Somewhere in the Boston Mountains of western Arkansas, already well off the proverbial “beaten path” we had to turn right or left. If we go left we retrace our route back to the beaten path. To the right a blind curve and this sign.
Patty very calmly said, “It doesn’t say the road ends, it just says the pavement ends”. Sometimes she speaks a language I understand and appreciate. We turned right, pavement ends was a little bit of an understatement, for the next seven or fifteen miles of rough, very narrow and winding trail we saw a very scenic part of those mountains. We didn’t see other tourists; we didn’t even see other humans. We eventually found the beaten path and the little mountain café with the good reviews, we were ready for some lunch and homemade pie, however it is not open on Wednesday.
The noon rush had been over for an hour or two when we got to Fayetteville. The Catfish Hole is open on Wednesday, the food and service are both outstanding and to say the staff is friendly is an understatement. Yes, we will go there again.
We visited the Tourist Info Center earlier in the day; I told the guy our tentative agenda. He said “That’s a scenic route but you better get fuel in Fayetteville; he was right. Somewhere between Fayetteville and I 40 we did another of those right turns.
You might think we are a little bit crazy for running down those kind of roads, we prefer to call it adventurous.
This one didn’t have a sign but it also didn’t have pavement, however it was a pretty good gravel road and it was wide enough for two cars to pass. We probably did twenty miles and didn’t see another car. What we saw, in addition to a pretty mountain drive was several miles of the Mulberry River. We found a little trail and spent a little while down by the rivers edge, the only sounds were our voices and the water flowing over the rocks and a few birds. I think at dusk you could probably hear a lonesome whippoorwill. We also interrupted the silence with the sound of the camera shutter.
This is Patty on the banks of the Mulberry. I think she is almost as crazy or adventurous as I am but thank god she is considerably smarter. The other pic is just a snapshot of the river.
We eventually found pavement again and funny there wasn’t a sign saying “Gravel Ends”. We had a good day and plan to return and look for some more of those Pavement Ends signs we may even take the Jeep and hunt some signs that say Road Ends.
We thought it might be kind of exciting to look for some of those “Pavement Ends” signs a little farther north, say somewhere like our 49th state. This summer we are going to throw some stuff in the old Chrysler and see what we can find on the highways and byways of Alaska.
Very briefly: We will drive to Bellingham Washington. In Bellingham the three of us (me, Patty and the Chrysler) will board one of the ferryboats operated by the Alaska Dept. of Transportation. If you are curious just Google “Alaska Marine Highway”. We will ride the thing a few days up the inside passage to Whittier. We will spend the next 19 (I think) days visiting places like Anchorage, Homer, Denali, Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Tok, Chicken, Dawson, YT, Whitehorse and we catch the boat for the ride home at Skagway.
We are going to freelance to the extent possible, hoping to get a good mix of the popular tourist areas, interact with the local people and I am sure we will find a few Pavement Ends signs.
I hope your Easter holiday is filled with happiness and the prize egg finds it way to your basket. Please remember the real reason we celebrate the Easter holiday.
Good Night and God Bless.