It was a most circuitous route, but I finally made it to Arkansas. There wasn’t really anything in particular I wanted to see in Arkansas, it’s just that I’d never been there, or even through there. From Indiana to where I was headed in Arkansas was way too long a drive for one go, so I stopped first in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. The six-hour drive proved to be too much for me that day, so I needed a few days to recuperate. I spent three nights there, in a campground with no one else but a most lovely retired local couple.

Mark Twain National Forest

I’m trying to learn to be ok with people seeing me using a cane, but it’s hard for me to come to grips with that. I’d used it pretty extensively in Alabama, but I was pretty secluded there, so just one older couple who I only saw and talked with intermittently didn’t seem so overwhelming. I used my cane as needed, and felt ok about it.

Trail of Tears

While I was there, I got to walk a little bit on the original Trail of Tears, which was sobering, but peacefully quiet. I enjoyed my stay.

Missouri

When I left and crossed the Arkansas state line, I took pictures of Gypsy headed in both directions, since Missouri hadn’t had a place for me to stop and do that where I crossed into the state. Before it’s all over, I might just have pictures of her in front of 49 state signs, and that’s only because I can’t figure out how to strap pontoons on her to get her to Hawaii. (Did I mention I might shoot for Alaska right after Sex Geek Summer Camp? Yeah, that’s a thing….)

Arkansas

In Arkansas, I wanted to check out the hot springs in Hot Springs National Park (which, as it happens, is in Hot Springs, Arkansas, go figure). I grabbed a spot in a campground there, but it was packed and noisy and not really my vibe. I like people, generally, and have come to love talking with strangers, but this was a bit much. After setting up camp, I went to visit Bathhouse Row, where the old bath houses are restored and you can apparently enjoy the bath houses. Unfortunately, Bathhouse Row is in the middle of town, there was no place to park, and frankly the front steps were not friendly to someone in need of a mobility device, anyway. I just went back to the campground, made some dinner, and went to bed. I left the next morning.

But it’s all good. I did a thing in Arkansas, spent a night, and went on my way, down to the Rose Marie, a place I missed and was really looking forward to visiting again.