects were out in great numbers.


  The refuge has a 22 mile auto tour route and another short trail. We did not do either of these.

The parking lot is large enough for any RV but the entry road is narrow and hard to spot. The trees have not been trimmed lately so  large vehicles will brush against the branches.  Refuge  35.63837, -99.28219


Lucky Star Casino - Hammon


     RVs can be parked in the long spaces on the southern edge of the lot. There’s also a large gravel lot behind the gas station which may be an okay parking spot. The casino closes at 2am on weeknights which did not affect our parking overnight.

  The card and money slots are easy to reach. The chairs are fairly easy to move and the employees are always ready to help. Casino   35.63902, -99.3577


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

McCubbin's Transformers


   Reasons to travel the backroads – very little traffic, slower speeds, interesting scenery, and giant Transformers! We spotted Optimus Prime guarding the parking lot of Mike McCubbin’s body shop at the eastern edge Stillwater, OK and immediately turned around to get a closer look.  It is amazing! The story is pretty interesting too.

    Mike McCubbin was impressed by a huge Transformer statue outside of a museum in Missouri so he ordered two from Thailand, one for each of his body shops. They arrived seven months later but quality of the statues was disappointing. Mike spent the next nine months grinding, welding, sandblasting, and rebuilding to make them reflect his high standards and to delight every little kid and Transformer fan.

IMG_4952IMG_4967                  IMG_4954

   It’s easy to get close to the statues but they can also be viewed from your vehicle.

   The shop on the east side of Stillwater has a small parking lot.  Anyone driving a large RV should park a bit west at the gas station. The shop on the west side of Stillwater has a pull through lot. It’s also possible to stop on the frontage road.  Transformers  36.1158, -97.03227


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Robinson Point Campground


   Many sites have shoreline access so this is a popular park for water sports. Amenities include electric and water hookups, restrooms with showers and flush toilets, a dump station, and a playground. The sites are close together with no privacy.

  We did not make reservations and were told at the check-in booth that none of the sites are accessible when according to the website there are two accessible sites. We did not check them out but it may be better to just chose a site that suits your RV and situation. Most sites have a shade shelter and a concrete table which may not be very accessible. The concrete parking pads are narrow but it may be possible to back up far enough for a wheelchair lift to be deployed onto the concrete under the shelter.  Campground  36.35299, -92.23934



Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mammoth Spring State Park


   Mammoth Spring pumps out nine million gallons of water an hour. A dam built in 1887 created a small lake and provided power for a flour mill, cotton mill, and cotton gin. In 1925 the Arkansas-Missouri Power Company bought the rights to the dam and built a hydroelectric plant that was in use until 1972.


  The park, established in 1957, includes an Arkansas Welcome center, a short trail with interpretive signs that circles the lake, exhibits in the remains of the hydroelectric plant, and a museum in the beautifully restored 1886 train depot.

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   The welcome center is accessible. A movable ramp provides access to the train depot. The hydro plant has steps and is not accessible. The trail is paved on the west side of the lake and then become gravel. It is also paved to the train depot. A rocky steep section on the east side of the lake is not wheelchair accessible so the entire loop can not be completed.


    RVs can be parked along the edges of the parking lot. Park  36.49578, -91.53517


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Apple Valley Hillbilly Garden and Toyland


  Oral and Myrtle Wallace’s tiny 14’x 14’ country store, built in 1931, had a barber chair and a four seat diner. The couple sold home grown fruit and vegetables, chicken dinners, apple cider, and moonshine. They even had a gas pump. Myrtle continued selling produce after Oral died in 1964. When she died the property sat empty until their grandson, Keith Holt, returned to Kentucky with two truck loads of toys he had collected during his 20 years as a actor, standup comic, puppeteer, and circus clown in California. His dream was to build a museum with model trains running through a huge toyland.


   A lack of funding and resistance by local property owners quashed Keith’s plans, however undeterred, he started creating folk art  from discarded junk. Visitors receive a personal tour from Keith, his wife, or one of the kids. Keith’s tour is extensive with really bad puns and a story for each of the pieces of art. The tour takes a couple of hours but the experience is worth the bad puns. :-D


   The best part is the small shed that is jammed with 3,000 toys. This is only 20% of Keith’s collection. The rest are stored in a large tractor trailer box that is not open to the public.

IMG_4889IMG_4915IMG_4916IMG_4914   The ground is hard packed dirt and grass, a little lumpy but not to hard to push around. The country store and toy shed have steps at the entrances and are not accessible.

   Spotting the small entrance drive from the road is difficult. The parking area is too small and tight for large RVs. We barely fit with our 25’ class C.  Garden   36.98026, -88.48333


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Serpent Mound Historic Site


  Over a 5,000-year period prehistoric inhabitants of North America built thousands of mounds for religious, ceremonial, and burial purposes. Serpent Mound, which is 1,348’ long and the largest animal effigy mound in the world, is believed to be a ceremonial and astronomical site. It may have been important to two widely separated cultures – the Adena from 800 BC to 100 AD and the Fort Ancient from 1000 – 1650 AD.

  The site has a small visitor center with exhibits and artifacts. A paved trail loops around the mound and an observation tower overlooks the serpent.


  The visitor center is accessible. The trail is accessible with a slight downhill grade. The interpretive signs are at an easy to see level. The only way to really see the snake is by climbing the tower but there are photos and dioramas in the visitor center.

   RVs will fit in the lot if parked across the spaces  Mound  39.02335, -83.43028