Friday, May 11, 2012

2012-13 Russellville Arkansas

Hot Springs to Russellville Arkansas

Russellville Arkansas


Campground: OLD POST ROAD 1063 Lock and Dam Rd Russellville, AR 72802(479)968-7962.  An Army Corp. campground along the Arkansas River.  Large grassy and shaded sites.  Elect & Water. $10 Senior Rate, $20 regular.  Just a short trip into the town of Russellville.

views from the back of each campsite

Well, I might have mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I went to the Dermatologist here in Hot Springs Arkansas.  The biopsy on a spot on my face was cancerous and a week later I went in and had it removed.  I was pretty sure the biopsy had taken care of the issue, but the Dr. said, “no, it’s still there and we’ll remove it”.   So after a very quick surgery, I waited out in the waiting room for the results to insure that all the bad cells had been removed.  Quite some time later which amounted to about an hour, it was a success, so then it was downstairs to another surgery room where of course I waited again for at least 30 minutes for the Dr. to stitch me up (10 stitches). Except for a huge “pressure” bandage on my face (it is almost the same color as my skin so it’s hardly noticeable) and of course I wore my baseball cap and Foster Grant sunglasses as well when I left the place, no one could tell who I was.  I’m feeling fine and glad that’s over with.

While I was up there in the waiting room, I started chatting with a gal who was very smartly dressed in accents of red, including her lipstick, nails and toes.  Of course we started talking about age and she said she was not happy that all her friends kept telling her how old she was:  83.  Really she said, I know how old I am and I don’t feel that old so why do my friends have to keep bringing it up?  After all she only felt her age when  she  looked in the mirror.  I must admit she did have quite a few wrinkles on her face.  Well ok, it looked like a map of the New Jersey turnpike.  But she had the most expressive face behind those wing tipped eyeglasses.  She confessed that she had some plastic surgery done on her face.  Actually around one eye.  When she came out of the surgery, she noticed the Dr. had only done one eye, not both of them.  Upon a subsequent follow-up visit she obviously brought up the subject to the Dr. and he said, “darn it your absolutely right, I did only do one eye“.  She told me she intended on going back to have the other eye done, but not to that Dr.  Oh and said she had the procedure done the day after her husbands funeral.  Now that’s a big Hmmmmm.  She was quite a character and I wished her well as I headed on downstairs to have my stitches put in.

This is my second time having a cancerous spot on my face.  I guess all those years enjoying the beaches in Florida are now coming back to remind me that the sun is not our friend.  As much as it feels good to have the sun on our bodies, one does need to use sun protection.  And I obviously need to be more diligent about using a sunscreen when outside.

As a full timer, I have been fortunate to have BC/BS (Gov) health insurance so I can basically go to any Dr. across the U.S.  And although I know most full-time Rv-ers do all their medical exams etc. when they get back home or to their winter residence, I often times use a Dr. along the way.  I’ve found that Internet searches can be very helpful in finding a clinic that can take care of my needs.  Calling ahead a couple of weeks in advance for something like a Dermatology visit usually insures that I can get in and have whatever taken care of.  Unfortunately during my stay this past winter in Florida, the small community I was in had a very poor selection of Dr’s to choose from.  A note to fellow full-time Rv-ers:  If you need a specific specialist in a particular field, do an internet search and find one that’s part of a large clinic with say at least 5 or 6 Dr’s.  That way theirs a good chance they will be able to get you in quickly.  If the facility has only one or two Dr’s.  the chance of even getting a appointment goes down considerably.

Well enough of that,  I’m healing nicely and I even had them use stitches that dissolve so I don’t need to go back to the Dr’s office to have them removed.  I may end up with a scar over my right eye, so I might have to start saying “Rahr there matee”… Yup, I’ll be back on the road in the next day or so.

Two days after the surgery and 150 miles down the road I’ve landed in Russellville Arkansas at another Army Corp campground.  It’s along the Arkansas River and Lake Dardanelle.  The campsites are large and most have a two car width parking apron.  Sites are well spaced with the grass being left to grow naturally.  Not sure if it’s by design or if they have limited resources to cut the grass but I’ve got to tell you, seeing the grass growing to it’s natural height of 6 to 12 inches just looks so natural.  Behind each campsite, the trees look to have been thinned out over the years leaving space for the grasses to grow under the trees and it just looks so inviting to walk through.
Robert and Barb

The river has numerous dams and locks all along the river and I saw 4 barges traveling up and down the river today while visiting friend Robert Henderlong and his wife Barb.  they're staying at the State park right on the lake.  It was a bit windy and we all huddled under the front of their 5th wheel camper for our afternoon chat.  I was able to catch up on all the latest news from Desert Trails.  A campground I’ve stayed at during the winter months a few years in a row.  The people who are not coming back, new folks filling their space, the many changes the owner has made this past year.  The numerous shows going on weekly at the rec hall were all discussed. It’s nice being able to catch up with friends along the way.

