Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Day of Surprises

We left Crystal Springs on Lake Quachita yesterday and drove approximately 80 miles to Maumelle Park, a Corps of Engineers Park just outside of Little Rock.

We have a beautiful sight overlooking the Arkansas River

and from our back window, we can see barges as they make their way down the river.

The "polar vortex" arrived and it was a cool 69 degrees this morning and the high was to reach only 82 degrees, so we made plans to make the most of this gorgeous unusual summer weather.

We drove to Scott, a little town just outside of Little Rock.  Our first stop was the Toltec Mounds State Park.  Most of the Arkansas State Parks do not charge admission which is always a nice thing.

 We watched the introductory video in the Visitor's Center before beginning our self-guided tour outside.  We took the Knapp Trail, an 8/10 mile trail around the mounds.

Three mounds remain today where there were 16 over a thousand years ago.  These ancient earthworks are the remains of the people that lived here.

The walk around was beautiful.

There was a walkway down to Mounds Lake.

There has been a lot of rain here and the lakes and rivers are high.

After our tour around the Toltec Mounds, we decided to have an early lunch at Cotham's Mercantile and Restaurant just down the highway.

You might be a little hesitant to try it, but don't let the looks deceive you.

Bill Clinton dined here often and it has also been featured on Rachael Ray and Man vs. Food.

We ordered their specialty burger, The Hubcap, which we split along with fried green tomatoes and onion rings.  All were yummy.

We weren't finished, we split a 1/2 piece of Missippi Mud Cake, I would hate to see a whole piece. :)

After lunch, we headed to the Plantation Agriculture Museum just down the road.  

The museum documented how cotton was farmed and prepared for shipping.

Here is a full size gin that you can go through.

There were also exhibits of the old steam farm machinery.

It was actually really interesting and worth a trip if you are ever in the area.

The ranger at the Visitor's Center told us about a couple of plantations to go to in the area.

 The first was off U.S. 161, Land's End a Tudor style home built in 1927.

This part of U.S. 161 is known as Pecan Alley with pecan trees lining each side of the road for several miles.

We turned around and headed to the next stop, Marlsgate.  It's not opened for tours, but can be rented for special events.

As we left Scott, we went to one more quick stop located in North Little Rock.  While we were at the Agriculture Museum, I picked up a brochure for the Old Mill Park.  As I was reading it, I found out that there was a replica of an old mill that had been built by a land developer for his subdivision's park in 1933.  What made it interesting though was the fact that this is the mill that appears at the very beginning of Gone With The Wind.

When I saw it, I remembered it from the movie.

We strolled through the little park.  It was a beautiful surprise for us.

We went home to walk the boys and then headed to our next destination.  We definitely were not hungry and needed more exercise to burn off our lunch.

Little Rock has three pedestrian bridges that go over the Arkansas River.  Tonight we headed to the "Big Dam Bridge."  It is the longest bike and pedestrian bridge in the world.  It was named the Big Dam Bridge because of its massive 4,226 foot span built atop Murray Lock and Dam.

We walked two miles back and forth over the bridge, this is the view from the top.

 One of the best things about full timing is having time to see the places off the beaten path.  Today, was full of wonderful surprises of places we would never have seen otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. You definitely got in a full day of sightseeing with lots of interesting places.