Dirt Roading, Dinner at Doug’s, Poker, & More! (AR) “DAY 194” – 1/14/11

January 16, 2011 - 12:41 pm - (AR) “DAY 194” - Week 28 - State 26

I knew when I woke today it was gonna be a long day, but I didn’t think that when I left Spaudling’s (with Spaulding) this afternoon that I wouldn’t return to his place until after 3 am.  A ton of stuff happened today so I’ll to be thorough while trying not to write a book in one post. 😉

With that being said, I’ll start at the beginning.  I woke up around 11 am and after talking with Chyna (Dayna’s daughter, she didn’t want her picture taken) ;), I wrote as much as I could before Spaulding and I left to go to Doug’s house for some dirt roadin.

F.Y.I. - At this point, I have no idea what dirt roading is.? 🙂  Even Spaulding who is a country boy (Western PA) wasn’t exactly sure what it was we were gonna be doing.  We thought we had an idea but as it turned out... we didn’t! 😉 (Or at least I didn’t.)

Doug’s House
When we pulled up to Doug’s house (which was real nice), Doug was outside waiting for us.  (He was excited to show me the country side and thought we were gonna be there earlier, so he was ready and waiting for us to get there.)

After quickly showing me his property (it has been his family for a few generations), the three of us pilled into Doug’s truck ready to start our day of dirt roading.?

Before we left his property, I asked Doug what it was we were doing today and he told me not to worry.  He said we would basically be driving through the mountains (real desolate mountains, no roads) to a place where he camped and hunted as a kid.

F.Y.I. - This cabin is somewhere in the White Rock Mountains (or near it) and we were either to going to see some scenic view of the country side or to Doug’s childhood cabin which hasn’t been used in many years.  After discussing it, we choose the cabin.

Not to pick on Doug or Arkansas, but this cabin turned out to be in such a remote outback place, the only way to describe it is.... Have you ever seen the movie “Deliverance”? LOL 😉  But, I’ll get to this later in the post. 🙂

The Drive Into Nowhere!
Our ride started out on a normal road (out in the country they call it a black road), but it didn’t take long for it turn into a regular country dirt road but soon after that... it turned into no road at all. (It was more of a dirt trail than a road, even a dirt road.)

Learning About Arkansas
During our drive to the cabin (turned out to be 40 miles away), Doug explained to us everything he knew about Arkansas’s country side.  Oh yeah, that 40 miles took over 2 hours to complete because you only drive 18 mph on the dirt roads and even slower on the no roads. 😉

There was a bunch of interesting pieces of information that Doug told us, but I’ll just tell about a few of them.  1.) There are old rock walls on the old farms we passed (they were used as fences) and they could have been over 100 years old or more.

2.) We a passed a few different chicken farms (some were still in use and some were abandoned).  Chicken farms are huge out here because this is where Tyson Chicken makes it’s home base.

On one of the working farms, there was a huge pile of dirt or at least I thought it was.  As it turned out, it was a huge pile of chicken shit that the farmers use to fertilizer their property.  Glad I’m not a kid because I would have been playing King of the Mountain on a huge pile of chicken turds! 😉

3.) When you are driving through this type of country where there are no police, no working cell phones, or well... anything like normal civilization, you always carry a gun with you!  (Doug and Kevin are licensed gun holders.)

For starters, Doug has a gun because he’s from Arkansas and everybody here has a gun.  Also, we are in an area where you carry it for protection because the law is over a 2 hour ride to where we are.  And lastly, he’s a hunter so he uses it to hunt things.

F.Y.I. - It isn’t deer season, so in theory (although we didn’t), you could only hunt squirrels or if a coyote snuck up on you, you could shoot him. (They hate coyotes out here because they kill chickens and whatnot.)

Different Animals I Saw

Along our 2 hour treck into nowhere, we saw a bunch of different animals.  As expected, we saw a lot of cows.  A mean a lot of cows.  On one hillside alone, we must have saw 50-100 cows (I’m a not a good judge of the amount of cows on the side of a hill.) 😉

Besides cows, we saw 24 deer (Doug counted them), some sheep (I think), a few donkey’s (not including the 3 in the truck) ;), some rams, and a horse.

I missed a great photo of the horse we saw and his horse thing taking a leak in a field.  I now know why the term “hung like a horse” exists!  This thing was ridiculous!  It was so big, I even felt bad for female horses for a second. 🙂 LOL

I almost forgot, we also saw a bunch of farms dogs along the way to our destination.  What I mean is, these dogs actually work the farm (not like most house dogs who are lazy).  Sorry Max, you're still awesome (my dog.)

So, as we were drove by some farms, there would be dogs running on the road right next to the truck while barking.  We even got stopped on the road by a 1 lb hotdog dog who was helping out on the farm somehow. 🙂  Very funny and it did happen.

Getting Close To The Cabin
The last 2 or 3 miles of mountain (I can’t say road because there really wasn’t one), I started to have some reservations about where were headed.

Now, I wasn’t nervous about the people I was with, but if our truck slide off the side of the mountain or one of these icy trails (which aren’t usually icy), we are dead!  Nobody would even know where to find us.  (Cell phones barely work and nobody is around to help!)

