We arrived in Hochatown, OK Thursday the 8th and departed on the 13th. It was a nice long weekend snuggled between doctor appointments and included a bank holiday. I love to stretch my vacation days by adding them to holidays. I drove the camper/truck(rig) the whole way up and back. Three hour round trip. This trip was very easy for driving as I had plenty of practice in July. I just needed to remember to swing wide on the turns.
Other than heating water on the stove all our cooking was done on a George Foreman grill outside. We even made toast, sausage and eggs on it. It was wonderful for cleanup. Ray did all the cooking on it. He and the sous-chefs that is.
We drove through the park sight seeing and gathering info on the park and town activities. A friend of mine let me know that Sasquatch had been seen in the area. There were a few stores that had the name Swamp Booger in them which I assumed was the towns term of endearment for him. Fall had definitely begun to arrive in the area.
This park is snuggled in the Ouachita National Forest. Gorgeous! I look forward to going back. If you look at the third picture you will see people canoeing. Just to the left of them, outside the frame, is where the landing is. You rent the canoe there and they drive you to a drop sight in a short school bus. They rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats. We saw all three.
Sunday we arrived at the rental place at opening time. There was quite a line but they handled everyone efficiently and we were in the water within about 45 minutes of our arrival. It was to be the hottest day of our trip but there was a breeze and lots of shade. Ray let them know he planned to fish so we would take longer than the average 2.5 hours. We were only out there a little over 3 hours. He had a few nibbles, lots of snags and show off fish jumping all around the boat.
I did not take my phone (camera) with me for fear of taking it swimming. We rented a canoe and had no issues. There was a small rapid at the beginning that caught me by surprise. The rest of the river, Mountain Fork River, was smooth. We paddled to the edges so he could fish in some of the deeper water. We saw turtles, fish and an egret. There were some places where there was a sheer rock wall with trees growing out of it. There was another spot that had a little cut in area that we explored. The skies were beautiful and clear. So peaceful. The pictures are in my memory.
So what is a vacation for me without some excitement? While we were canoeing we put the dogs in the camper. We were away from camp for about 3:5 - 4 hours. We went straight back to camp to let the dogs out. We pulled into the drive at our site and I opened my door. I felt something brush against the back of my legs. I was startled and looked down to see my little dog Moose,Moo Moo, looking up at me. Ray and I looked at each other confused as to how he got out of a locked camper. Ray went inside and found where he had managed to push the screen window to the side and jump over 5 feet to the ground! I was so relieved that he was not taken, lost or injured. Everyone reminded me he just wanted to be with me! Crazy dog!
But wait, there’s more! We went to bed Friday night. We would sit outside and talk, look at the stars and enjoy the fresh air, peace and calm. Overnight I heard a very loud pop. I thought it was a gunshot. Not too long after I heard voices shouting, someone banging on doors and the the word fire. I tried to look out the window to see what was going on. I could not see anything so stepped outside to see the camper directly across the drive on fire. I woke Ray up and he leaned out to look, came back in and dressed quickly.
While he was doing that I called 911. They told me they already knew and FD was on the way. I called the campground owner, no answer, then texted hi to let him know there was a fire. Ray ran out and when he knew everyone was safely out of their camper moved the truck. Our generator gas tanks were in the back and a bomb waiting to explode with the extreme heat. 911 called me back to see if EMS was needed. We told them no.
The volunteer FD arrived first. He started to spray the fire and perimeter and quickly ran out of water. It seemed like an eternity for the regular FD to get there. Once they arrived the fire was put out quickly. We heard the tires on the camper exploding and I watched for projectiles shooting off but never saw any. The camper on either side suffered damage from the heat. Only one of them was occupied at the time. The next day the rubble smoldered most of the day. We went exploring to get away from the mess. When we returned it had stopped smoking.
We do not know the cause of the fire. The man staying there had gone away overnight. Ray thinks t was the igniter that may have failed. It took me over three hours to fall asleep! Too much excitement for me! At least I was not the source!