Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here's your sign

After snapping 3 pictures at Pugh's Mill Park, my camera said that the memory card was full and it refused to do anything else.  I knew this was a lie because I always delete all the pictures from the memory card as soon as I upload them.  I had no choice but to use my iPhone for the Old Mill pictures and this made me cranky because the park was beautiful and I had no zoom.

Pugh's Mill Park is in North Little Rock and is actually a life size sculpture of an old grist mill.  The actual mill mechanism is authentic from the 1800s, but the mill house, bridges, rocks, and the rest of the grounds are completely man made.  It was never a working mill but you couldn't tell by looking.  The Old Mill's claim to fame is that it appears in the opening credits of Gone With The Wind for a whopping 8 seconds.

I'm so glad we came here, it made me want to rush home and start sculpting a stage set out of concrete for Dennis's next sermon.  Not that I've ever sculpted out of concrete but I have the gift of reverse engineering so I'm sure I could do it.  I also have the gift (curse) of thinking that I can do something just because I've seen it done once.  I watched a brain surgery on Discovery Health once so I'm sure I could do it.  It's all about having the right tools.

After the Mill, we stopped and got a new memory card for the camera (which seemed to solve the problem) and made our way toward Harrison.  Conway, AR was on our route so we made an effort to find Toad Suck Park (just because the name is funny) but gave up after about 5 minutes because we were hungry.  We went in search of food and found an Old Chicago Pizza place.   Taylor and I had to go to the little girls' room and we were entertained by the pictures on the bathroom doors.  I whipped out my phone to take a picture of the men's room door and just as I was poised to snap, the door started to open.  I swung around and ran into the ladies room and shut the door as fast as I could.  Taylor was cracking up and said she'd never seen me get embarrassed like that and run from a situation.  I was more embarrassed for the poor guy coming out of the bathroom than I was for me.  Since I am constantly finding myself in embarrassing situations of my own making, I am rarely phased by them anymore.  But I just hated for some poor guy to step out of the bathroom and find himself face to face with my phone's camera.  Once he cleared the hallway, I got my picture.

Did you know that Conway, AR is the church capital of the world?  Conway probably doesn't even know it but I kid you not, I have never in my life seen so many big churches in such a small area.  They're everywhere, all denominations, they're huge, and they're obviously trying to out-steeple each other.  There's also a huge Young Life center in the middle of town.  We decided that Conway is not a place the Green family would like to live.  All the churches and Christianness just plain creeped us out.

Just outside of Conway is a little burg called Pickles Gap, AR.  It is full of flea markets and antique malls and if I wasn't carrying so much baggage with me (namely Jayson & Taylor) I could have spent the entire day there.  On the side of the road there was a sign advertising a flea market/antique store called "Fleas & Tiques".  I thought that was just brilliant.

As we continued our journey we discovered that it wasn't just Conway that had the church problem, the whole dang state is back to back churches.  Not that that's a bad thing, it's just an unusual thing.  I guess I should think of it as a good thing but for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, I found it to be creepy...similar to the way I feel about bubbly, perky, happy people.  They may be 100% genuine but I can't help but think they're hiding something behind all that happiness.  Something like a torture chamber in their basement.  That kind of happiness just isn't natural.

As we neared Clinton, AR it started pouring down rain and I also started seeing big billboards advertising the "Natural Bridge of Arkansas".  Somehow this little jewel escaped my cheesy roadside attraction radar so we had to stop to see what it was all about.  I'm glad we did, it was actually pretty cool.  You can't really gauge the size from the picture but the thing is huge.

We saw another entertaining sign on the highway but unfortunately we passed too quickly for me to get a picture.  We were on some very steep and winding roads and at one point we had been going downhill in such a way that I was sure we were going to run into either the earth's core or Raquel Welch.  It was along this downhill stretch that we saw a sign that said "Runaway Truck Ramp Ahead".  The fact that we were on a road that had a need for a runaway truck ramp was slightly disturbing.  A little further down, sure enough, there was the ramp and the sign beside it said "Runaway Vehicles Only".  I don't know why I find things like that hilarious but I really do.

Texas doesn't have trees.  Not really.  Or at least not north Texas.  We have mesquite trees which are just weeds that got out of hand.  When we moved to Louisiana I thought we had hit the tree lottery.  They're everywhere, even lining the sides of the highways.  We thought this was so cool.  But Arkansas trumps Louisiana in the tree department.  They've got trees out the wazoo.  I've often wondered what would happen if the earth's forests could no longer sustain the consumption of our wood products.  I am not longer concerned about that.  Arkansas has us covered.  They could loan trees to the Amazon.  Seriously, there are are a lot of trees here.

Someone pointed out to me that while we were in Hot Springs and I was marveling at the lack of size of the Ozarks, I was not actually seeing the Ozarks.  Those were the Ouachita Mountains.  My bad.  Today I am sure I am seeing the Ozarks and they aren't much bigger than the Ouachita Mountains.  In fact, I'm not certain they're really mountains at all.  I think they're just piles of kudzu that got out of control.

We checked into our hotel in Harrison and met one guy from Lafayette and another from Baton Rouge.  Then we had dinner at a place called The Ol' Rockhouse.  It was fantastic, I would recommend it if you're in the area.  I was a little worried at first because it was dark inside and I'm convinced that dark restaurants are that way on purpose so they can hide the yuckiness of their food.  This one was an exception, the food was great and you just can't beat the ambiance of a faux fire plugged in next to your table.

1 comment:

Mayn said...

I think you and I should take our own vacation/retreat to Pickles Gap so we can go flea-tique-ing. That will be our new word. We are offically fleatiquers. I am so disappointed to hear about the Ozarks being small. I too imagined Swiss Alp sized Mountains. Nothing that big there? Really? Sad.