Toad Suck Campground & the Arkansas River

Good morning! It’s Thursday, October 6, and I am in the Natural State of Arkansas. I camped last night in the Toad Suck Recreation Area and Campground http://www.arkansas.com/attractions/detail/toad-suck-recreation-area-campground/94004 near Conway, Arkansas where I will be playing a concert tonight at the Faulkner County Library. http://conway.fcl.org/events/page/774/billy-kemp-in-concert-conway. Jeni and I have stayed here many times and always enjoyed it.

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I drove from Nashville yesterday and arrived at the campground in just enough time to set up camp before the sun went down. I brought along a small two-person tent and a screen tent for dining, practicing, yoga, writing, and general privacy. I  set up the smaller two-person tent first and discovered I had left the rain cover and vestibule back in Nashville. I thought well at least there’s no threat of rain tonight. And now I’ll be able to really see the stars as I’m going to sleep. Then I set up the larger screen tent and then had the brilliant idea of seeing if I could put the smaller sleeping tent in the screen tent and still have room for my other activities. And I did! My friend, Si Kahn, wrote a song called It’s What You Do With What You Got and it worked out for me on this first night of camping.

Since my blog is a sound blog I wanted to write briefly about the sound of Toad Suck and share a little bit of the history. The campground is right next to the Arkansas River and the sound of the river is ear candy the way I hear it. Ever since I was young I have had a love of rivers. I grew up in Baltimore and frequently visited, hiked and fished along the Patapsco River in Baltimore and Howard counties.

The Legend of Toad Suck

There are two stories about how the area got its distinctive name. In the first account, it is said that steamboat captains plying the waters of the Arkansas regularly stopped here and drank at a local tavern nearby. Supposedly residents commented on the propensity of these captains to “suck on the bottle ’til they swelled up like toads.” Bolstering this explanation, the term taudis sucre is also said to be a corrupted French expression meaning “sweet water” and possibly referring to rum drink. The second, and more likely, account explains the name as a common name for a protected eddy in the river where boats might be tied up. A map of the river dating to 1853 also purportedly shows a Bear Suck and a Cow Suck. From Wikipedia

There is a Lock & Dam at Toad Suck and at different times in the night I could hear the Lock & Dam open and really hear the river. I’m one of those folks who likes to have a little white noise when I sleep and the river gave me plenty last night.


Well that’s all I have time for this morning my stomach is making noises almost as loud as the Lock & Dam and I’ve got to get ready for tonight’s show. Till the next time-

Much Happiness,

Billy

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