Arkansas– After leaving Louisiana, we began our Northern trajectory with a scenic introduction through Arkansas. For two weeks, we cruised from the south to the northeast area of the state, enjoying the natural landscape, BBQ, and micro-brews as we went. Here are a few things that stood out about Arkansas along the way:
Free artisanal water in Hot Springs.
Should you find yourself in Hot Springs, definitely do as the locals do, and make use of the free public water fountain. On the main strip leading the famed bathhouse row is a large fountain with several spigots that provides free spring water to the public. Locals come with milk crates of empty containers, as filling-up is a weekly activity for many. The nearby parking lot even has a few RV spots for us bigger guys.
So much greener and hillier than expected
Arkansas is called “the natural state”, and for a very good reason! This was our very first visit to this state, and we didn’t have much to reference, so everything was new. Everywhere we went, what we saw was so green and lush, and the tree-lined highways were very scenic. The terrain was also very hilly, which we had not expected, and we didn’t even get to make it to the northwest corner of the state by the Ozarks, where we have heard the natural landscape gets even more breathtaking.
Bill Clinton is a major claim to fame
Clinton seems to be the hottest thing to come out of Arkansas since, well, the Hot Springs. At several points throughout our trek through Arkansas, we saw towns boasting of various Clinton-related attractions, from his childhood home, to where he grew-up, to even the Clinton Library in Little Rock, which is one of the largest of the Presidential libraries.
No love for T-Mobile
Throughout the southern portion of the state, we might as well have been in a dead zone as far as our phones were concerned, because T-Mobile was consistently in “no service” mode. It wasn’t until we hit the more touristy area of Hot Springs, where our phones served as more than a pocket clock.
And on the 7th day, we had prohibition
Throughout the state of Arkansas, you are prohibited from buying alcohol on Sunday. Unfortunately for us, this was the day we had reserved for grocery shopping, so we learned about this state law the hard way. Even the cooler lights of the beer aisle were turned off. At the register, the computer system is designed so that a loud beeping noise occurs if alcohol is scanned and the sale cannot be processed.
World’s 8th largest diamond mine
Arkansas features a state park, where a minimal admission fee ($10) grants you access to a large diamond field where you can dig and sift to your heart’s content. Anything you find, you get to keep, and you are even allowed to bring buckets home with you for additional sifting later. Happy digging!