Day 0 – Friday (Yazoo to Jasper)
Left on Friday morning (not sure what time) and headed for Arkansas. They’re building a new suspension bridge across the Mississippi near Greenville that should be pretty cool when it’s finished. On the way up there we had the theme song to Smokey and the Bandit stuck in our head for some weird reason:
Eastbound and Down loaded up and truckin Ah we gonna do what they say can't be done We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there I'm eastbound just watch old bandit run
We stopped in Russellville, looking for a Walmart to stock up on some last minute groceries that we didn’t want to bring with us. Next time we’ll know that the Walmart is at the first exit for Russellville from I-40. It’s not a supercenter (they’re building one down the road), but it had plenty of lunch meats and other things we were looking for. Dad even got a hat.
From Russellville, we took Hwy 7 up to Jasper. Hwy 7 is a winding 2 lane highway that used to be one of the main roads for people vacationing in the Ozarks. There are these little tourist traps and souvenir shops on the side of the highway that have been closed for some time now. There are a few overlooks that are worth seeing. This section of the Ozarks seems to have meadows that break up the wooded mountainside.
After about 1 1/2 hours on Hwy 7, we finally made it to Jasper. We went by the Gordon motel and booked our room for the night. I knew I wasn’t in Florida anymore when the lady asked, “Well how much to you think the room should be?” We actually booked the last room they had available – it even had three beds. It wasn’t that bad of a room. No telephone, but it had a TV and an air-conditioner.
After we had put everything in our room, we headed for Pruit Landing to survey where we were putting in on the next day. The next time we’re in Jasper, we need to remember the Pruit Landing has a great swimming hole under the bridge if we need to kill some time. On the way back into Jasper, we checked out the restaurant that the motel lady recommended. It was called the “Point of View”, but it didn’t really have one. The food was decent, and the blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream that I had for dessert was incredible.
We ended the day back at the motel, packing up for the trip. We took all of the items that we didn’t need on the river (extra shoes, clothes, etc.) and put them in a box to leave in the truck while we were gone. Then we started putting all of our gear into the 5 gallon buckets that we had brought with us – this was the beginning of a 3-day bucket brigade.