As we left Oklahoma it was raining and continued to rain the entire drive to Hot Springs Arkansas. It was crazy driving along and seeing how close the ground water was getting to the road and houses. According to one of the locals this year broke the record for the most rain fall in over 100 years. I was definitely having flash back to the Bismarck ND flood of 2011. (that is when Matt and I started hanging out). When we arrived at our campground it was too rainy and late in the day to do anything so we just had popcorn and watched some movies.
The next day we started the day off in downtown Hot Springs. We did a quick hike in Hot Springs National Park which was pretty cool to park downtown then walk up the trail into the park. There was a cool lookout tower that we also considered doing except we didn’t bring a wallet with on the hike… oops. When we were back downtown we stopped at a quiet little park that was located in between two shops and had live music every Friday and Saturday night. There was also a cute little water fall feature that Warren was mesmerized by and loved running around and stretching his legs since he was on my back the entire hike. Once he had enough running around it was time to head to the Alligator farm. They had sheep, goats, alligators, monkeys, ducks, wolves and a mountain lion. We were the only ones visiting the farm when we arrived, so we went in with the goats first where Aubrey got to hold two of the babies that were 3 and 1 week old. She loved getting to do this because if anyone already knows petting the big goats at the zoo is one of her favorite things to do so getting to hold the babies was a dream. We didn’t get to go in with the sheep like they normally allow because one of them had a baby that morning. Apparently the owner didn’t even know the mom was pregnant, so that was a surprise! After telling Aubrey we could come back to the goats again later she finally left the pen and we headed in with the alligators and monkeys. Matt and I both got to hold an alligator that was 5 years old. It was defiantly not what I was anticipating holding it but then again I’ve never really held any reptiles in my life. Aubrey didn’t want to hold it but both her and Warren decided to pet it a few times. Even though she didn’t want to hold one she was brave enough to climb in the cage with them and feed the gators a few pieces of hotdog off of a stick. That will definitely be up there on the list of animals she has gotten to feed along with elephants, baby bangle tigers, and giraffes.
The next day we drove to Mansfield. The campground was the simplest one we’ve been to so far. We didn’t know where the office was then a truck pulled up next to us and said, “you can have any spot over there” and took off. We found the Washerium (what they called it) which was a 3 sided shed with 10 washers and dryers in it half with marker written on them saying “Don’t Work” “ Don’t Dry” so I reluctantly found one that didn’t look too dirty despite having a giant mosquito fly out of it. I put my money in and loaded the machine only to find out that it wouldn’t start until I shook the lid the right way to engage the start button. When it was time to move our stuff to the dryer I let Matt do it and he found the crappiest dryer available but didn’t realize it until after the money was in. The machine was making a terrible screeching sound the whole cycle and we could hear it from our RV that was parked about 100 yards away, but it dried our clothes so I guess its all good. That was a fun experience of doing laundry and I am always going to do it in advance when there are nice places instead of just assuming everywhere is good.