Fort Smith, Arkansas Wishes You Were Here

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I am standing with one boot in Arkansas and the other in Indian Territory. Such a positioning back in the 1800s wouldn’t have been the safest of perches, especially for the traveler just passing through town. Fort Smith, Arkansas has long found its identity destined to its positioning in the world. This small settlement sets up on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. It grew up as the area’s first frontier fort and served as a key point where Federal marshals rode out of the United States and into Indian Territory. The Wild West was just over the Arkansas River.   Standing where I am in Fort Smith Continue Reading

Nine Reasons To Go Back to High School in Little Rock

Central High

Big yellow school buses perch outside of a high school in Little Rock. The fact that it is a Saturday morning makes them somewhat haunting in their emptiness. I never cared much for high school. Those that did usually didn’t have braces, bad hair and pants that were permanently high-waters. However I never thought of walking into the doors of my high school at 14 years old thinking of that walk was anything but a personal struggle, one that would pass in four years. For nine students in Little Rock, Arkansas that walk into school was the difference between right and wrong, a good society and a Continue Reading

The Meeting of Time, Travel and Money on Back Roads in Arkansas

Arkansas in the Fall

The road on the map is a squiggly line that appears to connect with the Pig Trail Scenic Byway in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. That darting line of indecision proves to be the rockiest of roads with no cushy marshmallows to break up the bumps. The car stops as the windows roll down. I listen to the chatter of the leaves in the wind. The sound is magically uninterrupted. Time suspends. Lately I have been struggling with travel, time and money. There never seems to be enough of these three. Travel and time collided for me on a whirlwind trip through Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Vienna, Zurich Continue Reading

Little Rock, Arkansas Wishes You Were Here

Little Rock River Market

I watch Little Rock from a streetcar window as the trolley chugs through the streets of downtown, a place that lives up to its title. Arkansas’ capital does not boast a dramatic skyline or even a size that overwhelms. It is truly little, but its heart is certainly large.   The River Rail Electric Streetcars in Little Rock are easy to spot. They stun the eyes in their bright yellow coloring. The clickety-click of the tracks make for a rhythmic sound one could fall asleep to while cruising the streets of the downtown. For $1, I ride the Blue Line, a 3.4 mile loop with 15 stops in downtown and Continue Reading

Clinton’s Little Rock: A Tour of Arkansas’ Capital Through Presidential Eyes

The Old State House Museum

I pull up a slightly worn seat at a simple table adorned with a red-checkered tablecloth. I can see the kitchen from my perch and probably the big wigs of Arkansas politics. A few patrons wear those goofy bow ties as only some can do. Doe’s Eat Place is the sort of space where people in suits sit on shabby chairs and feast on T-Bone, Porterhouse and Sirloin steaks dressed in fries.  Doe’s Eat Place is a Little Rock landmark. The idea was carried over from the first Doe’s in Greenville, Mississippi. Doe’s of Little Rock maintained the no frills tradition for good steaks and hot tamales. Over Continue Reading

A Year in Travel

Loneliest Road

It is the eve of the last month of the year. December is a month I seldom travel. It is a month designated for family time. Each weekend seems to spur an event or occasion. It is also the final chapter of the year, a time for reflection. And on the eve of the last month of 2011, I couldn’t help but think back on my travels for the year, as many of us do throughout this time of ending and beginning. What I have concluded about my travels this year is that I learned something about travel I didn’t realize before. The realization comes after travel, when you are home reflecting on experiences. Continue Reading