Thursday, March 9, 2023

Walking Southern Towns: North East Arkansas and Southern Missouri

I start to hear the rain begin with a patter against the roof of the RV.  It then develops into a roar of a spring shower.  We have been in Northeast Arkansas for a week completing the new American Volksports walks in the area.  We are staying at Davidsonville State Historical Park, the first American settlement and the first Post Office in Arkansas.  Established in 1815, then in 1829, the County seat was moved from Davidsonville to Jackson.

The Ozarks is a mountainous plateau region that runs through Northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. It's a culturally unique place that has a unique Identity.  It reminds me a lot of Appalachia; it is a gritty area with many unspoiled outdoor recreation opportunities. America's Walking Club has a half dozen new walks in the Ozarks.

Our first walk is a stop in Ernest Hemingway's life in Piggott, Arkansas.  His second wife, Michelle Pfeiffer, was from here, and he wrote Farwell Arms in a barn studio behind the Pfeiffer Family house.  It is an idyllic small town with a rich history of farming the Arkansas Delta. 

The most unique walk was the 5K at Mammoth Springs, the 7th largest freshwater spring in the world.  It is the Spring River's source, a geological wonder.  We walk around the spring and the town, then head a couple miles across the border to walk in Thayer, Missouri.  

We also do the walks in Hardy, AR; Pocahontas, AR, Paragould, AR; and West Plains, MO.   They all have their unique features.  All these towns have fabulous Veterans' Memorials.  These are proud people and are proud of their service to the nation. It's been a fun week driving these hilly country roads and walking these mountain towns.