From Oaklahoma City to the casinos of Tunica

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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What I did
Drive from Oklahoma City to Tunica

Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Friday, July 29, 2011

It was still hot in the morning. The RV temp only went down to 90.I really wanted to take another shower since it was a hot and sticky night. Now, it was much cooler outside than inside. I went to get a two for 1 breakfast sandwich sale at the Flying J, but like last time I ate here, the food was horrible. This Flying J did not have the Denny's open yet so it was over the counter truck stop food – not the best. This time it did not take much to pack up the RV as it was attached to the truck for the night. After last night, there was no way we were spending the night at another Flying J in this weather.

Again, we drove on the I-40 for most of the day – which was a 500 mile drive. We passed through Oklahoma City during their rush hour and it was not so bad. The eastern side of Oklahoma was very green – compared to yesterday – and had several rivers and lakes going around. After a few hours we were in Arkansas and the landscape was more trees and more mountains – not the Rockies of the west but the Ozarks; but pretty with all the flora. Again, more civilization going on with more towns now on the highway. Coming into Arkansas meant we were back in the South. After another few hours we passed on the outskirts of Little Rock and then we were heading toward Memphis. The GPS said we would hit Memphis around 5:00 – right at rush hour. So I decided to skip it and took a back roads route on a US highway. Lots of small towns and rice crops on this rural Arkansas road. Good speed as there were just a few cars. But we did hit the hardest rain of the trip – one of those red cell types where you cannot see the road with the wipers on high. Let’s say both hands were on the wheel and I was not going so fast. I made sure the route went around Memphis and did have a bridge across the Mississippi River. We did cross about 50 miles south of Memphis in a city called Helena. It was a small two lane bridge about a mile long – two hands back on the wheel. Now we were in Mississippi and only 30 min. away from Tunica. We traveled on this huge little used four-lane road in rural Mississippi – why do these little populated areas get all the good roads and the metro areas have tons of traffic? Good political pork barrel.

Around 6:00 we pulled into the Hollywood Casino in Tunica. This small town 20 min. south of Memphis has almost 10 casinos – three of them had campgrounds. I picked the Hollywood since it got the best ratings and it was a good place. Huge paved spaces with full hook-ups for $20 a night and we had a space all to our own looking back at vast fields. Yes, the casino was about a 10 min. walk away but we were not here to spend our money at the tables. And in this heat and humidity, I’d drive to the casino. After we got set up it was time for dinner. Instead of the $22 super buffet at the casino I found a place that got high reviews – The Hollywood Café. This had nothing to do with the casino as it had been around for over 40 years and much before the casinos opened. It was located around 6 miles away in this old shack of a building. Inside was like an old juke joint. Since it was a Friday there was a blues band playing – they were just OK. The inside was cool too. We ordered some shrimp and catfish with fried pickles. That was the end of the good news. First, for an $18 plate there was not that much food. The waitress did not come to see us too often as we were at the bar and there was no bartender. This turned out to be one of the most expensive places to eat (and to be in rural Mississippi) and the service was really bad. Looking back we should have just stayed at the casinos and had the buffets.

Back at the RV we chilled and did some internet but it was quite slow. Walked the dog around the wet dew covered grass and watched the birds all over the place and the frogs. Now this was the last night to stay in the RV after two fun filled months. At least we had AC tonight to fight off the humidity.
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