Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 50/60: North Little Rock to Bentonville

Rather than face another day of competing with huge trucks on the interstate, Dan came up with a plan to take a state highway through the Ozarks. This was a beautiful drive. The trees are good size and have large leaves, and they carpeted the hills with gorgeous rich color. The road is steep and winding. Hardly a truck to be seen. Very little traffic in fact.

The temperature was very cold, but the sky formed a clear blue background for the colorful scenery.

View from Overlook provided by National Park Service
Dan's photo
We stopped at a viewpoint with a great view of the Buffalo River Canyon, which is covered by colorful trees.
View from parking lot of Gift Shop
Dan's photo
When we tried to stop for lunch at the Cliff House, the only place for miles around, it was packed on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Both locals and tourists saw that this was a special autumn day and leaf-peepers abounded.

So we went onto Jasper, where we ate at the Ozark Café, a huge place, also jammed, but we were able to find a seat and get reasonable service. The best thing I learned on this trip is that when a restaurant offers deep-fried fish, they can generally grill it, if you ask. I had grilled catfish; was it ever light, almost sweet. Dan had chopped steak, which was done right. The wait staff worked very hard. They weren't grim, but they were serious and they were tired. I was amazed how much it pleased a couple of them when I said the food was good.

One of the signs for the Ozark Café, which is twice this long
Dan's photo
One of three large cluttered rooms at the Ozark Café
Dan's photo
We stopped at a viewpoint down near the Buffalo River where we could observe the handsome gray rock formations along one bank. Because of this year's drought, there was almost no canoeing.

National Park Service Sign
Dan's photo
View of Buffalo River from Pruitt's Landing
Dan's photo
Another view from Pruitt's Landing
Dan's photo
View from Pruitt's Landing with highway bridge in Background
Dan's photo
We left at 10:15 in the morning; we arrived in Bentonville at 5:15. It took a couple of hours longer to come through the mountains than to drive the freeway, but we were less tired when we got here because of the stimulation and the beauty of it.

Dan had dinner at Mama Chu's Asian Cuisine. I didn't need any more food. I had a latte and worked on the blog.

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