Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hot Time Summer in the City

Today is suppose to be a laid back, grab a few spots, stick your feet in the water and go with the flow type of day. Based on what we got scheduled and the miles, it is one of the easiest days of the trip. Not that it (there I go again jumping from the present to the past into future) it didn't turn out that way, we still didn't get in til 730P and spent well over 10 hours riding and seeing.

A bit of digression, when we spent the night in Tupelo, Rock Around the Clock with Bill Haley and the Comets was on TV. Now how appropriate is that. In the town where the King of Rock N' Roll was born and this 1956 movie. I think Little Richard might dispute this King title thou.

Passed the capitol of Arkansas. Everytime I see a capitol building I think back to the IBA Rally in 2011. It is unbelievable what those riders do every 2 years. The last rally had the riders going to every lower 48 states (Alaska was optional) and if you captured the capitol, it was worth extra points. This was all completed in 11 days.

In 1927, the largest high school in the nation was opened in Little Rock. It was declared the most beautiful high school in the country. On Sept 23, 1957, the Little Rock Nine were denied entrance to the school. based solely on the color of their skin. There was a showdown between the then Governor of Arkansas, Faubus and the President of the US, Eisenhower. It was the first test of the 1954 Brown vs Board of Education, prohibiting states from establishing separate schools for blacks and whites, declaring them unconstitutional. The school is still in use today as an educational institution.

Right across the street from the VC is a pristine restored Mobil Station. This was used as the VC for the site prior to the new one opened in 2007.

From here we headed out to find Daisey Bates house, a National Landmark. Without a picture to guide us, we could not locate it. I then made the mistake of charging up the days route and answering in the positive the GPS question, "Would you like to navigate to the beginning of the route?". It wasn't until we were on the highway that I realized the mistake and ended almost back at the hotel. Quick take me to Hot Springs VC and we were headed in the right direction.

Hot Springs was the first national preserve created in 1820, hence it really is the first National Park. The flowing hot springs have been used for more than 200 hundred years to treat rheumatism and other ailments.Bathhouse Row is a National Historic Landmark district and makes up the NP today. The existing bathhouses are the 3rd and 4th generation buildings and are good examples of the Gilded Age architecture.

Administration Building

Visitor Center

Inside the Visitor Center you can wander around on 4 floors to see what they looked like on the inside.

Looks more like torture stuff

Looks extreme to me

The HER Parlor

The HIS Parlor
I took a picture of this light switch because we had them in the house I grew up in.

 We had parked the bike right across the street from the Admin Building which has a public fountain right out front. We carry cups with us for our morning coffee (we have yet to use them to this point), so I ask MeAsWe if she wanted a drink. I bounded (more like a slow walk) over to the fountain, opened a cup and placed under the spigot." Hey this is hot", I said. To which the gentleman filling bottles said, "Why we call this place Hot Springs". Duhhhh. This guy was filling up gallon after gallon of this stuff. Guess what MeAsWe said when I brought the coffee mugs back ?

Having spent the greater part of the morning and into the afternoon in Hot Springs, the rest of the afternoon was a leisurely ride up Arkansas 7, one of the noted scenic highways to the top of the state.

We were suppose to get a stamp at the VC, but time got away from us

Reminiscent of the Adirondacks with the closed places
Right outside of Jasper I had someone following me with some lights. Of course I pulled over. My first order of business was to get the bike stable and remove my helmet. He did say, Oh you are not one of those crotch rocket kids, which I agreed. Actually he was a really nice guy and we had a conversation about insurance, comparing registration costs between MA and AR, and other things. He did give me a Honorary Performance Certificate (read warning). I thanked him and we were on our way.

On one of the scenic pullovers we ran into the guy with this thing. I thought of George and Jane immediately. I don't know if it is a 3 wheel car, it did have a steering wheel or a trike with a steering wheel.

We grabbed a couple of tour stops and called it a day.

We spent the night in Bentonville. Like Tupelo with Rock Around the Clock on the TV, the Walmart Story was on tonight. Getting a bit spooky. For dinner we had pizza delivered to the room.

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