Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida

19th October - 6th November 2013

Time to head east again found us through Texas and headed into Oklahoma. We camped for the night at the Walmart in Elk City.

Next day we hurtled through Oklahoma and by dinner time we'd crossed most of the state and were looking for somewhere to camp. The Walmart conveniently located in the town of Sallisaw, just off the interstate, proved too noisy so we ventured off in search of a Bushy Lake State Park shown on our map about 8 miles north. It proved worth the trip as the State Park was good value, beautiful, peaceful and had hot showers!

Bushy Lake State Park, Oklahoma

Fishing the White River

Next day we pressed on into Arkansas and by mid afternoon had reached our regular stop with friends Davy and T-Bird in Flippin. Again they generously allowed us to camp on their small farm, surrounded by their wonderful collection of feathered critters, so Phil could enjoy fishing the White River at Bull Shoals.

Time was running out and we had another stop to make in Beaufort, South Carolina, where we had a date to see Chris and Vivian's new boat. They had traded their monohull power boat Second Chance for a beautiful power catamaran, named “All In” in honour of their love of the game of poker.

It was also time to start celebrating a great event. Phil was about to turn 65 and we all went out for dinner, the first of several birthday celebrations!

With Chris and Vivian in Beaufort

First birthday cake.

The final stop on our 2013 road trip was a visit to our new friends the Fricks, who we'd met in Colorado. They happened to live only a few miles away from where we kept Anju in Florida, in the town of Middleburg. Not only had they invited us to stay, they also had a full hook-up RV site in their garden, what luxury!

Another feature of the Fricks' property was a large pond, stocked with bass and koi carp. Phil was invited to try and catch the resident bass with his fly rod. To the delight of the family and their visiting niece and nephews, Phil hooked a huge bass, so everyone could take a look. Much debate followed on whether it should be eaten or returned to the pond. Luckily for the beast, return to the pond won the vote and he continued to live to swim among bathers who used the pond as a refreshing swimming spot.

Phil sets off to hunt the bass

Got him!

Everyone takes a look.

Teaching the “pensioner” how to play American Football.

The fishing success was followed by another birthday party where great fun was had by all. Robin even produced a birthday cake and Phil was happy to see that, according to the cake he was to turn 19, apparently the only candles Robin had to hand! He was even serenaded with a Frick-style discordant version of “Happy Birthday”, a family tradition, we learned.

Our new friends generously let us leave Harvey parked safely with them for our three month trip home to the UK and even drove us to and from the airport.

Celebrating Phil turning 65, or maybe 19, with Kierra, Robin and Ryan.

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