Archive for May, 2015

The Natural State bucket list

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Several years ago, we published an Arkansas bucket list, and it proved to be popular.

It’s high time to update that list. So here goes.

Please share the link with your friends and let me know in the comments section what you would add.

There are certain things every Arkansan should do at least once. They include:

— Watching Sonny Payne do his “King Biscuit Time” radio show at the Delta Cultural Center in downtown Helena.

— Drinking some of the water at the Mountain Valley headquarters in downtown Hot Springs.

— Fishing for bream on a south Arkansas oxbow during the day and then frog gigging on the same lake at night.

— Watching the cardboard boat races at Greers Ferry Lake and then having dinner at the Red Apple Inn.

— Buying some wine at Altus and then visiting the monastery at Subiaco.

— Sitting on the east side of Mount Nebo while watching the sun rise over the Arkansas River Valley.

— Watching the Memphis fireworks on the Sunday before Memorial Day from a sandbar on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.

— Taking a slow walk through Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, especially when the roses are blooming.

— Attending a high school basketball game on a winter Friday night at Valley Springs.

— Attending a high school football game on a fall Friday night at Nashville.

— Eating a turkey leg at the Arkansas State Fair.

— Attending the fall and spring craft fairs at War Eagle.

— Singing “Amazing Grace” during a funeral at a country church.

— Fixing a casserole for a church potluck.

— Helping clean up a rural cemetery.

— Fishing for smallmouth bass on the Kings River.

— Eating a tamale spread at McClard’s in Hot Springs.

— Attending the King Biscuit Blues Festival at Helena.

— Dancing to the band in the lobby of the Arlington Hotel on a Saturday night during the Oaklawn race meet.

— Standing in the state Capitol rotunda and looking up.

— Climbing Pinnacle Mountain.

— Spending the night on a houseboat on Lake Ouachita.

— Attending a county fair parade.

— Driving the Pig Trail when the leaves are turning, stopping along the way at the Turner Bend Store.

— Pigging out on barbecue for breakfast at Jones in Marianna.

— Watching the elk graze in the Boxley Valley.

— Listening to the music on a Saturday night in downtown Mountain View.

— Taking a bath on Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs.

— Standing along the rail at Oaklawn Park on Arkansas Derby day.

— Hanging out with the students on Dickson Street in Fayetteville after a Razorback football victory.

— Reading the Civil War markers at DeValls Bluff and then having barbecue at Craig’s.

— Eating a slice of watermelon (with salt) at the Hope Watermelon Festival.

— Attending the all-tomato luncheon during the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival at Warren.

— Walking the boardwalk through the swamp between Brinkley and Marvell to see the Louisiana Purchase monument.

— Attending an event in the room behind the kitchen at Doe’s in Little Rock.

— Touring the Cash house at Dyess and then heading over to Wilson to see the English Tudor architecture.

— Walking through the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village.

— Getting a room for the night at Mather Lodge atop Petit Jean.

— Attending the duck gumbo contest on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in Stuttgart.

— Buying an ice cream cone at the Ernie Dunlap Store in Kirby.

— Having your picture taken while standing on the Arkansas-Texas line at the federal courthouse in downtown Texarkana.

— Attending the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hot Springs.

— Wearing a kilt to the annual Scottish festival at Lyon College in Batesville.

— Going to Garvan Woodland Gardens on Lake Hamilton when the tulips are blooming.

— Watching the rice harvest near Weiner on a cool fall day.

— Attending the annual Slovak Oyster Supper in February.

— Attending the annual Gillett Coon Supper in January.

— Attending the annual Grady Fish Fry on the third Thursday in August.

— Waiting for a seat at The Pancake Shop on a Sunday morning in Hot Springs.

— Going to a cattle auction at a local sale barn.

— Watching the toad races during Toad Suck Daze at Conway.

— Having a Friday night catfish dinner at The Whippet in Prattsville.

— Sitting alongside the bypass at Sheridan on the Friday before modern gun deer season and counting the trucks headed south on U.S. Highway 167.

— Catching a mess of crappie on one of the lakes in the White River National Wildlife Refuge.

— Seeing how much fried chicken you can eat at the Monte Ne Inn near Rogers.

— Eating an entire hubcap cheeseburger at the original Cotham’s in Scott.

— Walking from your room at the 21c Hotel in downtown Bentonville to view the exhibits at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

— Sitting quietly for 30 minutes or so in the Thorncrown Chapel at Eureka Springs.

— Floating in a canoe down the Buffalo River when the dogwoods are blooming.

— Calling the Hogs at football games in both Little Rock and Fayetteville in the same season.

— Searching for the Gurdon Light late at night.

— Fishing for trout early in the morning on the upper White River.

— Watching the sun rise on a winter morning from a duck blind on the Grand Prairie.

— Spending a night at both the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs and the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs.

— Attending a Battle of the Ravine football game between Ouachita and Henderson in Arkadelphia.

— Digging for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro.

— Visiting Bald Knob when the strawberries are ripe in May and ordering the strawberry shortcake at The Bulldog.

— Sampling the fried chicken at the Mount Nebo Chicken Fry.

— Stomping grapes at Tontitown.

— Picking wild blackberries while wondering how many chigger bites you’ll have at the end of the day.

— Eating some peaches at the Johnson County Peach Festival.

— Kayaking on the Mulberry River.

— Having a steak on a Friday night at Jerry’s in Trumann.

— Hanging out with the regulars at Roy’s in Paragould.

— Attending the Fourth of July community picnics at Corning and Piggott.

— Crossing the U.S. Highway 62 bridge over Norfork Lake on a clear day and admiring how blue the water is.

— Eating a gear salad and the filet mignon at Herman’s in Fayetteville.

— Sitting outside at Basin Spring Park in Eureka Springs on a fall Saturday evening while enjoying the music.

— Visiting Judge Parker’s courtroom at the Fort Smith National Historic Site.

— Driving along the Talimena Scenic Drive near Mena when the leaves are changing.

— Spending the day walking around Historic Washington State Park when the jonquils are blooming.

— Taking a boat out on Grassy Lake in southwest Arkansas at night to look for alligators.

— Walking around the courthouse square in El Dorado and going into as many of the locally owned shops as possible.

— Eating a turkey sandwich at the original Burge’s in Lewisville.

— Buying more than you need the week before duck season at Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart.

— Wrangling an invitation to one of the Sunday night wild game dinners at Gene’s in Brinkley.

— Grabbing a weekday plate lunch at the Pickens Store in Desha County during the harvest season.

— Eating a plate of buffalo ribs at the Lassis Inn in Little Rock.

— Touring the Lower White River Museum at Des Arc on a Friday afternoon, followed by a catfish dinner at Dondie’s.

— Spending a summer Saturday morning at the farmers’ market on the square in Fayetteville.

— Visiting a sand blow in northeast Arkansas while contemplating the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12.

— Getting a sunburn while attending Riverfest on Memorial Day weekend in Little Rock.

— Buying a stack of books at That Bookstore in Blytheville.

— Riding a horse at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch near Jasper, followed by supper at the Low Gap Café.

— Finding a swimming hole on the Eleven Point River and then having lunch on the front porch of the country store at Dalton.

 

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