Saturday, November 16, 2013

Denby Point to Weston Point COE

From Crystal Springs COE, it's a short drive on rural roads to Denby Point COE.  A very quiet and beautiful COE on Lake Ouachita. Quieter than Crystal Springs, there is more separation between sites.  In both cases we are visited by,and talk to, very pleasant campground hosts.  This host indicates that at this time of year, you could stay until March 1st.  The usual limit is 14 days.  On these sites, there are electric and water hookups. All for $9 per night.  We asked about other opportunities.  Our host indicated that there are a number of Corps parks, National Forest, and other camps that are available for free. They are smaller, sometimes not as level, and--as usual--do not have water, electric, or dump stations.

Colors have started to fade, but still a few brighter yellows and reds out in the campground.  The temperature has dropped and we plan for a cold night in the lower 20's with daytime temperatures in the 40's.  Sounds like New England.

Oh, that's right---NO SNOW!

Jan and I are impressed with the Corps setups for group areas.  Denby has two large sites that can accommodate a large number of campers--like scouts or families.  We are impressed to see these group stone fireplaces with  benches all around.

At Crystal Springs and Denby Point most of the campers seem to be prepared for fishing.  The local campers come with impressive boats.  Many are good, fairly new bass fishing boats.  They have large motors on back, sometimes around 225HP, plus electric trolling motors.  The boat trailers are double axle with fancy flairs over the wheel wells.

Speaking of fishing, I am including this link for Lake Ouachita information    Quite the lake at 40 miles long and with 970 miles of shoreline.

Bassmaster Magazine lists Ouachita as one the top 100 bass lakes and it is in the top 10 nationally for largemouth bass.

Lake Ouachita State Park, Crystal Springs, and Denby Point were the three parks we stayed at on Lake Ouachita.  There were many other possibilities, but these seem to be the most popular. Also, some of the others are closed for the winter.

We, as you may have noted, prefer the Corps parks.

There are other lakes in Arkansas, and we head for Lake Greeson.  Along the way, we must find groceries and do laundry.  Laundry is always a challenge.  Sometimes there is a laundry in the campground.  Even in some Corps parks there might be a small laundromat or two.  Private campgrounds often have laundromats and they can range from small to large, old to new, reasonable to quite expensive, and clean to ----not so clean.  We leave Denby Point on beautiful back roads and keep a lookout for laundromats.  Sometimes we get some help from apps like Yelp or our All Stays(camping app).  We also know from our apps that a small campground in Murfreesboro, AR has a laundromat.  We also have had our mail forwarded to Murfreesboro, so this will work fine.

Along the way we see three laundromats. The first looked quite new and clean, but we did not see it in time to turn in and there was no turn around near. So we continued.  Quite close to the post office, we see another---looks good.   After picking up our mail, we circle back in the quiet town of Murfreesboro and drive into the " now opened" fairly new laundromat.  Good choice.  Nice big machines and washing is $1.50 per load and drying takes $1.00.  Not bad at all.

As often happens, there is an unplanned plus.  A great little Mexican restaurant, Los Agaves, is right across from the laundromat.  Yelp has given it a good review, and when we step inside, we have a nice chat with the young owner and his helper.  Great lunch.  Jan has a chicken chimichanga and I have a burrito.  All served with lots of fresh taco style chips, green tomatilla sauce, and a salsa.  As well as fixings for the sandwiches.  All of that for $12--total--for the two of us.   Gotta love serendipity.

Since we are all set with our laundry, we decide to head back up north a few miles to another corps park, Kirby Landing.  We settle on Weston Point campground which is another great spot.

This one has a full hookup section which is almost full.  But there is a wonderful section of electric and water only that is totally empty.  GREAT!  we move in.  All for the price of $6 per night--offseason!

Most of these parks have marinas--run privately--with a large number of boats.  In this case, there a lot of houseboat sized water vessels.
If you look closely, you will note that these boats have two levels.  There is a wrap around staircase at the stern as well as --often--a water slide--into the water-- from the second level.  They all look large enough for a good sized family or a number of friends.

Does this look like a good camping site?  Again, in most Corps parks, there is good separation.  They most often have good workers keeping the sites and the bathrooms quite clean.  We note that also , most often, the showers and bathrooms are well heated.

Lady Blue seems quite happy.  We are somewhat surprised to actually have satellite reception through the trees.  Our only neighbors are the occasional blue heron, pileated woodpecker, and many other birds.  Most of the campers here in Weston are seemingly intent on using their ATV's to hunt.  One group of men were headed out to find the "large buck" they had seen.  We make a note to stay hiking on campground roads only!

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