As I discussed in September, we went to Crater of Diamonds State Park. We ended up taking our pickup truck since we couldn't get everything we were taking into the Caliber. So, after getting it loaded up, we hit the road around 10:00 Thursday morning, and we were all excited!
Things were going basically as planned until somewhere in Arkansas I noticed the truck pulling to the left pretty bad. My wife asked if we had a flat. And she was right, we did. So we pulled into a driveway just a bit away to change it, ESPECIALLY since there was no shoulder on the road!
So, we pull into these peoples yard to change the tire, and we had never changed the tire on the truck before. And of course, the jack etc was under the back seat of the truck, so we had to unload the inside of the truck to get it all out. Then we had to figure out how to get the tire down. Things were going pretty well. When I was trying to get the lug nuts off, the ratchet was working right, and my boy said, turn it around. Course that worked. We got the spare on and the truck reloaded, and off we went. I was a bit worried about the tire since it had never been used since we've had the truck, and who know how long before then. We got to the next town, and they had a Walmart! So, we stopped and I went in to find a tire. They had the size our truck used for 80 each, so I got 2. Come to find out, they only had 2 of that size.
So while we waited on the truck, we walked a few blocks to a mexican restaurant (YUMMY) for some lunch. Now, the problem was, we took our dog Gizmo with us on the trip. So, we couldn't exactly leave him in the truck, so we took him with us. But, you know how restaurants can be when it comes to dogs in the them (unless they are on the menu), so we put him in the pet carrier, and did our best to pretend he didn't exist. And since he's a pretty good dog and didn't make a peep, we didn't have any problems.
So, lunch in us and 2 new tires on the truck, we continued on our way. But it's not looking like we'll make the park before the 5:00 check-in, which wasn't that big of a deal, but I just didn't expect the trip to take that long.
The rest of the trip there was uneventful, well, except for a minor problem of finding the place once we got to Murfreesboro. It wasn't bad except for one part in town, the sign was less than clear (well, I think it's less than clear) so it took us a bit longer to find the park.
So, we got there, found our camp site and started setting up. My boy and I set up the tent as my wonderful wife was getting a lot of the other stuff unpacked and set up.
We managed to have a nice campfire every night which is just wonderful. There is nothing quite like a camp fire. We roasted some marshmallows and they ate some smores.
I managed to get up first every morning and get the campfire started to warm us up by, cause my oh my, it got quite chilly!
There is also something to be said for the cool, quiet mornings with the sunlight coming through the trees lighting up the smoke from early morning campfires.
Friday morning, we had breakfast, and then headed off for some diamond mining! Even Gizmo got to come with us. We all had a lot of fun, but after a couple hours, we went back to camp for some lunch.
My boy found some kids around his age to play with, so when I went to go back to look for more diamonds, he didn't want to go. I hunted for a few more hours. Neither of our hunts were very successful. Well, they were. We found lots of really cool rocks, but no diamonds.
Our air mattress had a leak Friday night, so that made for a rough night. My wife likes camping OK, as long as she has things like electricity, water, and her air mattress. My Saturday morning, it was completely flat! So, I had another trip to Walmart.
We did manage to go for a hike on Saturday, and that was nice. Saturday night, they had a little show that we went to. Which our son was much opposed to. We had a real good time. The amusing thing was my wife new nearly EVERY song they sung. I think I might have known 2 or 3.
Sunday morning we got up and torn down camp and was on the road by 10:15. Course we promptly stopped for breakfast. We then decided to go a different way back then we took there, so we meandered our way home. We managed to go on part of the Talamena drive.
It was a really nice trip. Really needed.
My boy told me Thursday night that the best part of this camping trip was that
- Mom was with us.
- Gizmo came too.
- Digging for diamonds.
For those that care, the fall foliage of the Talamina drive was just starting. Peak will probably happen in the next couple weeks.
I've added more pictures on Flickr.