Thanksgiving dinner, good company, excellent hiking trails, a movie shoot, and 50 degree weather.
The second question to arise in the ten-hour drive from Minneapolis is why is Arkansas pronounced AR-ken-saw?
Our van ride was more docile than the fight in 1881 over the State’s pronunciation.The pronunciation of Arkansas was made official by an act of the state legislature in 1881, after a dispute between two U.S. Senators from Arkansas. One wanted to pronounce the name ar-KAN-zes and the other wanted AR-ken-saw.
I hadn’t done any research on the inlaws or the state of Arkansas prior to visiting. I returned to Minneapolis after our 4-day stay delighted in both. So much so, I thought about moving.
Prior to our visit, I had not given any thought to the geography of the state. I pictured it as a small postage stamp. What I found was surprisingly different.
The state’s geography ranges from mountains to densely forested land to lowlands along the Mississippi River. Arkansas has 52 state parks.
Hobbs State Park Recreation Area, where we hiked has bluffs, rocky outcrops, limestone bedrock, caves, sink holes, and a fault line. Crystel has lately been in the habit of cartwheeling everywhere she goes and can now say that she has done it on a trail in Arkansas.
Signage in Arkansas could be an issue. In this picture if you look at the sign it clearly says that the War Eagle Valley Loop is straight ahead. That is actually Little Clifty Creek – the difference being a 9 mile hike instead of the 6 mile hike we envisioned ourselves on. I shouted after the mountain bikers and horse back riders what trail they thought THEY were on. And we weren’t thinking the same.
One just needs to keep in mind the earlier dispute in 1881. There was obviously confusion there too and they even made it a law to keep it confusing.
Near our home base was a wonderful backyards trail in J.B. Hunt Park. The park covers 105 acres and was a beautiful hour walk that included a path around a lake, a spring, and orange trees. The oranges looked like brains.
The children received their first ‘real’ paycheck in Arkansas. They were paid to be in a movie shoot with What’s Up, Que Pasa.
Ozark Video needed two 11-year old children that knew a bit of Spanish for a quiz show. Fortunately, we were available and Antonio and Crystel had the right complexion. This could be the start of something big.
Arkansas is definitely a place to visit. Don’t skirt around it. Stop, if you are in the area.