WWE: October 21, 2019 Trumperter Swan in Arkansas Pond

The very first trip my husband and I ever took to Arkansas to see the fall leaves. Along with beautiful leaves, we saw some unusual wildlife: elk and trumperter swans.

A Get Away with my Husband

My daughter and granddaughter that I usually travel with were supposed to come with us, but my daughter ended up with strep throat; so they could not come on this trip. My husband and I haven’t done a trip, just the two of us, for a while.

So early Monday morning, we left on our adventure. Our first stop was the Buc-ees in Royce City, Texas. After seeing the signs advertising this location, we decided it would be a good stop, especially since they seem to have a sense of humor. One of the things we do to entertain ourselves on trips is to see how many different state license plates we can see. Before we had even left the state of Texas, we saw twenty different states. This was in the first one hundred and seventy-seven miles.

For those of you who are not familiar with Buc-ee’s, it is a “gas station” with more than 50 pumps, food inside, all amenities that you could possibly need. They have extremely clean restrooms. It’s almost like a small mall.

The border between Texas and Arkansas is in the middle of Texarkana. At first, the bridges across the highway have a Texas insignia on them. Suddenly, you notice that the insignia changes to an Arkansas state picture. After crossing into Arkansas, we started seeing cotton fields. Some of them had already been harvested, and some were in the process of being harvested. We also saw some silos and the Arkansas River. In the distance we could see a bridge spanning the St. Francis River.

The border of Arkansas and Tennessee is the middle of the Mississippi River. We crossed the bridge over the river and entered into Memphis, Tennessee. Besides the huge bridge spanning the river, the first thing you see is a Bass Pro Shop shaped like a pyramid. We stopped at the Welcome Center alongside the river to get some pictures. The famous St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital is also located in Memphis and can be seen from the road as you drive through the city. We ate a late lunch at a Cracker Barrel at a small town outside of Memphis. In the parking lot of the restaurant we saw our first trees that were showing bright signs of Autumn. Although there were cotton fields in Arkansas, Tennessee had many more fields that were much larger. The fields were so white that they almost looked snow-covered as we zipped past them.

Around 7PM Central Daylight Time we arrived in Nashville. It is a much larger city than I expected with many lights. The traffic was terrible, even this late. It reminded us of driving in Houston.

As we continued our journey, we could not help but notice the beautiful moon in the sky above. It was almost, but not quite, a full moon. It spread light all across the area. Unfortunately, the nighttime pictures from the car didn’t come out well at all.

We debated whether or not we wanted to drive all the way to Gatlinburg. I had done some research and decided that we might not be able to find a room in the area because this is one of the busiest times of the year in that area. My husband had no idea that it would be as busy as it was, but he took my suggestion to stop in Crossville, Tennessee. We had a very peaceful night at the Super 8 motel, and we were only a couple of hours from our destination.

Final Post of this Trip

We stopped in El Paso, Illinois to attend Mass. The church was St. Mary’s and the sign in front of it said that this was the church that Archbishop Fulton Sheen was baptized at.

We drove on through Missouri to Joplin and cut down on I 49 to sleep at my middle daughter’s house. Her family lives in Northwest Arkansas. The drive down I 49 was beautiful, although hard to see in the dark. We would get another chance to see it the next morning on our way to Wichita, Kansas. I had never thought of Kansas as very appealing. It always seemed to be just flat land that went on forever. But eastern Kansas is nothing like western Kansas. There are rolling hills and lots of stockponds. The wind was very strong. After picking up a dog in Wichita, we headed due south on I 35. We went through Oklahoma City, the Arbuckle Mountains and Turner Falls area, Ardmore and Marietta. Then we crossed back into Texas. We spent the night in my house, and I got to sleep in my own bed!!

Turner Falls area

Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas

We have been to this amazing museum several times. Each time it seems to have gotten larger and larger, not the buildings, but the exhibits. There are even exhibits outside of the building, which is a work of art in and of itself.

All of the artwork is quite nice, and many of the themes make you think of both times in the past and present. Some of the artists are well known, such as John James Audubon. Others are not as well known, although all of the works of art are impressive. There are various genres of art from traditional to modern and contemporary.

Entrance to the permanent exhibits is free due to the generosity of the Walton Family Foundation.

This is my absolute favorite part of the entire museum. It has been here every time that we have been to the museum. The first time we went, we debated whether this was a real person or not. I don’t think that the string was around it at the time. This is so realistic.

We saw car license plates from all over the country in the parking lot – from Maryland to Oregon. This museum is an interesting stop for those traveling through Arkansas.

To find out more about the museum go to their website.

This post is also posted on Fan of…