Arkansas day 02 – What to do in Arkansas

There’s lots to do in Arkansas. Seriously! Lots and lots of stuff to do!

Except we were too wiped out after a day of travel to do much the first day.

We woke up the first day to the angelic sound of braying donkeys. Yeah. My folks own two Sicilian donkeys, one male and one constantly pregnant female. Their names are Jonah and Jill, or as Mom likes to call them, that horney bastard and her poor girl.

Jill, on the left (man is she pregnant), aand Jonah , grazing on the right.

Let me tell ya, you don’t need an alarm clock when you’ve got donkeys. But my folks also have two horses, a mare named Cheyenne and a gelding named Smokey Joe.

Cheyenne, on the right, and Smokey Joe’s rear end on the left (I don’t think I got a head shot of him all week)

Anyway, we slowly dragged ourselves out of bed to the braying of the donkeys… Okay, I dragged myself out of bed; everyone else was just too damned chipper for words… and we had a huge breakfast of eggs, potatoes, pancakes, and fruit and I knew right then and there that Wii Fit is going to be cussing me out when I get home because there’s no way I can’t not eat my mom’s cooking, and she cooks a lot when we’re home. She also takes us out to eat a lot too. In fact, these trips seem to consist of three activities – cooking, eating, and shopping for more food to cook and eat. And that’s pretty much what we did all that first day of our trip. But we did manage to get out to see one of the local sites – Walmart.

Hey, we have to go somewhere to buy more food to eat all week! And Walmart is the place to go in this part of Arkansas. In fact, I think we went to Walmart every single day of our visit. But this trip was special, because on this trip we bought fishing rods for the kids!

I don’t know why, but my dad decided we absolutely had to go fishing. I don’t recall my dad being any great shakes at fishing, but apparently he was determined that the girls get the full country experience during this trip, so we hit the sporting goods section of Walmart to pick out fishing poles. Of course, the first pole Dad reached for was a pro level fishing pole that was twice the Princess’ height. I nixed that and suggested we actually look for a kid’s fishing pole. So we turned the corner and whaddaya know! We found Barbie and Dora fishing poles!

I thougth my dad was going to have an apoplexy. But the girls fell in love with those fishing poles the moment they saw them, so you know we had to get at least one. I convinced Princess to get a real kids’ fishing pole, not a toy one, if she wanted to have any hope of catching fish. Meanwhile, we let Pixie have the Dora the Explorer pole, complete with everything except hook. And then we made our purchases and headed out to the tourist sight in the area – Wood’s Pharmacy and Soda Shop.

Wood’s Pharmacy and Soda Shop (and home of the best sandwich EVER!)

Wood’s Pharmacy and Soda Shop is exactly what it says it is, an old (but still working) pharmacy with a soda shop built inside. This is the the only place in the world where I can get the delicacy known as a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. I love this sandwich. I would marry this sandwich and have its’ cheesy babies if I could. The cooks at Wood’s use three cheeses to make it, and if I ever figure out what the other two cheeses are aside from pimento, my arteries are in a lot of trouble because I’ll be making this sandwich two and three times a day,every day, until the day I die of massive heart failure from all the dairy product and greese I have consumed by eating all those sandwiches. Unlike the cheese burger from Hell we had at Checker’s, this is fried treat I can actually enjoy! Michael also got his favorite delicacy, a malted, which once again is something we can only seem to find at Wood’s.

After lunch, we still had plenty of daylight left, so we headed out to the other big tourist site in the area – the caverns at Blanchard’s Springs.

The Caverns of Blanchard’s Springs

This picture hasn’t been run through Photoshop yet, so you can’t really see all the wonderful details, but trust me, these caverns are impressive. Maybe not as big as Lurray Caverns in Virginia, but still quite stunning with all those stalactites and stalacmites and helectites (formations that sprout out sideways from the wall, instead of straight up and down; didn’t know about that one, didya? See, you learned something from reading all my vacation drivel). The caverns are actually just one part of Blanchard Springs. There’s also the actual spring itself and the nearby lake and hiking trails. The place is huge, and you can’t explore it all in one day, so we didn’t. We took two days to do it instead.

I’ve got a whole slew of pictures from the caverns, but again, they need to be run through Photoshop to bring out the details, so I’ll post those in a later entry. But after the caverns, we headed home to explore a little closer to home, and we ran across a few items of interest. The first was a closet full of my sister’s old majorette costumes, which the girls went absolutely crazy over. I was able to find a couple that sort of fit, so the girls spent the rest of the day prancing around in tutus and fringe and sequins.

Princess and Pixie strut their stuff.

While the kids danced around the house, Michael and I went for a walk, and I found all sorts of interesting things to photograph, like these…

I don’t know why, but I’m lichen this picture (har har har!)

The road to my parent’s house (it’s a mile walk to their mail box, and another four miles of dirt and rocks until you get to the highway).

The dogwoods are in bloom…

But most of the local area still looks like it was bombed to smithereens after this winter’s tornadoes and ice storms.

I wonder who’s jaw that is? (You know you’re out in the middle of nowhere when you can find bones just lying all over the place.)

After our two mile hike to get the mail, we came home to devour more of Mom’s cooking, and then there was dessert (there is ALWAYS dessert at Mom’s), and then everybody else watched a movie while I went to soak in the tub, and then bury myself in a good book (the book in question was Twilight, by the way; yes I liked it, no it’s not perfect, but it definitely kept me entertained for a few days).

And that was the second day of our trip.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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One Comment

  1. I am so enjoying your trip! Grilled pimento cheese sandwich. Sounds wonderful. I’m surprised the cooks didn’t tell you the other two cheeses. Did you ask?

    I haven’t been to Blanchard Springs Cavern in YEARS but I remember it being beautiful. The last time I went, it was the first day it opened (after being closed for winter) The piles of bat guana were high. AND SMELLED!

    Loved the picture of the girls in all the glittery dress-up. CUTE.

    Poor Jill!

    Looking forward to next installment.

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