Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Exploring Central Arkansas

During our two months at Hot Springs National Park, we have hiked most of the trails in the park. They are excellent trails and a good way to get away from the busyness of Central Avenue and Bath House Row.

We toured Garvan Woodland Gardens, spectacular botanic gardens near Hot Springs. The Japanese Gardens were really special, as was the waterfall. They also have built the Anthony Chapel on the grounds, a beautiful space that makes you feel you are surrounded by the forest and God’s creation.

We have gone geocaching several times. This is a sport where we use our GPS to locate treasurers that have been hidden by other geocachers and listed on the web site. This activity helps us discover some of the hidden nooks and cran
nies of the community where we are staying. One geocache was located in Entergy Park, a newly developed area along Lake Hamilton. It gave us a glimpse of the lake and showed us some bike trails. We returned a couple of weeks later to test our new bike rack and ride our bikes.

Two trips to Little Rock have allowed us to visit the President Clinton Library—
really interesting and an impressive building and the Little Rock Central High School Historical Park where we relived the integration of the school 50 years ago. The exhibits in the visitor center are very well done and really brought that period back to life for us. It was very moving. We could see, read and hear what people experienced and felt during those difficult times. It is sad to see how cruel people can be to one another and how they are afraid of the unknown. One comment was especially poignant, “That was the first time I’d ever gone to school with a Negro, and it didn’t hurt a bit.”

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