March, 2020 – Salisaw, Oklahoma

Our trip north from the Broken Bow – Idabel area to the Kerr Reservoir near Fort Smith, Arkansas was along US highways as they wound their way through the Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma.  Consequently, the trip was slow and took over 3 hours.  However, the rain stopped early in the morning and held off until we made the trip and got set up at Applegate Cove Campground on the Kerr Reservoir.  This was another nice COE campground, this time on the Arkansas River.  However, the campground was beginning to show its age as the paved road in the campground was narrow with tight corners that made it a bit of a challenge to pull the RV around to our site.  They also do not have an entrance gate and expect you to make online reservation for your site, even if you just show up.  Fortunately, we had a site reserved and it was not difficult to locate and get pulled around.  It took a couple of shots to back the RV into the site to avoid the trees, but we got in the site in good shape.  Later the campground host came around to welcome us and give us our tag for the truck.

Originally our plans were to visit Fort Smith National National Historic Site and other historic sites in the area during the week.  However, by this point we were more concerned about the impacts the pandemic was going to have on our lifestyle.  The number of cases in Oklahoma and Kansas was less than 10, but the early history in Washington and now New York was that it could climb quickly.  We were in a campground without a sewer hookup so any long term stay was out of the question.  We were also concerned that they would put a travel ban in place keeping us from moving.  So we decided to “bit the bullet” and move immediately up to Wichita where we had family and friends.  This was nearly a month before we had planned on moving to Wichita, but we felt we just could not wait.  Therefore, while Kal went into Salisaw to do the laundry, I spent Tuesday reworking our plans.  I found a campground near Goddard that could reserve a spot for at least a month, which I jumped at.  Goddard is just west of Wichita and the location would be within a couple of miles of where Kal grew up.  I also cancelled our reservation for the following week in a state park.  It was interesting that they were surprised as to my reason for the cancellation as I suspect that had not had anyone cancel due to a pandemic before!  I suspect I would not be the last one.  Due to the projected storms on Wednesday and Thursday, we planned to make the 6 hour trip north to Wichita on Friday.  So we spent the next two days riding out the rain and wind at the campground getting increasingly worried about the pandemic and frustrated with the government response, which according to President Trump was not going to be that bad.  He needs to pull his head out of the sand and listen to his experts!!!!!  Next stop will be Wichita for the foreseeable future.

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