Friday through Sunday, April 30 through May 2—Northwest Arkansas

Kay and I had to take a break from this busy retirement lifestyle; consequently, we traveled to  Crystal Bridges for the long weekend. The trails and grounds, in addition to the art galleries, had been beckoning for some time.

After departing home mid-morning on Friday, our first major stop was Devil Den’s State Park near Winslow, Arkansas. Though not sure why, the old age of the infrastructure and park setting was a surprise; we had expected a state park like Petit Jean or Lake Ouachita. We walked a short trail looking for wildflowers and butterflies, but not they were far and few between—a big disappointment after having read so many positive stories about the park. In fact, not a single photo was made. Perhaps we did not venture far and wide enough to be impressed.

Our next stop was Crystal Bridges. We walked the Tulip Tree and North Forest trails, both exhibiting an abundant number of native wildflowers. The aesthetics were great as we could see and hear the rushing water of natural creeks and streams adjacent to the trails.

Before turning in for the night, we had dinner was at Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, and it was good.

After grabbing a sack breakfast from the hotel lobby, we drove the short distance to the Saturday Bentonville Farmer’s Market on the square—OMG. Fresh vegetable and flowerstands, a variety food trucks, artists, crafters, coffee stands, etc. covered about 3 blocks with people seemingly everywhere. I had a coffee while Kay had tacos.

A live band was playing in one area, and a “Square to Square” bicycle ride was terminating in another. Vendors covered the square and surrounding streets and parking lots. The bicycle ride limited the number of riders to 3,000, with a loooong waiting list. The ride was from the Fayetteville square to the Bentonville square. Cyclists of all ages, ethnicity, sizes, and shapes participated.

Among my favorite street performers is the balloon artist.

The number of young families was surprising, and most of the market goers were masked. It was an incredibly fun experience, and one we will not miss on future trips to northwest Arkansas.

Kay obtained 12:30 PM tickets to the Crustal Bridges Museum of American Art, a world-class art museum (admission is free). We continue to be impressed with each visit, and this visit was no exception. If you haven’t been, it is a “must see” stop, worth traveling several hours out of the way.

A late lunch was at AQ Chicken House, a northwest stalwart. I try to eat there anytime we’re in northwest Arkansas, remembering the good meals eaten there (usually on someone else’s dime) during college at the University of Arkansas. The food was great.

We returned to the hotel, spent a quiet evening before an early bedtime.

Having met our objectives, we returned home Sunday to spend an unusual quiet day.

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