Now I’d never thought about stopping in this area to explore, but here I am in Russellville Arkansas.  So of course I went online and used some of the resources listed on my Blog for finding unique or unusual things to see and do in the area.  One of the first things I found was a reference to a Rune Stone.  I’ve heard about these stones over the years and knew there were a number of them found in the Mid-West like around Wisconsin, but had never heard of any being found in Arkansas.  The word Rune comes from the Gothic word meaning “secret”.  Considered secret mainly because only a few people like heathen priests would have learned it.  The letters possibly originating from Greek and Roman letters and go back as far at 1,000 BC.   This secret writing was used throughout much of Europe but mostly Denmark, Sweden and Norway.   Christians brought in the Latin Alphabet and the Runic Alphabet gradually was discontinued.

just outside of Paris Arkansas

So here I am driving along country road 22 heading towards Paris in search of a Rune Stone.  The countryside is dotted with old chicken farms, their long low building in disrepair gradually sinking back into the earth.  The areas thick green forests of hardwoods and low mountain range to the south,  Dardanelle Lake on my right created by damming up the Arkansas River.  I pass well maintained homesteads, a Jesuit Priest monastery looking like a castle on top of a hill and finally arrive in the small town of Paris.

the old jail, now the county museum

I’ve arrived at the small county museum inside of an old jail on a back street not far from the Court House in the center of town.  Inside the old jail in the second room I enter, sitting on a small end table against a wall is the stone.  Other displays nearly crowd out the stone.  Old Xerox copies of newspaper articles describe the stone and where it was found.

Now the jump to finding these stones with writings on them and their mysterious messages in the U.S.  Some believe the Norsemen who of course discovered the Americas first, may have inscribed these stones during their exploration throughout America.  This particular Rune stone was discovered near Paris Arkansas fairly close to an old Spanish trail.  Leading some to believe that a Spanish explorer searching for gold, wrote the message on this stone.  It’s message has been translated to “Nov 11, 1012“.  Or could it be Viking explorers.  This is the first Rune Stone I have encountered but I understand there are others across the country including ones in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  If the date is correct on the stone and why wouldn’t it be, it could possibly show that the Vikings had indeed explored the Americas much earlier than Christopher Columbus.  I love a good mystery and really had fun discovering this one in of all places Paris Arkansas, population 3,100.  Of course others believe these Rune stones are a big hoax and that one day someone will come forward and fess up to the joke.  We’re quick to make judgments and I suspect that many archeologists are keeping a fair distance from these stones in case they are a fraud.  After all, researching something that could possibly be a fraud could ruin/rune ones career.  On the other hand, comparing them with others found across the country could provide clues to their origin.

Rune Stone, Paris Arkansas

The rest of my week here will be spent reading and just enjoying a different part of the country.  Where gas station attendants have but 3 or 4 teeth, where everyone seems to be a good ole boy wearing heavy construction boots.  Conversations in restaurants revolve around prayer groups and did you know Bobby over at the Tyson Foods worked with Jimmy who we’ve been praying for. And isn’t it a small world that Bobby’s been praying for Jimmy and he didn’t even know who he was until I started to question him on who he has worked with in the past.

Tyson, ConAgra, Lumber companies, International paper, and numerous metal and parts manufacturing companies are in the area.   So although each of the communities is relatively small many having populations in the 3 to 4,000 range, there does seem to be enough industry to keep the folks well employed.

So along with surgery the first part of the week, meeting up with friends during the middle of the week, I’ve had just enough time to do a bit of exploring as well.

Until the next report, have a super great day.

and of course more photos on Picasa


Writers on the Road said...

Hi Doug
We can here your voice (remembering the adventure club at Thousand Palms)as we read of your continued adventures. You inspire us to keep traveling as we are now home for
the summer in the Boston area. Very intrigued with the Rune story and we've got to get to Hot Springs next trip out. Party on! (and don't forget the sun screen!)

Douglas Palosaari said...

thanks, love your comments