Bliss camping by a river

Trip Start Jun 26, 2008
Trip End Jul 11, 2008

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Where I stayed
MarVal Family Camping Resort

Flag of United States  , Oklahoma
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We woke up at 7:00am with some freshly-brewed coffee awaiting us in Rebecca's coffee pot. Harmond and Warner slept in their new bright orange (glow in the dark!) Yoda t-shirts from Walmart. We had a group (kids included) yoga session on one of the concrete RV sites that was empty, and Janelle made eggs and bacon for breakfast. Harmond briefly rode his scooter and the boys then wanted to go into the pool, and Rebecca accompanied them and downloaded her photos onto Janelle's computer. After a bribe of ice cream, the kids got out of the pool and were ready to leave. We drove out of the Little Rock RV park to a sign that said, "Step up? Antenna Down? Wife Aboard?" (all of our wives were onboard and driving) and laughed back onto I-40W toward Gore, Oklahoma.

Talking in the car about where to stop for two nights before arriving in Denver, Janelle seemed startled that we didn't have three days left. Somehow, she forgot that June only had 30 days, not 31, and Rebecca never noticed having so many days for the trip back (which of course were already booked). This revelation meant that our last two days would be at least 6 hours each, which will feel very long with five children in the RV, but which we are certain we can do after making it this far.

We stopped in Ft. Smith, Arkansas (past Toad Suck State Park) for some lunch and then again across the Oklahoma border at The Indian Store, where we stocked up on souvenirs (there are 39 Native American tribes in Oklahoma, second only to California). Spencer loved the store and became obsessed with his moccasins and a froggie key chain that stuck its tongue out when squeezed. Of course, when he arrived in the RV without frogs for Molly and Taylor, there was a major girl meltdown until Meaw went back and bought two for them. Taylor spent the next 45 minutes sobbing hysterically that the frog's tongue wouldn't come off (see video for evidence) and was happy once Meaw cut it off. 45 minutes later, we were at the MarVal Family Camping Resort in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, which was recommended to us at the Memphis KOA by a family with four girls from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our campsite was on the Illinois river, which normally at this location is knee deep, but due to the heavy rains is much deeper, so we couldn't wade in the cold, clear water as we hoped, but could enjoy the spectacular view from our camp site right on the river. While the site was beautiful, we found the staff to be fairly condescending to women traveling alone in an RV (perhaps quite the contrary to their AAA award), but we quickly got past it, and all went to the pool and "splash pad" for awhile, then Rebecca tried to take her boys fishing in the Kids Fishing Pond a short walk up the road, but one tantrum by Warner later, she couldn't figure out how to get the bopper (?) on the rod, so they decided to try again (with the nifty beginner Spiderman fishing kits from Walmart) when the store and office opened at 8am the next morning. Two girls from Kansas, camping with their mom, brought us over half a watermelon, and we had our first home made dinner - hot dogs cooked over a fire pit and Mac 'N Cheese - the kids adored it. The adults had a bottle of wine with dinner (with a newly purchased wine opener - from Walmart), finishing one already opened and opening another '04 Cabernet Sauvingon that was unfortunately cork tainted (really bad - thanks Cocodrillo) and the kids roasted marshmallows over the fire for smores (until they used the sticks as weapons). Once again, Ginger was elated, sipping water from the cool river for a doggie cocktail. Janelle and the triplets sat with Rebecca and Meaw under some spectacular stars while the older boys watched movies, and we faded off to sleep with the windows open and to the sound of crickets.
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