June 22, 2022 Aux Arc COE CG to Persimmon Hill COE CG

We pulled out around 9:00 and drove the short distance to the park’s dump station where we could get rid of our gray and black water. We hooked up the Jeep there and were on the road by 9:30. We had 323 miles to go today on mostly interstate highways. It was hot and steamy this morning already at 86 degrees (feels like 95). We found out yesterday from the people in the park office that Aux Arc, the name of the campground, means “big bend” in French after the big bend in the Arkansas River at the park’s location. (We also found out that the sirens we hear coming from the lock and dam are a warning that they are releasing some water. ) We jumped on I-40 which paralleled Lake Dardanelle for quite a few miles.

We had an issue with the AC as we were driving, so we had to stop at a truck plaza. We found a place to park so Bob could fix it. The generator needed to have the breaker switch flipped and we were back in business. We had overloaded the generator, but now the AC was operating as it should. Traffic through Little Rock wasn’t bad as we bypassed most of the city in the north. I-40 seems to be a huge semi-truck corridor. I’ve never seen so many trucks on the highway in one area.

About 40 miles outside of Memphis, TN, we saw some state patrol cars setting up a roadblock and laying those “spikes” (stop sticks) in the highway to catch someone they were in pursuit of. We saw 3 state patrol cars speed down the highway with their lights flashing and one came down the ramp behind us and blocked traffic. Luckily, this all happened just as we were passing by, so they waved us on and we didn’t get to see how it ended. Our timing was right as we might have gotten caught in a delay or major detour. Our route took us across the far northwest corner of Tennessee to Memphis. We crossed the bridge over the Mississippi River and the border into Tennessee.

We picked up I-55 south out of Memphis and crossed the border into Mississippi. We were in Tennessee for all of 20 minutes.

Heading south, most of the trucks disappeared and it was a pleasant drive.

We arrived at Enid Lake at 3:30 after a long day of driving. We are here two nights so we have tomorrow to recover from the drive. We had no wind to deal with today or any major rises in elevation, so we were getting 10+ mpg for all of the trip. That’s amazing!

Persimmon Hill Campground sits on Enid Lake and is a COE (Corps of Engineers) campground. To get to the campground after leaving I-40, we took Scenic Highway 32.

It took us around part of Lake Enid and across the top of a mile long dam.

From the top of the dam, we could see the campground at the water’s edge.

As we neared the end of the road over the dam, we saw a beautiful sandy beach and swimming area which is part of the campground.

We found our site #52 with the help of the campground host and got the AC going first.

This is the beautiful landscaped entrance right across the street from our site. The campground host did a fine job!

The campground is located on the far west side of the Enid Lake as seen on this map. There are many recreation areas, parks, and campgrounds around this huge lake.

Our site is situated on a small rise above the lake in a pine forest. We could smell the pine scent the minute we stepped off the bus.

It is shady site which is perfect for sitting outside with a view of the lake.

Auggie is in heaven here and wanted to be outside the minute we arrived.

We were anxious to stretch our legs even though we made multiple rest stops today, so once we got settled in, Auggie and I walked down to the lake to get a better view.

I sat outside with Auggie as he sat alert, watching for squirrels or anything else that moved.

Bob and I had happy hour outside in the shade overlooking the lake. It was warm and breezy, but even the breeze was warm.

Bob grilled chicken for dinner and we took our walk to check out the park. The campground is on a peninsula and is surrounded by the lake on 3 sides, so we walked to the other side of our campground to see more of the lake. From there, we could see George P. Cossar State Park across the lake.

The sun was beginning to set and made a soft orange glow on the trees. Bob and I sat on the swing by the lake as Auggie ran around sniffing everything.

It is so lovely here and Bob and I were commenting how Mississippi gets such a bad rap. When people think of Mississippi, they think of all sorts of negative things. The whole drive today was through beautiful wooded countryside with lots of rivers and lakes. It’s hard to believe we’re in Mississippi. We would definitely come back here again to spend more time. We caught the sunset on our walk back to the bus and then relaxed with a movie tonight.

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