Forget about the fact that this deep into the mountains is where some meth labs are run (drugs) and there can be some real angry drug dealing rednecks who wouldn’t be to happy to see us if we stumbled upon them completely by accident. 😉

All that aside, we have no food with us and it’s almost dark (4 pm-ish).  If we just got a flat tire, we would be screwed for a few hours!  Ahhh!  I felt like I was in a Arkansas version of the “Wizard of Oz”... Rooster you’re not in New Jersey anymore! LOL 🙂

Pep Talk Time
I said something to Doug about feeling uneasy, so he reassured me and Spaulding (who was slightly nervous too) that he knew where he was (he had a map his cousin gave him, it was hand written) and that we were in good hands. Yes, it was hand written! 🙂 (Whew... I feel better now.) 😉

Anyway, with that pep talk, amazingly... we were back on board and on our way.   Seriously though, I do trust Doug as well as his judgement and just a few minutes later, we arrived at the cabin that he hunted at as a kid and young man.

The Cabin
Now, this cabin was an unbelievable scene for me as I got to see how people can survive out in the middle of nowhere.  Let me explain what I’m talking about before you judge what I mean because there was some amazing stuff out here.

Hand Dug Well
For starters, there isn’t running water out here (obviously), so there was a hand dug well in the ground where people used to drink water out of.  We were even able to open it up and still see well water in the bottom.  I wouldn’t have drunk it but it was still really cool.

School House
Then, right next to that was a rock built school house.  Yes, a old country school in the middle of the woods built with rocks.  I’m not sure when it was used as a school because I didn’t ask but it had to be many many years ago.

Of course there was a outhouse but I didn’t want to get to close to that, so I took that picture from a distance. 😉  Who knows what could have been there after all these years!

The Cabin Itself
Lastly, was the actual cabin.  You could tell at one point that this cabin was pretty nice but after being abandoned for many years... I was nervous that when walked in the door we would see the “Unabomber” or something out of “C.S.I”.

There was still all the furniture from when people used stay there as well as all the bedding.  It was vey interesting to see this fully functional cabin out here in the middle of nowhere. (At least it used to be.)

Shooting Doug’s Gun
Once we were all settled in, the plan was to shoot Doug’s gun at some targets out here in the middle of the woods.  Now, what Doug didn’t know and most of you don’t know is that I’m not a big fan of guns.

F.Y.I. - I haven’t been since I was young (14) and had an accident with a gun and a friend.  It was an accident and it sucked real bad on every level!  Enough said.

So, in my life I have shot a gun just twice.  Once as kid (I just explained) and once in college with all WVU buddies when they took me hunting. (I took one shot at a tree.)

Anyway, I explained this to Doug so he told me he would teach me the proper way to hold, handle, and shot a gun.  And after all that, if I still didn’t want to shot it... he was OK with that too.  Doug just wanted me to know that guns don’t kill people, stupid or uneducated people do.  Or during war time.

Learning Everything About Shooting A Gun
For about 20 minutes Doug showed me and then explained to me how to handle and shoot a gun.  The whole time it was all about safety!  He said it doesn’t matter how good you shoot as long as you do safely.  Agreed!

I have over 50 pictures of Doug shooting, Spaulding shooting, as well as myself but I’ll only be able to show a few.  Plus, we were only shooting at a rake (20 yards away) with beer cans and bottles on top so it wasn’t that exciting in that regard.

Anyway, after taking my lesson which I alertly paid attention to... it was my turn to shoot the gun.  I listened to everything taught me, from checking the chamber, to half cocking the gun (saftey), to not putting my finger on the trigger until (his words) I want to destroy something!

Shooting The Gun
There I was ready to shoot a gun for the first time in over 15 years.  So, I got into the proper stance and boom!  At first, I was little taken back from shooting a gun again as I only fired the one shot and gave it back to Doug.

But... a few minutes later, a saddled back up and took aim at the target for a magazine full of shots (16).  I was shooting at a tin sheet that was at the bottom of the rake.  Evidently, I’m no marksman as I was lucky to hit that big of a target only 80% of the time.

After that, I was done shooting so Doug and Spaulding took aim at the targets before we left.  Spaulding wasn’t a bad shot but Doug was scary accurate with his shot.  He took 4 shots in a row and hit a different bottle each time.

Leaving The Cabin
It was getting dark so it was time to go, but while we were at the cabin messing around, Spaulding and Doug had some beers.  So, I was now the driver for us out of the outback of Arkansas.  Oh no!  😉

As it turned out, the drive out wasn’t the same as the drive in.  There was another way to go, so after only 2 miles of crazy dirt roads... I was back on black road.  Still, we were 40 miles away from Doug’s, so we had a drive ahead of us.

Dinner At Dougs
On the way back to Doug’s, we stopped at “La Huerta” and ordered 3 double steak and chicken fajitas to-go.  Doug or Spaulding paid, they won’t let me open my wallet for anything, they are awesome and overly generous to me!  Thank you both!

Anyway, once we got to Doug’s house, I met his daughter Shelby (who is real smart), his friend Fish, and re-met his wife Nancy (I already hung out with Nancy last Saturday).

