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This was the first time for me to take the volvo on a trip. I figure that a trip or two is required before my 2010 Art Roadtrip. I need to get comfortable and accustomed to my new ride. Also a few short trips should reveal anything that needs fixing. For example, the sunroof seems a tad loose which you dont notice around town or on good roads, but on bumpy Arkansas highways it's a very noticeable rattle. Oh, and it's not the best at river crossing (more on that later).
It was also good to try out the new tent. Wow, for a 2 person backpacking tent, it sure had a lot of room. Much more than i expected. I'm glad that I set it up for the first time in the daylight. It is always tricky the first time you set up a new tent. The ones I used as a boy scout are so familiar to me that I can (and i seriously have) set them up blindfolded. The REI tent was pretty simple once you got the hang of it. I think it will be much quicker next time. It was a great purchase. No doubt.
Above is a shot of the spring water coming out of the Blanchard Spring Caverns. The caverns are amazing. I taken the tour it a few times, but I didn't go this time. Everything was so nice and pretty outside that it didn't seem worth it.
The Ozarks, Arkansas rivers, and bluffs... ah, it feels like going home to grandma's. This is my childhood. This is where i went camping as a kid and as a boy scout. Speaking of all things Arkansas, let me introduce you to the low water crossing.
I don't care for these low water crossings, they worry me since I drive a car not a truck or SUV. But Arkansas has a number of them when you go into the backcountry. So the Volvo and I have never done one of these before, but the water was only about 7 inches deep and the current seemed very slow. Should be fine right? The ranger didnt warn us about this. Anyway.... The photo above is from the drive out of camp. So maybe I had a better technique this time because the first time the tires threw the water up higher. And this happened.
Seriously? I feel this bit o plastic (a wind damn or somthing?) wasn't firmly attached anyway. I'll get it put back on later, but this was upsetting at the time. Geeze. It felt like a real life version of the Oregon Trail video game. Your oxen have drowned. River fording FAIL... Sigh.
But all in all it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. I'll be more prepared next time.