© 2010 tracy Underground Pool

Caving in Arkansas

I recently spent the end of my summer vacationing in Arkansas.  You heard me right.

Convincing my husband to go along with this was a simple matter of playing the family obligation card—we were participating in a joint vacation with my father from California and visiting his middle sister, possibly my father’s last trip home—and the issue was settled.  My husband is nothing if not a Man of Family Values.  That’s not to say he fits the political profile of those touting Family Values as their reason for spouting often ridiculous rhetoric.  Absolutely not.  Which is why this trip was anticipated with some anxiety on his part, being born on foreign soil, disturbed with the antics of the Christian right, and generally unsure if visiting “the South” was beneficial for sane Northerners like ourselves.

Now, the family aspect made the trip worthwhile in itself.  My dad grew up in Fort Smith, his father one of nine.  Most of the family is still somewhere in the area or surrounding states.  There are a LOT of stories to hear, especially when everyone is older than 80+ years of age (well, my dad was the miracle child, so he was always the youngling…he’s nowhere near 80). The kids met great aunts, just like I did when my father took us back on a trip to Arkansas when I was 6.

But the pleasant surprise came when we discovered that Arkansas itself had plenty to offer, especially for a tree hugger like myself.

The most enjoyable find was the War Eagle Caverns, where we got a nearly private tour due to timing.  These weren’t my first caves, but they were the most “civilized” I’d visited, in that they were partially lighted and we got a tour guide. We saw more than one species of bat, salamanders and spiders(ugh) along with the expected stalactite/stalagmite type formations. It was beautiful, a physical document to a part of the earth’s history, each crag and crevice notched by the travels of water, the rocks themselves the remnants of sedimentary ocean floor. Our planet is simply a fantastic wonderland.

In the end the trip felt too short.  We had destinations we just couldn’t get to, restaurants not yet patroned (though can I quickly mention my favorite meal was eaten at Rolando’s..latin/cuban deliciousness, seriously).  I was sorry to be on my way home when the time came.  Who woulda thought?

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>