I really should have taken a photo, but I was so tired and so on-edge from the knowing we were lost, that I took a $20 and while we waited for the tire guy to come and replace the tire, I played the slots in the little casino behind the convenience store. It was called Lil’ Bit of Paradise Casino – Chilocco, and appears to be not connected to the large casino, First Council Casino, next door.
By the time the tire was fixed, it was too late to get back on the road, so we opted for dinner in the large casino and enjoyed the best calzones we've had in ages at the FlatWater Sports Bar & Grill. Really, really good food. We dry camped there in the huge empty parking lot, and hit the road early on Wednesday morning. Bob opted to drive as far as the Winstar RV Park in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and we pulled in there fairly early in the afternoon.
What a GREAT place to stay! The spaces are all concrete, and since they aren't full up right now, they put us onto a 2 unit spot to use like a pull through. Space rent for one overnight was only $20, and that included use of the hot tub and swimming pool, free coffee and hot chocolate in the office, all utilities and a decent wifi connection, as well. Plus there's a shuttle bus that goes to and from the casino, too.
We rested, then went for a nice soak in the hot tub. Wow, did that ever feel nice on our sore bodies! I should have gone into the pool before I dipped in the hot tub, though, because I just couldn't tolerate the coolness of the water. My son enjoyed it, though.
After that, we changed and got the shuttle over to the casino, intending to eat at the buffet. The prices were just too high, though, so we opted for burgers and fries at the burger joint ... NYC Burgers & Dogs located right next door to the over priced buffet. The burgers were awesomely delicious, and amazingly enough, not overpriced for what you got. We'd eat there again in a heartbeat!
The Winstar has billboards saying that it is the second largest casino in the world, and it's probably true since they just keep building and building and building. It's a very, very long walk from one end to the other ... so long, in fact, that people will actually go outside and wait for one of the shuttles to get to another section rather than walk that far.
Surprisingly enough, at least to me, was that there are quite a few folks living in the RV park on a month to month basis. For what you get, it's really a deal ~ $420 a month and all the amenities, plus laundry that's only $1 to wash and $1 to dry. Everything is new and clean and just a delight. Thackerville is quite small, but it seems that the RV park is close enough to other things besides the Casino to make it attractive as a month or more stay. I know I'd love to go back and see more of the area. I'd have to stay out of the casino, though, unless I won enough to keep playing, 'cause I'm pretty sure I could go broke really fast playing some of my favorite games there.
All good things must end, and we got back on the road to TX fairly early on Thursday, driving down IH35. Bob opted to miss a lot of the traffic by taking the Toll Road 130, which would have been great except for one thing: another tire blew almost as soon as we were on the road. I'd just rolled down my window, as a matter of fact, which is the ONLY reason we knew we had a flat tire.
The Argosy pulls so well, that both times we lost a tire (once the entire wheel, including rim, and the second the blowout on Tuesday) we were no aware that anything had happened. No change in how it felt driving either time. So to hear the tire go was a very fortuitous event. We pulled off at the first exit, onto a farm road, and we essentially crawled slowly in a left then right zig zag inching our way towards Round Rock.
We finally found University Avenue, and went to the first gas station we came to, so we could get some cold water and use a phone book. That's the gas station we pulled in to below. (google maps are awesome!)
Travel from there to the Lucky Too was a short journey, and upon arrival we found that the spot we'd vacated in August had come available just that morning, so we pulled right back in where we'd been before.
Now it's just a matter of getting Bob to his medical appointments here in TX, and finding out when our next big adventure can begin.
Looking back, I'm not sorry we went to Amazon again, but I'm also not really too sorry that the adventure ended abruptly. Today marks the end of the second week since I last packed a box there, and I'm still taking pain pills for sore muscles. The excessive arm movement and lifting of cases seems to have really messed up the muscles in my chest wall and across my back. I noticed yesterday while doing laundry how holding anything at arm's length still is quite painful.
I wish I could say that we ended up money ahead this time, but we spent it as fast as we earned it fixing up the van with a new front end and two new tires, and then the trip home and 3 new tires rather exhausted what was left. But we've got new clothes, shoes, and stuff for the trailer, so we can be happy about that. There's always something to be grateful for and happy about.