Hot, southern Arkansas
Trip Start Aug 13, 2009
81Trip End Sep 01, 2010
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Up at 4.30am!!! Got the flight ok and slept all the way through to Memphis. (Yep the town of Elvis, pity I didn't have more time to explore but there was plenty of Elvis paraphernalia in the airport.) Which was a stop over on my way to Fort Smith Arkansas (now I don’t know about you all but I kept pronouncing it Ar.... Kanas.. lol. Not Arkansaw! No one corrected me until I got to see Cathy, maybe they thought it was another Australian pronunciation ). Cathy moved to Fort Smith after she left Bemidji to work here at the university. She is now currently in the midst of selling her house to move to Colorado to be closer to her son Eric.
I don’t think Cathy will ever change; she is so very short but makes up for it with her presence
She took me on a quick tour... lots of fast food places, big roads and signs!! We had some lunch and I had a snooze in the afternoon, not use to the very early mornings!! We went out to dinner with Cathy’s friend Jan, lovely lady with the great southern drawl.. I think I was quite naughty and piled her with questions so I could hear her talk. We headed out to La Huerto another Mexican restaurant ! Went a bit easier on the daiquiris this time... We then went and saw the movie 'Eat Pray Love’.. a story about a woman who is gone through a separation, a boyfriend and then a world trip (I think it was made just for me!) Very close to my life in the last two years really, some of it was quite sad but I’m glad she found Love in the end. There were also two young Aussie boys who made it into the movie.. very noice!
Cathy showed me where she worked at the university
We had a bit of a bbq (or grill) that night .. prawns and vegetables.. they still call them shrimps! And we ended off the night with some Australian tv.. the Mentalist! Lol.
Cathy took me to her local gym where she does some water aerobics. I thought I’d do a bit of running and weights. It’s a HUGE (what else) gym, the weight machines being in the middle of a running track. This is where I met my bear hunting friend, lol refer to my facebook status around this time. Who asked me if I was working on my legs! I didn’t know whether to be offended or flattered. He said in his lovely southern drawl that he was working on his fitness for the bear season. So he could go tracking through the forests to hunt some bear! It is truly amazing the different type of people I have met on my trip
Cathy and I then went on a trip east of Fort Smith to Mount Magazine the highest point around the area. It was about a 2 hour drive. The drive reminded me of going out the back of Mudgee or Dubbo, NSW in a really bad drought, very dry and lots of trailers just sitting out the middle of paddocks, surrounded junk. The view was just breathtaking, we could see all the way to Oklahoma . There is an old lodge from the 19th century which has been turned into modern accommodation. There are camping grounds and great visitors centre that tell you all about how the mountain range was created and a lovely bird and butterfly garden.
On the way back we went through Paris.. no not the Paris of France but Paris Arkansas and I took a few unusual pics of places in the town!
We went to dinner at another one of Cathy’s friends, it was the churches monthly pot luck dinner. I made the Mexican dip which has been a favourite where ever I have gone and Cathy made a Pavlov just for me. We also took along a Vodak lemon slushy... to a churchdo! Everyone was lovely I and wanted to know all about Australia and my travels.
I met Molly an 80 year little lady, very smartly dressed sweet little thing, very independent, full of spirit and drives herself around
The house in which we had the dinner was built in the 1835 by a banker in the town. It was an old timber house. With.. yes you guessed it HUGE ceiling it had to be nearly 4 metres. The owners have been renovating for a while. There was the old wooden polished furniture, chandeliers and sweeping stair case up to the bedrooms. We found that it took a lot to cool the place down, as people arrived it got quite hot and the upstairs was very hot.
Slept in late.. I’m going to find it hard when I go back home! Went to library with Cathy, she doesn’t have the internet at home but the library is free for terminal access and also wifi.. I did some greatly needed washing, I only had enough knickers for about 5 or 6 days.
We went for a swim in Cathys neighbours pool in the afternoon. Remember me so much of home, the weather lounging around in the pool and listening to the neighbours mow their lawn
We had dinner again with Jan, at Catfish hole a restaurant in Almas. Sort of a cross between a fast food place and fine dining, it was quite good actually. Really just fish and chips but you had cold ice tea, dough balls and spicy condiments. I grabbed dad a cap as I thought he’d never get one from a place like this!
They then took me out to a dualling piano's bar in Fort Smith. It was quite fun, two guys playing the piano with different songs and generally having some fun with it all. Songs that would get the club hoping. I was going to ask for 'I still call Australia home' but they probably didn't know it. Good night!