Cardinals, Red-Winged Blackbird, Grackles, Goldfinch, Sparrows, Northern Flicker, Bluebird, Teals, Grebes, Egrets, Herons, Osprey, Bald Eagles…  and more of course. Lots of deer, rabbits and squirrels. Lunker bass, catfish, crappie, bream and the popular rainbow and brown trout. The vivid red birds and blue birds stole my heart, while for the dogs it was the big fat squirrels!

Sun coming though a little, some rain, misty out.

 

Bull Shoals White River State Park

Not knowing any better I tooled into this state park expecting, if not empty like so many other RV Camps, it would have plenty of room so I had a bit of a dispute with the Park Host when she told me there were only 2 spaces available and both of those were shared spaces. She confused me by saying I could go look and anything without a reservation sign was free, turned out she didn’t mean that exactly as I returned breathless and eager with a list of 3 spaces.  Nope, she said only those 2 I circled are free. the others, well, the signs aren’t up that’s all. I was miffed by this confusion and decided I’d go see what other camping was around. Was this even the place I was informed about but as I sat in my RV with the excited dogs I changed my mind and took one of the shared spaces. Senior rate didn’t apply for out-of-state visitors on the weekend.  Loved my space during the rest of the day. I pulled way over to the side so the newcomers would have room without being on top of me. The Park was indeed full to capacity, the RV spots were stretched along the river. Mine was at the beginning with extra space for the beach access with sets of layered stairs, swing seats and canopied benches below.

The White River near my camp spot.

This Park was GORGEOUS. Even the sun came out to celebrate! It’s 732 acres and if you come to stay awhile there are daily activities and interpretative programs including butterfly walks, kayaking, guided nature hikes, eagle hikes, fly fishing classes, outdoor cooking classes, lots of walks and classes on birds, owls, woodpeckers, vultures, the sounds of the night, bears, river cruises, tree id and more. I’m not sure if you can bring dogs to any of these classes or events. Lots of campers had dogs.

 

 

 

 

Nope, no fish in this spot… try further down, lots of fish there! They give fishing lessons here, this guy needs someone to gift him one of those. Why? Other than time of day, it may not show from this picture since there is a small tributary but the water where he’s been standing all day is STILL WATER, very quiet and in the center of the river where a fish would be exposed and no food would be found when right down a bit from him is turbulence and oxygenated water, a bit muddy and near shore…. yum yum say the fishes, that’s where they are chowing down and hanging out on the calm edges. If the fish aren’t eating they will rest in the undercurrents near submerged or overhanging trees on the river bank, somewhere protected, not like sitting ducks just waiting to be gobbled by all the birds.  Maybe he’s just standing there all day with fishing gear and pole to be picturesque.

This camper needs camping lessons! The one smoking an entire soaking wet tree! He broke the tree by wedging it between the table and the bumper on the camper! It’d  been raining a long time and the wood is soaked but drenched in enough started fluid off it goes.  The smoke was so bad they eventually hid inside their camper with the doors and windows closed while leaving this thing to smoke! They also left their porch light on all night!!!  NO NO NO…   go back to camping school! I had to run both my heater and air conditioner trying for some breathable air, still woke with a bad headache and sore throat, such a shame. CAMPERS ….   Please, Please learn to build a smokeless fuel-efficient fire and turn those darn lights out so the rest of us can enjoy the sky.

Would have loved to stay at this park for a few days and do more of the trails. so many butterflies, birds, wildflowers and the river however the park was full, noisy and smoky. Turns out I don’t like crowded as an older adult. When the park is crammed full and sites are close together it’s especially important that campers follow best practices.

Campground Etiquette: How To Be A Good Camping Neighbor

It so smoky at my RV site so I sat by the river with the dogs on the swinging bench watching the moon.

Managed to lose one set of my RV keys. Did I throw them in the trash with a pooper bag? Never found them but had a nice chat with the Camp Host that had checked me in…  yeah, about dogs of course! She told me that this State Park was the most popular in the state and was full like this on most every weekend. For my RV’er friends I suggest you keep a few extra sets of all your camper’s keys, I also keep a hidden entry key in a secret location, no fun getting locked out of your house and vehicle.

 

Gaston’s White River Resort …  Buffet Breakfast!  They have their own airstrip if you’d like to fly in and are canine friendly 🙂 View, excellent. Food, fair.

Gaston’s White River Resort began 59 years ago when Al Gaston, Jim Gaston’s father, purchased 20 acres of White River frontage with six small cottages and six boats…the year was 1958. Present day, Jim’s grandson – Clint Gaston – will carry on the family legacy for many years to come. The resort now covers over 400 acres, and has 79 cottages ranging in size from two double beds to ten private bedrooms. The airstrip has grown from 1,800 feet to 3,200 feet. The six boats are now over 70, and with a state of the art dock to hold them all. The years have brought an award winning restaurant, private club, gift shop, tennis court, playground, game room, duck pond, three nature trails, swimming pool, conference lodge, and fly fishing school.

Another shot of the restaurant at Gaston’s.

Once past the river you come to the dam and Bull Shoals Lake. This area was mostly deserted as the tourist Season had not yet begun. Getting back into geocaching would be fun, seems it’s encouraged with a permit to place hides in the 52 State Parks.

 

Would have liked to have seen the Ozark Folk Center State Park dedicated re heritage of the Ozark people and the Buffalo National River. From what I see there are activities for everyone in the Ozarks, even Road Scholar programs, caving, cultural, art and history tours, music, learning native crafts, swimming, river running, snorkeling, mountain biking and cycling, climbing and hiking, educational programs. It’s all here.

The Dam. Saw just an edge of the large reservoir lake. Much of the city area was very quiet, not attracting out of season crowds like the State Park

Another park I would have wanted to see:  Chicot State Park in South Central Louisiana….  another time, another day.

Bull Shoals Dam

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