Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Arkansas

State 4:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride! I will be featuring the states alphabetically and next up is

Arkansas

Arkansas became the 28th state on June 15, 1836. The capital is Little Rock.

When I was in elementary school my family lived on an Air Force base in northeastern Arkansas for four years. I remember there were cotton fields as far as the eye could see outside of the base.

Henry and I have traveled through Arkansas on several of our cross country trips and we have have made it a destination more than once. The Ozark Mountains, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock, and several places on or near the Mississippi River were some of the places we enjoyed visiting.

We strolled along Bath House Row and the Grand Promenade at Hot Springs National Park. A relaxing day in one of the original bath houses was a real treat for me.

At Fort Smith National Historic Site we toured the federal courthouse used by Judge Isaac C. Parker in the late 1800’s.

We loved watching the barges going by on the Mississippi River from our campsite at Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Maumelle Campground on the Arkansas River was a great home base for attending a Georgia – Arkansas football game in Little Rock and for taking a day trip to Petit Jean Sate Park.

We enjoyed the scenic drives around Mississippi River State Park and Lake Chicot State Park so much that we made two trips to each park.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona

Beside the Arkansas River in Little Rock, Arkansas

Maumelle Campground is a beautiful Corps of Engineers park next to the Arkansas River in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is a popular family destination and was almost full on the weekend. Just a few miles from grocery stores, shopping, and restaurants it was the perfect place for us to stay. The big sites are all paved with picnic table and fire pit. Our site was on the water with our camper set up beneath pecan trees.

On Friday we took a day trip to the first Arkansas state park, Petit Jean State Park. The 55 mile trip took us through several small towns. The final miles of the journey were up steep, winding roads until we reached the top of Petit Jean Mountain and the state park.

The legend of how Petit Jean mountain was named began in the 1700’s when a French nobleman named Chavet became engaged. He was soon leaving to explore part the Louisiana Territory and claim some of the land. His fiance wanted to get married before he left so she could accompany him on his journey. He refused because he didn’t want her to have to suffer the hardships they would encounter. She disguised herself as a cabin boy named Petit Jean and went on the exploration with him without his knowledge. Chavet never knew who she was until she fell ill and a doctor discovered the truth. She is buried on top of the mountain which was named after her.

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