After four days of travel and 1100 miles we have arrived in Forsyth, MO. This will be home for us this winter. We have workcamping jobs here that require minimal work on our part and will give us some time to decompress after the past 6 months. The owner up here said the last time he had workcampers for the winter they left because they were bored. A little boredom sounds real good right now. It will also give us a chance to recharge before our adventure picks up again in the spring. More on that at a later time.
The trip from West Memphis Arkansas to Forsyth,MO was interesting. Two different routes were planned and the merits of each were debated. The more circuitous one was over 500 miles and over 6 hours whereas the more direct route was less than 300 miles and just over 4 hours. All righty then, the direct route it is! The first 175 miles was great. There were good roads, whether interstate or state roads, with little or no delays.
Things changed after we crossed into Missouri. Between the GPS and Google Maps and our paper maps we were forced to choose on the fly several times which state road to take. You have to understand, with a 40' trailer and two lane country roads with no place to turn off, things get interesting. Once you commit to a route all you can do is see it through and hope for the best. This time there was more than hope, there was a bit of praying going on also.
What we thought would be an east-west state road through several towns turned into nothing more than a road through a national forest. The towns consisted of signs with town names and population totals between 50 and 300 and no people or buildings in sight. I think we were way back in the woods. The road was well paved but was undulating and serpentining so much that Mary was starting to get car sick! She never gets car sick or sea sick or any other kind of motion sickness!! Then the pavement started to deteriorate!!!It was maintained but there was as much patching as there was original pavement! Add to that, no towns along this route means no gas stations either!!!!! I was having no problems with car sickness but there was a pit in my stomach as I watched the fuel gauge creep towards empty. I don't believe in signs but I was looking for one at that time. Preferably one that said DIESEL!!!!!
Believe it or not things got worse! A sign announced a "One Lane Bridge Ahead". Oh goody ( note the sarcasm)! The signs also noted that the bridge was impassible during high water and the weight restriction was right near our rig's total weight. I am now sweating bullets!! We get to the bridge and it is one lane, the road surface is less than 2 feet above the water, and there is a car approaching from the other side!!!The car pulls over so we can go first. With a final wish that the bridge builders did an above average job we rolled across. Whew! Made it and now the only worry is are we going to run out of fuel in this butt clenching, banjo playing, god forsaken forest!!!!!!
With the dash computer telling me I have "50 miles to empty" I am overjoyed to see a gas station with a diesel sign. I go in and they tell me the were struck by lightning and none of the pumps work. The bottom of my stomach drops. Fortunately there is another station with diesel just 8 miles down the road. A full tank and all is well....or is it? 25 more miles to go to Forsyth and the narrow two lane road is more like a roller coaster than a road. The car sickness continues!
Sorry about all the exclamation points, but the trip was pretty intense. Well needless to say we made it and pulled into the campground. I don't know if I will ever get Mary back in the truck again without assurances that we will only take main highways from now on. For now, we are settling into our home here in Fosyth, MO because......
Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary