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The Wonderful State of Arkansas

No Doubt, It's An Arkansas Thing
The motto for my May 2013 visit to Arkansas was:

"Bus' mah buttons 'n burn mah biscuits! Did y'all heah Steve's comin' tah Arkensaw?" :)

Although Atlanta was my ultimate destination, I spent five full days in Arkansas -- enjoying hiking trails, seeing friends and having a HEE HAW of a time. There were so many highlights and memorable moments. Below are my best Arkansas photos.

Arkansas Sign
I arrived late Saturday night, May 11, and snapped this photo of the "Welcome To Arkansas" sign in Bella Vista. It was then that all the misery from driving across Kansas felt worth it!

Photos by Steve Garufi in Fruita, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Hogeye, Arkansas May 12 - On Sunday morning, I left Bentonville and went to Devils Den State Park, which is south of Fayetteville.

I guess you could say that I took the "back way" to the park, as I drove through Hogeye and Strickler on Highway 265. This is a picture of the closed gas station and general store in Hogeye, Arkansas.

Yellow Rock at Devils Den

Devils Den State Park

I hiked the Yellow Rock Trail in Devils Den State Park. The overlook is definitely the highlight of the trail.

My photo gallery, videos and write-up:

Yellow Rock Trail

Steve and Raymond

Fayetteville, Arkansas

That evening, I met Raymond Burks, an aspiring screenwriter and graduate of the University of Arkansas. He has played a major role in encouraging me as I strive to become a successful first-time author.

We went out for steak and I love this photo of us holding our beers. :)

Arkansas Razorbacks Gifts

Arkansas Razorbacks Hats and Shirts

Arkansas Razorbacks Shirts

WTF Razorbacks

We visited a Walmart in Fayetteville. It was refreshing to see so much merchandise with the Arkansas Razorbacks on it! :)

I bought two t-shirts (third photo) that increased the number of Razorbacks clothing items to seven in my wardrobe. I guess I should do another Arkansas Razorbacks fashion show, shouldn't I? ;)

If you've never seen it, this is a video of me showing off my great Razorbacks apparel in 2010 ...

Lastly, I bought Arkansas Razorbacks car and window stickers, and I gladly put one on the back windshield next to my WTF sticker. :)

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas

May 13 - The next day, I headed to Fort Smith to meet the one and only Ray Nellum.

There's a photo of us in downtown Fort Smith on Garrison Avenue.

Razorbacks Address Marker In Ray's neighborhood, some have a Razorbacks design as their address marker.
Fort Smith National Cemetery

Arkansas River in Fort Smith

Fort Smith Gallows

Ray gave me a grand tour of Fort Smith.

We visited the Fort Smith National Cemetery, the Arkansas River and the gallows that was used to execute people at the historic Fort Smith site.

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas

That afternoon, I got to see the city from the roof of the 11-story Garrison Building. It's the tallest building in Fort Smith! :)

I snapped many pictures, but then I realized a video might be better ...

Fort Smith, AR

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Not sure of the road in the top photo, but the second is Rogers Avenue.

Petit Jean State Park - Cedar Falls
My hike to Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park was magnificent! My photos, videos and write-up: Cedar Falls.
Cedar Falls at Petit Jean State Park
Oh yes, I stood under that massive waterfall. I was drenched ... and so happy. :)

Little Rock, Arkansas

May 14 - After enjoying the waterfall, I drove to Little Rock via Interstate 40.
Arkansas BBQ Then I got to meet Dan Cox, a proud Little Rock resident, Arkansas Razorbacks fan and manager of the Hit Squad in my fantasy football league.

Immediately, we hit it off and he brought me to the Whole Hog Cafe on West Markham Street.

We quickly ate our yummy BBQ, and then got a picture of us with our empty plates in the restaurant. :)

Arkansas Capitol Building

Central High School

Arkansas River in Little Rock

Dan drove me all over Little Rock ... and I mean all over!

I got photos of the Arkansas Capitol Building Dome, Central High School and the Arkansas River in the Marketplace section.

Arkansas Razorbacks Gift Store We stopped by Hogman's Gameday Superstore, as I hoped I would buy another Razorbacks shirt or two, but they were closed.
Arkansas Razorbacks License Plate A car ahead of us had this great pro-Hogs license plate. :)
Arkansas Sunset We walked on the Little Rock Big Dam Bridge, which crosses the Arkansas River and is popular for walking, running and biking.

We arrived as the sun was setting, a pretty Arkansas sunset, with Pinnacle Mountain as the peak on the left.

Arkansas Dunkin Donuts When we passed a Dunkin Donuts, I asked if we could stop.

I love Dunkin Donuts coffee so much! In fact, I have a Pinterest page dedicated to it: Dunkin Donuts Coffee.

Meg and Steve

Second Day In Little Rock

May 15 - Lunch with Megan at Chick-Fil-A.

I hadn't seen Megan since we had a gathering in North Little Rock during my 2011 cross-country bike tour.

Ouachita Trail A short afternoon hike on the Ouachita Trail at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
Doe's in Little Rock I met the East family for the first time: That's Cynthia, me, Bob and Lizzy.

We had interesting conversations about biking across America, Bob's attempt to climb Mount Everest in the 1980s, how they are friends with the Clintons and Huckabees, what it's like living in Little Rock and why in the world Lizzy chose LSU for her college studies. :o)

This photo was taken inside Doe's, a "dive restaurant" that was known to be Bill Clinton's favorite place to converse with politicians when he was governor.

Does Place Little Rock Tamales The outside of Doe's.

A photo of the "Mississippi style" tamales they serve. They were so good!

Aimee and Jerald

Jonesboro, Arkansas

May 16 - On my last day in Arkansas, I drove to Jonesboro to see Aimee and Jerald.

They took me out for BBQ at Demo's Barbeque and Smokehouse. It was the best barbeque I had on this trip! :)

Arkansas State Old Bob I got the grand tour of Jonesboro, a nice town in northeast Arkansas.

I liked that banner on the campus of Arkansas State University.

Later on, Jerald took me for a ride on his farm and we met Old Bob, who caught a crappie fish.

Tractor Rice Farm

Jerald is a lifelong farmer who grows rice and soy beans. During the tour, we met other farmers, and I got this shot of a farmer working his field.

As the tour of his farm went on, Jerald began to shoot at red-winged blackbirds that were eating the inside of his rice seeds, and I got an entertaining(?) video of him trying to get them. P.S. If you watch the whole thing, he gets one at the end! ;)

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