The last week of this grand journey was through southern Missouri and into Arkansas. Beautiful country! Nature, camping, history, art for the finale.
Kris has been wanting to see a Dale Chihuly exhibit and we knew there was a temporary one in northwestern Arkansas until November. While it wasn't on the way home, that didn't stop us from making another detour. We are very glad we spent a few days in the beautiful Ozards area. We camped at Beaver Lake near Eureka Springs where our campsite was right on the lakeshore - perfect for watching Canada geese, sunsets, and sunrises.
Bookends to September 29 - sunrise from Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri to
sunset over Beaver Lake in Arkansas
Beaver Lake from our campsite
One of the challenges of camping at this time of the year is trying to stay in bed until daylight.
We usually are up before the sun and another gorgeous sunrise was our reward on Sept. 30
If you are ever in the Bentonville, Arkansas area, we highly recommend visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. We were there for the Dale Chihuly In The Forest exhibit, but were pleasantly surprised at the extensive permanent art exhibits, the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and Buckminster Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome.
This piece caught my eye from across the room . . .
. . . a closer look . . .
. . . shoelaces
Awesome spider sculpture in the courtyard
Fly's Eye Dome - exhibited in Los Angeles decades ago, languished in storage for years, and now
on display at Crystal Bridges, one of the last Buckminster Fuller projects.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House built in New Jersey in the 1950s, carefully deconstructed and shipped to Bentonville and reconstructed on Crystal Bridge's grounds in 2015.
"Chihuly in the Forest" exhibit
(Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor. His works are considered to possess outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass, "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture." Wikipedia)
This piece is titled "Sole D'Oro" and contains 1,400 hand-blown pieces of glass and weighs more than 5,000 pounds.
We drove into the town of Eureka Springs to attend mass and then visited "Christ of the Ozarks" statue. A surprise - a piece of the Berlin Wall on display.
67 feet tall
Magnificent Thorncrown Chapel:
A service was getting ready to start so we only had time for a quick look inside:
We couldn't leave Bentonville without a quick visit to the Walmart Museum:
Three more National Park Sites: Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwestern Arkansas, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, and the President Clinton Birthplace Home in Hope, Arkansas. (We visited a total of 40 NPS sites on this trip.)
Little Rock Central High School is still an active school.
And a visit to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. There was an excellent exhibit on the life of Nelson Mandela and one on The Art of Africa (many of the pieces on display were from the Clintons' personal collection).
Note the Chihuly Art Glass piece on the upper level.
Seen while geocaching:
We wanted to camp one last night at Caddo Lake State Park in east Texas, but rainy conditions caused us to change our minds and press on to Houston, arriving home at 9:30 p.m. Our son, Joel, was there to greet us with a big hug.
Another epic trip is over . . . 19,000 miles in 113 days (we camped 86 of them), 23 states and 3 provinces. We are so very blessed to be able to travel as we do. Traveling light without being restricted by towing a trailer or RV keeps our cost down. Whenever possible, we camped in federal campgrounds to take advantage of half-price camping now that we have our lifetime senior pass. Visiting National Park Service sites is a big part of our life-long learning quest and watching the ever-changing view from our vehicle's windows never stops yielding surprises. We certainly didn't expect to go to President Jimmy Carter's Sunday School class, observe whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, or see a 67-foot statue of Christ in the Ozarks. We keep our eyes and minds open to opportunities along the way as we travel. We never know what will be around the next bend in the road (to loosely quote Charles Kuralt). God willing and if our health allows it, we hope to travel many more miles together.