St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Days 3 and 4 Tire problems again

Days 3 and 4 Tire Starts Leaking again!

I’m writing this while waiting at a Bumper to Bumper auto parts and repair place in LA while the crew is away at lunch. The tire that we had patched in MO started leaking today. We put in a can of tire sealer and filled it with air, but it didn’t fix it. Another can and a couple of stops for air to re-fill it showed it just wasn’t going to make it much further. We found this tire repair shop who said could get it fixed in 15 minutes at 11:30, but the crew didn’t get there and then left for lunch so we won’t see them until 1:00 or so.

Sunday we drove through rain all day long from Branson MO to almost the south border of Eudora Arkansas at Pineville Motel. Cost $40 and was OK. The rain was very hard some places with occasional lightning. At Branson we saw our first magnolia tree! There were a few snow piles from a foot of snow they got a week ago.

Southern MO and Northern AR are in the Ozark mountains; large wood covered hills and valleys. Hwy 65 varied from a two lane narrow twisting road to four lane free way around Little Rock. The south 1/3 of AR flattens out and becomes farm land, and as we moved along the Mississippi in LA, it is all flat with cotton, beans, milo, etc. There were many cotton warehouses and occasional unpicked cotton fields.

Hwy 65 in LA is straight and flat going through huge fields. We are about 30 miles from Natchez (across the River) and headed for Alexandria LA—state park there.

Sunday stayed in the 40s and 50s with the rain. Today is in the mid 50s with lots of clouds and possible rain tonight before a cold front came in. The local newspaper says that Natchez got 5 inches of snow last week—a very rare thing for them.

Many of the small towns along Hwy 65 in LA are extremely poor with most of the businesses closed. Houses are very shabby. Gas prices in AR and LA have ranged from 2.39 to 2.65 with lots of variability along the way.

We saw the first blooming flowers in Branson where there were pansies here and there around the town. Here in Clayton we see a few daffodils (jonquils), paper whites and grape hyacinths and a few camellias blooming. Hwy 65 ended at Clayton. We followed it from Albert Lea to Clayton. I know there is a piece of 65 in WI too, that seems not to be connected to the one at Albert Lea. Pretty interesting road with good and bad parts.

In Arkansas we saw and smelled many dead skunks on the road, a few opposums, and a squirrel or two. We saw a few huge flocks of geese flying over late Sunday.

We probably should just replace the tire, but it had pretty good tread on it yet. It hasn’t had many miles buying it as we don’t drive the Buick much.

It is evening now. We are in Chicot State Park in Louisiana. It is in the 50s. We finally got the tire patched about 2:30 and got back on our way. I think we will get a new tire as this one has cost us $50 for the first service call and two patches; $10 for two cans of tire sealant to get us from out on the highway to the garage and another $12 for the last patch It was on the edge of the bottom. The repairman couldn’t put a patch on it so put a plug in it. Held all day, but I studied the tread and decided it can be replaced.

Supposed to cool down now for a few days We are here for at least 2 nights (got my Federal Senior Pass which gave us ½ price – ended up at $9.50 per night).

We only use the electric hookup in the camper. We have an electric heater and electric blanket for cool weather and a fan for warm. With wireless internet—we are pretty much civilized.