Saturday, June 23, ’12
H-95 Little Rock L H 64 L 54 RAIN H H 50 L 51 RAIN M H 80 L 59
L-73 C H 99 L 73
Bear update: The Bear says Pirates Are In The Swamp Party. TR says, “There’s a Pirate Behind Every Bridge.” Moose say, “Me sure don’t pine for you, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Pining Party. We will serve Foods To Pine For. The Amazon says, “The Amazon Queen sails the Mississippi.”
We woke up to sun. Will it last? It lasted, and the temperature in Little Rock climbed to 95.
Tucson 104/77 Memphis 99/75 Brooklyn 84/67
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and ate breakfast in the breakfast room. This time there were no meats for the dog. There weren’t even any Danish for the first time. We ended up with blueberry muffins and yogurt. We packed up the cars and checked out of room 102 at 10:23AM. There was a legion of maids standing outside the door waiting to come in. Our first pit stop was at the Arkansas Welcome Center. Our second stop was the McDonalds at exit 30 for Hope, which had at least two markers coming into town announcing that it was the birthplace of Clinton. The third pit stop was at a rest area that was covered by trees and shaded. We then stopped at the first McDonalds in Arkadelphia. The A/C wasn’t any good. So we drove across the Street to the Western Sizzlin. We haven’t been to one in 14 years! The next pit stop was near exit 91. It was a rest area in the middle of the road shared by cars coming both directions. It was hard to get back onto the highway. Then we were treated to bump, bump, bump just like the Arkansas roads of yore. After that we stopped at exit 114 in Benton at the McDonalds. We picked up our strawberry lemonades for the day to sustain us the rest of the way to Little Rock so we can check in at the La Quinta. We arrived at 3:00PM and checked into room 145. We drove along the frontage road to get to Applebees and had chicken caesar salads and a gooey chocolate dessert before getting gas. We cancelled the La Quinta reservation for the Nashville Airport and made a reservation at the Best Western at Hurricane Mills instead to even out the mileage on Monday. Kenny gave the dog a bath after we plotted the route for tomorrow. Where does one eat lunch on the route from Little Rock to Memphis anyway?
They must have improved the interstates in Arkansas during the past fourteen years. They’re still not the best, but at least you don’t bump along the whole way. You can see the patches, though. And the pavement does seem very old and grainy. It needs a total repaving job still.
Maybe I spoke too soon! We’re actually running into bumps for the first time on the trip right before we get off the highway at exit 30 for Hope. My husband still insists that it’s better than fourteen years ago when he remembers having to drive in the left hand lane to avoid the bumpy road on the right. Certainly right after the rest area around exit 91 you go bump, bump, bump just like the Arkansas roads of yore. Around Benton the roads grow progressively worse and worse all the way to Little Rock.
Comparison/Contrast with Redwords/Yosemite: We just stopped at a rest area before Arkadelphia, Arkansas. It was covered with picnic tables in a shaded, woodsy area planted with grass. The degree of shade provided by the pines and other trees reminds me of being in Redwood National Park five years ago. Of course that shade was deeper and the trees were much more magnificent and much, much taller, but I haven’t seen shade like it since. I noticed pinecones lying on the grass. I snapped a photo. The last time I saw a pinecone was five years ago in Yosemite. But then it was dropped by a sugar pine. The pinecone was eighteen inches long and giant compared with these. I bought a Sugar pine cone as a souvenir. I have it in my living room on a shelf. Still here in Arkansas pinecones abound, and I’m not accustomed to them anymore.
Driving through a stand of tall pines along I-30 reminded me of driving into the Olympic Peninsula 10 years ago in 2002. The trees were more spectacular n Washington state. But it’s reminiscent to someone living in the west for fourteen years. You sure don’t get shade like that in Arizona.
There’s definitely no big sky in Arkansas. As we drive along the highway, we get a buffer of pine trees on both sides of the road. They grow tall enough to block your view to either side and define what you see straight above you. Also the sky above looks as much white as blue. I recall this white-washed look as being typical in the East.
1)do trip journal including dog/cat report and Facebook blog for the day and post on www.captiveattheberghof.org
2)do the trip expenses and post on www.captiveattheberghof.org
3)post the blog on Facebook
5)check email and write email, respond to email
6)update desk calendar on computer
It’s hard to get the dog back into the car at a rest area. He lingers sniffing the grass and the various plants including coleus at the latest stop. When we stopped at a rest area outside Arkadelphia it was like a tug of war to force him back into the car. He’d never seen so much shade and so many trees since he was in Yosemite five years ago. He cannot believe that back East you get grass and trees all the time.
The cat has a routine.He roams around at night and does what he wants. Then in the morning he jumps back inside his carrying case. He’s ready to go for the day. In the car he sleeps unless we take him out in his stroller at Petsmart like yesterday. When we get to the motel he explores his new surroundings and ends up at the windowsill looking out at the scenery. Sometimes he naps with the dog. But he’s always racing about when we go to bed.
Still no contract . . .