April 14, 2013

Ruston, Louisiana, Lake Catherine State Park near Hot Springs, and Little Rock, Arkansas

After leaving Baton Rouge, we spent our last three days in Louisiana at the Lincoln Parish Park near Ruston, Louisiana.

We parked right along the water.

This park has lots of walking trails around the lake.

Then, on Tuesday (April 9), we finally left Louisiana after spending nearly 9 weeks off and on in that state. When we started this trip, if someone would have said that we would spend 9 weeks in Louisiana, we would have said "no way." Goes to show what we know. Louisiana is a beautiful state and we really enjoyed our time exploring all it has to offer.

On to Arkansas! 

Taken out of the RV window as we crossed over into Arkansas.

Parked at Lake Catherine State Park
near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

When we arrived, the weather was beautiful -- in the low 70s. But that turned on us as a major storm moved from the Central States to the East. At the time the storm started on Wednesday (April 10), the temperature was 83 degrees with high humidity. It wasn't long before our NOAA radio and the park host warned us of possible tornadoes heading our way. And, yes, tornadoes touched down in Arkansas and Mississippi, damaging over 75 homes and killing at least one person. This is what my weather map on my cell phone looked like.

Within one hour, the temperature dropped from 83 degrees to 48 degrees, and went down to 39 later that night. We had just put away our portable heater for the spring, but had to pull it back out again. Luckily, we survived another weather incident.

Since the storm, the temperatures have stayed in the low 60s during the day time and in the high 30s at night.

On one of the days, we drove into Hot Springs to check out the place. Bill Clinton once lived in Hot Springs as shown by the local sign in town.

Hot Springs is known for, yes, its hot springs! Believe us, the water is hot and springs up from the earth. Years ago, 65,000 people a year would come to Hot Springs for the hot baths. The bath houses still line the street. 

Steam from the hot springs.

Hot spring water falls

The town also created long walkways for the people
to stroll on after coming out of the hot spring bath houses.

Continuation of the walkway.

Street showing the line of bath houses, 
one after another. Today, because of more knowledge
on healthy living, fewer than 6,000 people now
frequent the bath houses each year.

The locals fill their jugs with free artisan well water.

The Hotel Arlington in downtown Hot Springs.
Famous because Al Capone once stayed there.

There are long walking paths through the woods and water falls at the Lake Catherine State Park.

You first have to cross this swinging bridge.
Chanti did not like this bridge as it moved when
we were walking on it.

Water falls along the walking path

A bench on which to rest and enjoy the view

We left Lake Catherine State Park yesterday (Saturday) and drove 72 miles to Little Rock, Arkansas. Got a very nice place at the Riverside RV Park right on the Arkansas River.

Parked at the Riverside RV Park in Little Rock, Arkansas

We see downtown Little Rock from the front of our RV

And, this is the night time view of downtown Little Rock

Frankly, the main reason we wanted to come to Little Rock was to see the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. And that is what we did today.

To get to the Clinton Center, we walked across the 
Clinton Bridge (to the left of our RV on the above photo).
No need to drive to it as it was within walking distance
from the RV Park.

And this is the Clinton Center that you see 
as you exit the bridge.

Oval Office as it was when President Clinton occupied it.

Ready for dinner with Presidential plates?

View from the second floor of the Clinton Center,
looking towards downtown Little Rock.

Sun going down along the Arkansas River
and the walkway along the river.

On to Missouri tomorrow.

Have a great week ahead, everyone!

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