Saturday, May 6, 2017

Little Rock - It Actually Coulda Been Called Big Rock

I have arrived in Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas and I think it is also the biggest city in Arkansas. Little Rock was actually named because there was a little rock (which was actually a Big Rock) in the middle of the Arkansas River.  Go figure.   I've decided to go all urban and I'm staying at the Downtown Riverside RV park which is right across the Arkansas River from Little Rock in North Little Rock. I am almost right underneath the I30 Interstate bridge, but I'm right on the river and I have a pretty good view of downtown Little Rock. It is your traditional RV park with your neighbors right on top of you, but I guess I could say Location, Location, Location.

View out my front window of downtown Little Rock - see how close I am to the river

You can see my rig and Cooper right in front of the middle tree

Besides the interstate bridge, there are two other pedestrian bridges close by that cross the river. One is the Presidential bridge which goes from the RV park directly to the Clinton library. The other is called the Junction Bridge – an old railroad bridge that runs trains no more. Miko and I get up early and hike across the Presidential bridge and come back over the Junction Bridge. The Clinton library is having a special exhibition now called Xtreme Bugs. Took a picture of these two, weird thing is that if you get close enough to them, they start to move.

Sort of a strange thing to have at a Presidential Library

We then wandered through a sculpture garden – there are supposed to be about 70 sculptures here, I saw maybe 30. Don't know where the rest of them were.

Lord Featherwick

The beautiful sunny morning turned into three days of rain with a little bit of hail thrown in. Widespread flooding was predicted. I was a tad bit worried seeing as how I was so close to the river. I picked a certain spot on the bank of the river and decided that if the river rose above that point, I was outta there. Not to worry, the Arkansas River kept moving everything downstream.

I am quite the wine snob. I am getting a little short on wine and went online to see if I could find an upscale wine shop. All reviews pointed to this one market so I ran over there. Let's just say that the only thing I picked up there was in their cheese department and that was that southern favorite “Pimento Cheese”

On my list of NPS sites was the Little Rock Central High School. Over the years, I had seen some film segments about what happened, but did not know much about it. The visitor center was an excellent spot to learn more about what happened when the Little Rock Nine tried to desegregate the white school. The stories that I heard, I'm telling you -  it was horrifying what these kids went through. Amazing how strong they were and how mature. They are an example to us all.

The school itself was built in the mid 1920s at a cost of over a million dollars. Think about how much money that was in the twenties. It is an impressive school – today it houses 2500 students and all freshmen who start their high school years here are required to read a book called “Warriors Don't Cry” written by Melba Pattillo Beals, one of the Little Rock Nine.

Little Rock Central High School - On these steps the Little Rock Nine entered

I did go out to dinner with my diamond hunting partner Jan to a place called All Aboard.  Basic diner food, but once you order, you sit down and your food gets delivered by a train that runs on a track that circles the restaurant.  That was pretty cool, the first time you saw it.  Below is a video that shows a delivery being made.  I think to see it, you have to go to the MikoBoBiko website.

My view at night of the Presidential Bridge - the white blob on the right side is the Clinton Library

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