Day 4 began in Oklahoma City, OK, and ended in Memphis, TN. We had mostly scattered clouds and temps in the high 60’s. Quite pleasant for our needs. We offed Oklahoma, ate all of Arkansas and tiptoed into Tennessee. However, no time change today. We remain in Central Time.
We spoke to my sister earlier today and she gave us the heads up that the I-40 bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Memphis was recently closed when they discovered a crack in it. Turns out that it was good information to have but knowing didn’t change the fact that there is only one other bridge to get us into Memphis and naturally, it was very busy. Google maps navigation gave us a suggestion that allowed us to bypass perhaps 1.5 miles of the backup so only cost us about 15 minutes delay.
Day 4 miles driven was about 480.
For our brief visit to Little Rock (pics) we encountered some unpleasant weather that hindered our sightseeing. It was quite cold and raining. In fact, the temperature was right at 32 degrees while it was raining so there was a little ice forming in the trees.
The town of Hot Springs (pics) is a byproduct of the 140 degree spring water that flows out of the surrounding Zig Zag Mountains. All of the land in these mountains are part of the Hot Springs National Park.
For our drive from Fort Smith, AR, to Hot Springs we took a road that is an Arkansas Scenic Byway. Along the way we encountered Cove Lake (pics). It’s a small lake in the Ozark National Forest near Mount Magazine.
Fort Smith (pics) was first established in 1817 when the first fort was built on a rocky bluff at the junction of the Poteau and Arkansas rivers. It was established to maintain peace between local Osage Indians, emigrating Cherokees (who were being forced to move westward) and non-Indian settlers. The fort was abandoned in 1824.