Friday, May 26, 2017

Day 2- May 25- Arkansas

I spent last night at the home of my friends Jeff and Michelle Serelis. This morning, I rode into work with Jeff, so he could drop me off at the Marta station and I could ride down to the airport.

Weeks ago, I had bought tickets to fly out to meet David and the boys in Little Rock because I thought I was going to have to go into work on Thursday.  Once I found out I was not going to be going in, I decided to fly standby and try to get on an earlier flight so that our journey could begin. I got to the airport around 730 and was able to make it on the 8:22 AM flight!
I arrived in Little Rock before David and the boys and they picked me up at the Bill and Hillary Clinton airport.  It was a small airport which is a nice change from the one in Atlanta.  We headed over to Central High School of Little Rock which is where the Little Rock 9 stood up against segregation.  This national historic site was such a treat and the grounds were absolutely beautiful.  
This gas station is directly across the street from the visitor center and the high school.  During the 1950s, it was the closest place with a pay phone, so reporters would get their story and then head over here to call it back to their home town newspapers.  It is now part of the national park service area as well.
The high school was absolutely beautiful.  Logan said "This school has a pool in front of it".  There were 9 benches around and each one had the name of one of the brave students.  This was really interesting this year because Hunter studied many historical figures that played a role in desegregation.  
The school still hosts 2500 students who were taking final exams, so we were unable to go inside.  The local school board is still the source of funds and the owner, but they do run all external changes by the NPS in order to guarantee that the original architectural style remains the same.

After that stop, we headed to Hot Springs Arkansas where I got David in yet another parking predicament with the camper.  This is one of those things that we came, we saw, and we do not need to return.
The boys did love all of the fountains and were impressed with the hot water that was in all of them.  In the ground, the water is 140 degrees, but when it hits the surface, it is about 130 degrees.  The bath houses were originally for the very rich and were believed to heal people.  There were about 72 rooms in the fanciest of the bath houses and all of the rooms had a different purpose.  They were very ornate and unique.  

As we left, my little ones took a much needed nap!  They think that keeping up with momma is hard work.
After about a two and a half hour ride, we landed at Fort Smith which is on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border.  We had to rush to see this because they were closing about 15 minutes after we arrived.  The jail was very neat because there was one giant room in the basement which had about 25 'beds'- also known as pads on the ground.  They had to insulate the floor above it with extra hay in order to keep the stench of the prisoners from leaking up into the courtroom. 

This was the gallows and there were MANY people executed here.
We really thought Fort Smith was beautiful and unique. We headed out from there and drove to the middle of Oklahoma.

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