We woke up this morning and hit the ground running. We showered, dressed and packed up. Grabbed coffee and a bag breakfast in the hotel lobby and got on the road.
Our first stop was Fort Smith, AR. I wanted to stop here because I had seen it depicted in a John Wayne movie and I wanted to learn more about it. At one time, it was the westernmost outpost. The edge of civilization before the wilds of the west.
Because of the Wuhan Virus most of the park is closed. A lone Park Ranger was standing under a tree helping the a few visitors. We wandered on our own, first taking in the gallows and then walking the parade grounds. We walked across the train tracks toward the river and the site of the original fort.
It was all very interesting but we did not stay long. We left the park a little after noon. As we left Fort Smith we located a local Chick-fil-a where we went through the drive-thu. We now had the problem of where to eat. Luckily, Carol Ann Cross Park was nearby. We drove there and found a shady picnic table where we ate lunch. About half way through eating our lunch, the ducks arrived looking for handouts. A sign at the entrance to the park said it was $1,000 fine for feeding the ducks, so we didn’t.
Next, we headed to Hot Springs. It was a long winding drive, through the piney woods, on mostly two-lane roads. It took us almost 3 hours with one rest stop break. Once in Hot Springs we went straight to the National Park. We found a spot to park right on the street across from bath house row. All the bath houses are closed, so we just strolled the promenade. It was a lovely shady stroll. Personally, I don’t understand the appeal of the bathhouse. However, I did enjoy the ornate architecture of the National Park.
Having walked through most of the park, we decided to move on. We have an appointment to see Elvis tomorrow, so we drove for a little while East. We stopped for the night in Lonoke, AR.