Thursday, November 26, 2015

Quick Trip: Arkansas, Oklahoma and Northern Texas

I'd never been to Oklahoma, had just grazed Arkansas, and my only time in northern Texas was several layovers at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. So in December 2014 we planned a trip to cover that area as part of my goal to see all 50 states. Below, I give a brief description of our activities each day, followed by links to blog posts by Judy and me. 

We flew from LAX to Dallas/Fort Worth on Wednesday morning and arrived just after noon. We got a rental car and immediately started for Little Rock, Arkansas, where we would spend the night, a 242 mile drive that would take us about five hours. On the way, we stopped for a late lunch in Texarkana, TX at Naaman's Championship BBQ, a food truck connected to a building, and one of about five barbecue places we would sample on our trip. Later that evening, in Hot Springs, we looked for the barbecue joint Bill Clinton loved while growing up, found it closed, so stopped instead at Smokin' In Style BBQ, then drove on to Little Rock where we slept at the Wyndham Riverfront, downtown near the Arkansas River.

Thursday morning we visited the Arkansas State Capitol building and the Clinton Presidential Library followed by lunch at the Whole Hog Cafe, our third barbecue stop. That afternoon we visited the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, then drove about two hours (120 miles) to Mount Magazine State Park in northwestern Arkansas. There we hiked 1.2 miles roundtrip to the summit of Signal Hill, the tallest mountain in Arkansas, then checked into the beautiful Mount Magazine Lodge where we stayed the night. We had a light dinner at the Skycrest Restaurant in the lodge. 

Friday morning we drove over four hours (256 miles) to Oklahoma City, OK and visited St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the amazing Oklahoma City National Memorial and then had dinner at Cattlemen's Steakhouse where we feasted on t-bone steaks, a favorite of President George H.W. Bush, and lamb fries. We spent the night at a so-so Best Western. 
     Oklahoma City Museum of Art  (Judy) 

Saturday morning we visited the Oklahoma State Capitol building, then drove an hour and a half to Norman to visit the University of Oklahoma campus, particularly enjoying the Heisman park with five bronze statues outside the football stadium. We ate lunch at the Earth Cafe & Deli in Norman, then drove about three hours (188 miles) to Dallas where we went to the Dallas Art Museum. Across the street from the museum, we had a burrito and ice cream at food trucks, visited the nearby Guadalupe Cathedral and then drove to Arlington for the Texas Christkindl Market outside the Texas Rangers baseball stadium where we ate crepes and bratwurst to finish off a third and fourth course for dinner. We stayed that night and our remaining nights at Hawthorne Suites in Dallas. 
     Texas: Dallas Museum of Art  (Judy) 

Sunday we visited the Lakewood LDS Ward in Dallas for an hour, then were at the fabulous Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (the Texas School Book Depository) where John F. Kennedy was shot, then drove to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, stopping at the on-site Cafe 42 for lunch, before going inside. We completed the day with a visit to the Museum of Biblical Art and dinner at the fabulous Meddlesome Moth restaurant. 
     Cafe 43 - Dallas  (Bob) 
     Meddlesome Moth - Dallas  (Bob) 

Monday morning we drove one and a half hours (90 miles) to Glen Rose where we visited the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and got to drive our car through this animal sanctuary with all kinds of African, Asian and European mammals. We followed that with a visit to the ho-hum Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, then a one hour drive to Fort Worth where we walked through the Fort Worth Stockyards. For dinner we drove to Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse in downtown Dallas where we enjoyed buffalo fillets, quail medallions and venison. 
     Glen Rose, Texas: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center  (Judy)
     Addax  (Bob)
     Barbary Sheep or Audad  (Bob)
     Blackbuck  (Bob)
     Emu  (Bob)
     Fallow Deer  (Bob)
     Gemsbok  (Bob)
     Hartmann's Mountain Zebra  (Bob)
     Red Deer  (Bob)
     Rio Grande Wild Turkey  (Bob)
     Roan Antelope  (Bob)
     Sable Antelope  (Bob)
     Scimitar-Horned Oryx  (Bob)

Finally, Tuesday we visited the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, the IMAX Theater where we saw the movie "Jerusalem," and ate a barbecue lunch at Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth, before driving to the airport for our flight home. 

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