May 25 - 26
Sign in Tennessee: "Davy
Crockett Motel & Body Boutique Tanning Salon" Do you remember
the words to the "Davy Crockett" song? "Born on a mountaintop in
Tennessee, greenest state in the land of the free, killed him a _______(what?)
when he was only ____ (how old?)"
One last parting observation
about Elvis--he may have been into drugs because of the interior decorating
at Graceland. You see it, you'll need drugs too.
Sign in Loneke, Arkansas:
"Fleamarket and pageant wear." (You can't make this stuff up.)
Sign on country road (Arkansas):
"Toltec Baptist Church" (Isn't this a bit of a contradiciton? The
Toltecs were pagans and into sacrifices, etc.)
Was traveling behind a pick
up truck when one of the tires on his trailer exploded. Not much
of an event if you're in a normal passenger car but sort of interesting
when rubber schrapnel jumps 20 feet in the air and then starts to come
down in your cockpit. Dodged the stuff and continued on asking the
driver if he needed help. He looked bored, like this happens all
the time and shook his head.
Outside of Carlisle, Arkansas
you can find a real life drive in restaurant complete with car hops.
This is Sonic country for those of you who thought that drive ins were
just for nostalgia. Met Josh from Hazen, Arkansas who was unabashedly
in love with Seno and said the one thing people should know about his state
is: "the weather is never the same...you don't like the weather,
wait 10 minutes, it'll change." I also found a food thing I haven't
seen before: PANCAKE ON A STICK. So next time you're hungry
and on Highway 40 or 70, stop by and see Josh (he's the one in the red
shirt) (they all wear red shirts, it's a Sonic thing) and tell him Alyce
sent you. He waved and said "take care and God bless". Now
isn't that a nice Southern thing to hear?
Making that sharp turn from
Highway 15 onto 165, I narrowly missed a big turtle in the road!
Cars and trucks were whizzing by him and also missing him by fractions
of an inch. I HAD TO SAVE THIS TURTLE--since so many folks have been
saving me lately I felt I needed to return the gesture. Did you know
that turtles pee when they're frightened? I didn't either.
And did you know that they're frightened when you pick them up? This
guy was as big as a dinner plate and dark green like a Honda. After
he endured a photo session on the hood of my car, I found a nice spot for
him near a creek and left him part of my breakfast banana. Hopefully
he is off enjoying a mud bath today.
1,300 years ago a native people
built a mound that is still 50 feet high. They did this a basketful
of dirt at a time. And not just one mound--many. The Toltec
Mounds Archeological State park is the place you want to go to see what
is one of the great mysteries of prehistoric America. Robin Gabe
will show you the film and point you in the direction of two paths to get
up close and personal with the mounds. She said that this group was
probably not related to the Moundbuilders of Ohio and Wisconsin.
The largest mound here was probably a ceremonial temple and it took generations
I am fascinated with the idea
that these people who had their hands full with SURVIVAL would take valuable
manpower to build such a structure. If you had a pile of dirt in
your backyard, in 5 years it would pretty flat. So how big would
you have to build a mound to have it be 50' high in 1,300 from now?
Learned something else at the
interpretive center--these Indians tanned leather using deer brains and
human urine. My questions are: who is the Indian who came up
with this idea and how did they come up with it? was it an accident?
and how does the park service know this?
The mounds line up for solstice
and equinox and if I were anywhere near this park on June 21, I would definitely
be at the park for sunrise!
Zipped right around Little
Rock and was developing a hunger. Thought I'd be a good kid and take
the exit for Subway but I got sidetracted by the BROWN'S Restaurant signs.
Says seating for 400 and buses welcome, so I figured they might have room
for me. What caught my eye was "catfish" as I intended to have this
Arkansas delicacy while I was here.
Well, this place is the stuff
of legends, actually. The buffet is 100 feet long and has 150 items
most of which have seen the inside of a fryer. Wait until you are
I'm-Gonna-Faint hungry before walking into Brown's. Most people waddle
into Brown's I noticed but no matter. The catfish was truly wonderful
as was the moist chicken but the HUSH PUPPIES were the BEST I've ever had!
There was something stuffed in real crab shells and then the whole thing
fried together, I'm assuming that was crab cakes.
If I lived near Brown's Seno
would have to have a bigger engine to haul me around in. A paper
on the table read: "We continue to expand." So do the customers.
I left there with enough grease in me to lube a Cadillac...and I enjoyed
every single morsel and I'd do it all over again in a minute.
We Oregonians sometimes like
to give the impression that we invented trees but I'm here to tell you
that I have never seen thicker forested land than here in Hot Springs Village,
Arkansas. Without my glasses on the trees look like brocolli, they're
packed in so tight. Highway 5 looks like the Blue Ridge Parkway,
gentle curves and hills and so much green--it is wonderful.
So now I am here in the safe
clutches of my friend Marilu who lives here--a lady I met at an Oxford
class nearly two years ago. Marilu has got it "goin' on" as they
say--she can nail human behavior and motivation faster than anybody I know.
She is bright and funny and informs me that 97% of the people who live
here have college degrees. A few feet from here is her deck which
looks out over the lake and I am trying to videotape the thieving squirrels
at the bird feeder while she is at church.
Seno has the great luxury of
being inside a garage and we are both breathing big sighs of relief to
be here in an actual house. So I think I'll stay. For a few days
anyway. Wednesday the local Red Hat Society is having a luncheon
and then I'll head north. That's the plan if I can find the fortitude
to continue (what's the alternative?) There is a thin line between
courage and insanity; I have erased this line.
Will she make it the 3,000
miles to home in Oregon? Stay tuned.