We arrived in Blytheville after an unusually carefree and trouble-free and nervous-free trip. We stayed in West Plains, Missouri on our  first night at the Elks Lodge. This was  the second Elks Lodge we had stayed at since joining, but both experiences so far have been great.

We had the Elks parking lot to ourselves with 50 amp service and the first drink on the house because we are Elks. And the drinks were strong! Thanks, Nicole!

We left West Plains and wound through the hilly hillbilly part of Missouri and Arkansas where it seems the people have SO MUCH good stuff that their yards are overflowing. It seemed like lots of folks had Airstream Trailers that might be OK. Hey,  they just need a little work. These are interspersed with many storage facilities. I guess, if you accumulate enough good stuff, you must have a place to keep it.  Once your five acres are full, that is.

The hills and elevation kept it interesting driving and lots of good experience with downshifting and keeping the RPMs up. Jim actually commented that I was lucky and had the good, fun part of the driving in the hills, but I was glad to get out on the flat and run 65 MPH or so.

Once we arrived at the “staging area” for the positioning in Blytheville, we were shepherded,  by Jim Shepard, who worked hard all day long to get the buses into the downtown. The town of Blytheville recently resurrected its Greyhound Bus Station, so the Rally is the way to kick off the event.  We scored a sweet spot in the library parking lot which is just opposite the renovated bus station and within close walking distance to the local Mexican restaurant. So we filled up on margaritas and Mexican. So good.

The cats are doing so well, they didn’t even protest too much and today, the second day, when they broke out out of their carriers, they were much more relaxed and Tikita was so hungry! That was all she cared about! They are happy when the engine quits running. Actually, today, while we were in the staging area, and our start batteries were low, we ran the engine for a couple of hours to  recharge the batteries and be ready to roll downtown. that was actually a really good acclimatization. By the time we were ready to move downtown, Astrid was just riding out in the open. Tikita just wants food, and Carmella is happy to look out the window when we stop.

The town of Blytheville is doing an incredible job of making all the buses not just welcome, but front and center, and we are just happy to be here.


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