Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacation, Three Days

Okay, I'm on the return leg of my vacation, coming north from Fort Smith, Arkansas.

But first - an advertisement!


Do you like to be scared out of your wits?

Do you like steep uphill and downhill grades, with sharp curves thrown in?

Do you like driving past spectacular scenery, over bridges that soar over deep mountain gorges?

And all this at 70 miles per hour with loaded semis pushing you down the road?

Then, kids, Interstate 540 North from Fort Smith to Fayetteville is for YOU!

Why, there's even a tunnel!

Needless to say, I arrived at Springdale rather wrung out. Due to a mixup in communications I didn't meet up with my friend at the Trolley Museum in Ft. Smith, so he caught up with me and I made it up to him by treating him to dinner.

The next day we traveled around the Ozarks a bit, heading south through beautiful scenery (the leaves are turning, the goldenrod is in full bloom and the sumac is the shade of crimson I recall from the days of my youth). We stopped at a roadside store/overlook south of Winslow where I took pictures and watched hummingbirds feeding. We headed north via the Pig Trail, a scenic byway named for the route hog farmers took to bring their wares to market.

The next day it rained, but I soldiered on via US 412 from Springdale, with the goal of reaching Nashville by sundown. The Ozarks petered out at the thriving metropolis of Portia, Arkansas (the Town Hall is part of the same store front where I got my gas tank topped off). Surprisingly, the only part of the trip that I actually dreaded was driving through Memphis to get to I-40.

No longer intent on reaching Nashville, I stopped for the night at Jackson. Nice room.

They didn't charge for the bedbugs (the only hotel I've stayed at on this trip that had unwanted guests).

Today I sojourned to Nashville and visited Centennial Park and the replica of the Temple of Athena Parthenos erected on the site as part of the city's one hundredth anniversary. The statue of the Greek goddess of wisdom and war is the same size as the original, based upon accounts (it's not made of gold plates and ivory, though - one must economize at times).

I've stopped just over the border, at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. No more interstate highways for me. Instead I will take the older US Highway system (the first of my route tomorrow cuts straight through the Chickamauga Battlefield Memorial).


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