Tonight our home was a Harvest Host member, a winery by the name of Bar Z Wineries, outside of Amarillo Texas. Being this far north there are no actual vines, the grapes are shipped in and then processed, so we parked beside the winery building and their patio looking out at the countryside. In the past when we have used Harvest Hosts we have been the only RV using the property, but as the afternoon went by we were joined by several other RV’ers.
We ended up sitting around the patio and chatting about the RV life. Even a few local people that were their tasting wines joined in on our “party”. Of course there was lots of wine being consumed and a few of us had pizza delivered for dinner! Before leaving in the morning we were visited by a few deer to say hello.
Next stop: Oklahoma City. Over the last few months we have been asking people what to do in Oklahoma. The most popular response was: just drive through. Since we want to sleep at least one night in every province and state we found a “castle” to park beside outside Oklahoma City.
This was from our Boondockers Welcome membership and we spent the night at Milam Castle. Not actually a castle, just a very large home with a 50 amp hookup and a 100′ cement pad to park on so we settled in for the night and went for a walk in the neighbourhood.
Next stop: Little Rock, Arkansas. We arrived mid afternoon and were parked on the bank of the Arkansas River across from the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. We have never been to a Presidential Museum, so this was a main reason for coming here.
We were very pleasantly surprised to find a multi-purpose, 40km trail system on both sides of the river which went right by the library and our RV resort!!
So we got on our bikes and went for a great cycle in the Arkansas sunshine. It was through the countryside, where we had deer run across the path in front of us! It continued over the worlds longest bridge/dam that was built specifically for a multiuse trail.
The loop back home took us along the downtown river park which included a dynamic sculpture garden with over 70 public art sculptures, quite beautiful! It continued on past the library and over the Clinton Bridge which is a repurposed train bridge, so much fun!
We finished off the day with a nice light show on the bridges along the river, which apparently happens every evening. With the lights changing colours and their reflection on the water it was quite pretty!
In the morning we walked back over the bridge to the Library. A video outlining the career of Bill Clinton was starting when we arrived so we thought that would be a good way to start before joining a docent led tour.
The library is situated on 17 acres of land located next to the Arkansas River. The main building cantilevers over the Arkansas River, echoing Clinton’s campaign promise of “building a bridge to the 21st century”. With a 68,698-square-foot floor plan, the library itself is the largest presidential library in terms of physical area. The archives are the largest as well, containing 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 21 million e-mail messages, and 79,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency. The Clinton Library is also the most expensive, with all funding coming from 112,000 private donations.
There is an exact replica of both the Cabinet Room and the Oval Office as it was when he was in office. The main gallery, in the interior of the main building, is modeled after the Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin. The library incorporates many aspects of environmentally-sensitive design, in accordance to Clinton’s work involving sustainable development. Outside, there is a sapling planted on the grounds from the Anne Frank Haus in Amsterdam that is there to represent civil rights issues. It really is a fascinating place and we are very happy we went!
A major event in the US Civil Rights fight happened in Little Rock. This was what was known as the Little Rock Nine. “The Nine”, were 9 high school students that were the first black students to break the segregation line in the southern States. The governor of Arkansas called in the National Guard, not to protect or help the 9 students, but to keep them OUT of school.
Eisenhower stepped in and ordered the 101st Air Regiment to go down and take control of the city and protect the 9 students. This worked to get them into the building but it was not an easy year for them, they persevered and made history. We visited Little Rock Central High School, but because it was a school day we could only see the outside of the building.
The only negative issue we had with Little Rock (and it was based on the time of year) was the pollen. Everything was covered in a yellow dust! Our motorhome, our trailer and even our bicycle tires from cycling in and around the city. Luckily it was time to move on!