• On the road again (Day One)

    Near Gaither Mountain Overlook (Arkansas) — The first major scenic overlook of our trip. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    We are back on the road on the second of our shakedown trips in advance of some more serious travel next year. We are headed back to Texas. Beaumont, Texas to be precise, where we plan to work for five days, and then spend some time on a Texas Gulf Coast beach before returning home.

    Today we drove 277 miles, checking out the views and some campgrounds along the way. We stopped for the night in Hot Springs Arkansas.

    We learned quite a lot from our Annular Eclipse Trip, and besides the logistical changes we’ve made, we’ve beefed up security both at home and on the road. The latter after someone tried to break into our hotel room in New Mexico — while we were in the room. At the same hotel we watched a guy in the parking lot putting on tactical gear including a vest before entering. With hindsight we should have switched hotels there and then.

    Unfortunately, each State has its own unique laws regarding how and where you can carry and transport firearms. To comply with many of the states’ requirements, we bought two portable safes. One for firearms, and one for our laptops, ammo and magazines. That’s because many states require that guns are kept locked away while travelling, that they cannot be loaded1, and that magazines and ammo must be secured separately. Most also specify that neither can be kept in the glove box or center console. All the different rules will make your head spin. They also make researching a trip extra complicated.

    There are a few states that are so draconian with their gun laws that we won’t be able to stop in them.

    1. Even the definition of a loaded firearm varies from state to state.

  • Near Gaither Mountain Overlook, Arkansas

    Near Gaither Mountain Overlook, Arkansas — The first major scenic overlook of our trip. This is a 180° Panorama, so the image is a bit distorted horizontally — use your imagination! Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
    Near Gaither Mountain Overlook — The first major scenic overlook of our trip, and well worth the stop. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Near Gaither Mountain Overlook, Arkansas

    Near Gaither Mountain Overlook, Arkansas — The first major scenic overlook of our trip, and well worth the stop.

  • Scenic Overlook on Highway 43 near Ponca, Arkansas

    Scenic Overlook on Highway 43 near Ponca, Arkansas Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    All too often, the forest had been obscuring our view, so we stopped for this brief glimpse of the countryside. Hidden from view, but this point overlooks ‘Ponca International’ a grandiose name for a grass strip runway, which I discovered on the satellite view researching where this picture was taken.

    We are going to take a few days for our trip to Beaumont. On the way we’ll be looking for places to stop in future, and places we’d like to spend more time visiting. Our plan for tonight is to stay in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We could camp at one of the sites around Lake Ouachita, but the temps are going to drop too low for Ginger’s comfort.

  • US 71 in Louisiana

    US 71 in Louisiana. Day Two. Hot Springs, Arkansas to Natchitoches, Louisiana. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Two.

    The Significance is that this road runs close to the Diocesan Center in Kansas City, so I asked Ginger to take a picture so I could send it to my old work colleagues.

    We needed a good Cell phone service for Ginger to host a meeting lunch time. We decided to pop over the state line into Texarkana, Texas for the event. We then headed down into Louisiana.

    Drop-in — Ginger hosts two ‘Drop-ins’ a week, and being on the road we needed to stop somewhere with a good cell signal. We stopped in a McDonald’s for lunch, and sat in the car for the drop-in. Texarkana, Texas. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana

    Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana. Day Three. Natchitoches, Louisiana to Beaumont, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana

    From the Louisiana Tourist Center, complete with the sounds of an accompanying distant chainsaw.

  • Fish

    Fish – Toledo Bend Reservoir, Tourist Information Center, Louisiana. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Cattail Marsh, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont, Texas

    Cattail Marsh, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Five.

    Morning walk to get away from work and out of the hotel for a break. Studying the maps I discovered that Cattail Marsh is actually a posh name for a sewage treatment pond.

    We are staying in Beaumont, Texas for four days (Days Four through Seven of our trip), checking out how well we can work from a hotel. Fine as it happens. This has to be one of the joys of a web-based business.

  • Yes, they are alive…

    Yes, they are alive… Didn’t see any though. Cattail Marsh, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Cattail Marsh

    Cattail Marsh, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • It looks like a jungle in there

    It looks like a jungle in there — Trail near Cattail Marsh, Tyrrell Park, Beaumont, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas

    Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Eight

    We had the whole beach to ourselves and 80°F in November, I’ll take that.

    We saw some alligator tracks in the sand, and when it got dark, we found out why we had the beach to ourselves — hordes of ferocious mosquitoes.

    Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Sea Rim State Park, Texas

    Sea Rim State Park, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas

    Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas — We had the whole beach to ourselves and 80°F in November. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
    Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Sun, sand, and sea

    Sun, sand, and sea — Beach Camping at Sea Rim State Park, Texas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Sunset at Sea Rim State Park, Texas

    Sunset at Sea Rim State Park, Texas — When it got dark, we found out why we had the beach to ourselves — hordes of ferocious mosquitoes. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Sunset at Sea Rim State Park, Texas

    Sunset at Sea Rim State Park, Texas — When it got dark, we found out why we had the beach to ourselves — hordes of ferocious mosquitoes. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Sunset, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

    Sunset, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Ten

    Ginger insisted that we stop to watch the sunset. I’m glad we did. It was a good one! Note: the cloud lines were straight, but this extreme wide-angle (180+°) view makes them curved.

    Our target for the day was Little Rock, Arkansas. Day Eleven, we’d be home.

    Day Nine

    After the attack of the ferocious mosquitoes, we decided not to spend a second night on the beach, but to head back towards Missouri, taking our time. We ended up spending the night in Natchez, Mississippi. And a fine place we thought it was. A place to return to.

  • Greers Ferry Dam on the Little Red River, Arkansas, and a change of plan

    Greers Ferry Dam on the Little Red River, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Eleven

    Taken from the John F. Kennedy Memorial overlook — President John F. Kennedy dedicated the dam on October 3, 1963, in one of his last major public appearances before his assassination.

    We decided to make this a Double Dam Day for our trip. We could have made it a Triple Dam Day, but wisely limited the excitement to just two Dams. Also, rather than going straight home, we decided to stop for the night at Ginger’s parents.

  • Bridge over Sylamore Creek, Allison, Arkansas

    Bridge over Sylamore Creek, Allison, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • White River at Allison, Arkansas

    White River at Allison, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Norfork Dam, Arkansas

    Norfork Dam, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Dam number two in our Double Dam Day. It is not a very photogenic dam, and rather uninspiring. To its credit there is a campground downstream, which seems to be popular with the fishing fraternity.

    Spillway, Norfork Dam, Arkansas. This spillway provides a separate fishing area for disabled users. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas

    Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas

    Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas

    Norfork Lookout Point. Overlooking the North Fork River, Arkansas. Copyright © 2023 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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