Seeing Doug’s Pittsburgh Steeler Room
After eating like a wild animal (I was real hungry from not eating all day long), the four of us men decided to play poker upstairs in Doug’s Pittsburgh Steelers Room!  Yes, you heard me right... a Pittsburgh Steelers Room!

F.Y.I. - I am huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and always have been.  I have been a fan my whole life and that’s partially why I even know Spaulding.

I choose WVU way back as college because it was party school (of course), but what sealed it was when I was driving around town, I heard Steeler radio (Myron Cope) in my car and realized I would get all Steeler games on TV too.  I was in Steeler Country!

Anyway, when there is so much Steeler stuff in this room it is hard to even explain.  There are footballs, bobbles heads, pictures, hats, and even a Pittsburgh Steeler coconut!  As well as countless other nick-nacks!  This room is awesome!

Then, Doug shocked me again as he bought and gave me Pittsburgh Steeler's jersey (Big Ben, #7) that I'm to wear at his house party tomorrow.  Thank you so much Doug!  I’ll say it again, your generosity to me is overwhelming! 🙂

F.Y.I. - Tomorrow I am watching the Steelers play-off game vs. the Ravens right here at Doug’s because he’s throwing a Steeler play-off party.  There should be 30-40 people here and he is cooking at least 40 lbs of food on his smoker out back.

It should be a blast and what are the odds of me being at a Steeler's Play-off game party in Arkansas!  This trip is unreal! 🙂

Poker House Game - $25 Tournament
After taking in the Steeler room, the 4 of us played a $25 NL Hold’em poker tournament.  We each started with equal chips and 1st place got $75 while 2nd received their $25 entry back.

In house game, there isn’t much to talk about because we were playing friendly but when it was all said and done, I won and Fish took 2nd.  Nice!  When that tournament was done, we all re-bought in for another $25 and played a cash game.

Cash Game
The cash game lasted for a little over an hour with Spaulding being the big winner. (I won another $10 bucks.)  The game ended when talks of going to a bar came up.  I hadn’t had a drink yet but I was the only one who could day that.

Spaulding and Doug had been drinking almost all day by now and Fish had a few himself.  Still, they realized they had a designated driver in me and got all fired up to hit a bar and play pool.  Alcohol won and we left to go to a bar. 🙂

Hitting A Bar
The drive to the bar turned out to be more interesting than the bar itself because as I drove them in Doug’s truck, the four of us sang numerous songs together you expect all of us to know.  (Some Hall and Oats, Snoop Dog, amongst other funny visuals!)

When we arrived at the bar (I don’t remember the name) and only stayed for a few drinks and games of pool.  The place wasn’t that busy and we were all hungry again, so we headed out to Village Inn to get some food.

Village Inn
Normally, late night drunken eating wouldn’t be much of a story but while I was there we saw the best bus-boy (Adam Fire, I think) of all time working.  He was so fast and efficient, it was amazing.

After speaking with him, we were right as he was actually in a contest (a few weeks ago) where the best bus boy’s in America had a bussing contest. (It was in Las vegas and they judged on speed, cleanliness, etc..).  He took 3rd but it was a shame!

Other than that, there was a drunk lady who acted a fool at our table and continued her antics all the way to the cashier’s table (mouthing off).  Eventually, I had enough and screamed back at her and her boyfriend until they left.

Really, we did nothing.  She was drunk and self conscious and when she saw our table laughing, she thought we were laughing at her but didn’t even know she was there (we were laughing about whatever).  So she came over to our table and said real mean shit to us.

Like I said, she kept mouthing off a little to long, so me (even as a sober person) decided I had heard enough and gave a piece of reality and my mind.  😉

Calling It A Night
By the time we finished eating it was after 2 am, so we hopped in back truck and I drove Fish and Doug back to Doug’s for the night.  I left my car there (at Doug’s) so I just dropped them and switched cars to take me and Spaulding home.

Spaulding and I finally got back to his place and situated around 3 am.  We were exhausted and in the morning we were going back to Doug’s for the Steeler’s party.

Not to mention, I am going by myself to Arkansas Razorback Men’s basketball game at 12:30 pm.  I don’t have a ticket yet or a parking pass but as we already know... that shouldn’t be a problem! 😉

Thanks for reading!


Comments (4)

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  1. bennervous says:

    Dude, That’s a whole lotta day…real interesting…i just tried your cell after reading this, but didn’t leave a message. I’ll catch up with you another time.

  2. DAD says:

    The back woods and guns isn’t my cup of tea, but the poker, Steelers room and gift, and the Steelers win.
    Life is good in Arkansas this week.
    Thanks everyone for being so nice to the Rooster.

  3. Mike says:

    I think you should go into more detail about the gun accident you had as a child for your readers sake. It seems like you didn’t want to go into very much detail but I think you owe that detail to your loyal followers.


  4. dave says:

    Mike, I don’t mind talking about it but the other person who was there might not want it discussed on my website for all to read. So, even though it is where’s rooster and I tell all everything, this involved another person and I decided not to bring them into my madness!

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