Current Location: Natchez Trace RV Park, Tupelo, Mississippi
It appears that the truck was successfully repaired. The transmission was back to normal today – no issues at all. It spent the better part of the day in 3rd gear instead of 4th (4 speed automatic) due to really high winds (probably 25-30 mph) during a good part of the trip and hilly, curvy 55 mph roads most of the rest of the trip.
A few miles into Arkansas on US 65, we stopped at a rest area (that also is a welcome center). It was well staffed with knowledgeable folks. Initially, it was going to just be a bathroom stop, but Malcolm decided to wander in and ask about I-40 construction. The folks there showed us the alternate route on the map of taking US 62 and US 63 across the northern part of Arkansas. It wasn’t a bad route at all. Our GPS put it at about an hour quicker. The rest area staff indicated it would be about 60 miles shorter.
US 63 cuts across miles and miles of flat farmland. Two different times, we passed tractors driving along the road on the way to or from their fields.
We fueled up just before Memphis and bounced along the roads in and around town until we were finally out in open country on US 78 (the future I-22). This goes straight from Memphis to Birmingham. We pulled off about halfway down the road in Tupelo and drove a few miles of the Natchez Trace parkway to our campground. The trees here are just starting to flower and leaves are starting to come in. The truck has a fine haze of yellow pollen on the hood now, too.
Tomorrow’s drive should be about 4 to 4.5 hours. We should be all set up at “home” by mid-afternoon.