We have been in Northwest Arkansas for a month now. We will be here another two weeks to spend Thanksgiving with Zach’s parents before heading to Nashville for December.
Everyone wants to know….what the heck is in Arkansas?
Well for starters, a Scrooge McDuck vault full of Walmart money. Sam Walton started the first Walmart in Rogers, Arkansas. We are stationed in Fayetteville just a few miles south of Rogers. The success of Walmart is apparent in the entire NW Arkansas corridor. These communities are vibrant, clean, active and happy.
There is also family and pleasant weather here. AND TRAILS!
The Trail System
One of the most amazing features of this area is the trail system. The mountain biking community adds 2 miles of new trails every week. What? You wouldn’t believe the trail system until you see it. Thankfully Zach’s cousin Michelle and her husband Jeff are avid mountain bikers and took us out for a ride in Bentonville.
Zach and I have also been enjoying the paved trail system that runs all the way from our campground to Missouri. It’s amazing. One of the most challenging aspects of long distance running is finding safe and enjoyable routes. We have been running about 25-30 miles per week because we can’t get enough of the trail system. I also ran a half marathon in Fayetteville.
Welcome to Stars Hollow
If you were following our blog last year, you may have read about our time in Foley, Alabama. Southern Alabama fit my picture of Blue Bell from a CW show called Hart of Dixie. Stars Hollow is another fictitious small town from the tv show Gilmore Girls. I have been keeping my eye out for a small town with a picturesque town square and active community. Look no further, I found it. Bentonville, Arkansas is right out a CW tv show. I like it so much I even applied for a $10,000 stipend from the community to move to the area (of course made possible by the Waltons).
In this video you will get a gist of the Bentonville vibe.
Zach and his assistant at the office.
The People are Plum Adorable
I have not had a single negative experience with another human while in Northwest Arkansas. Everyone is happy and friendly. I’m not just talking about when the host greets you with a pet name or when someone gives you a thumbs up on the walking trail. The drivers here are so courteous to those of us outdoorsmen. When I am running or biking, the cars are overly cautious and give us the right away. It’s extremely comforting and hard to believe.
A few day drives
Eureka Springs – This little gem is a township full of winding cobbled streets and Victorian homes. This little town has a lot to offer. It is a great place to explore on foot. It reminded me of the small town portions of Gatlinburg, Tennesee. Here is a blog from the town of Eureka Springs.
Branson Missouri – A few hours north is Branson. This place reminded me of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Dollywood. It is settled near Table Rock Lake so of course that makes it a come-back-again destination for us.
Crater of Diamonds – We haven’t made the trip to Crater of the Diamonds. Now that Zach’s parents live here, we will be visiting Arkansas more often. We will take that trip another time of year.
Jena just before her 1/2 marathon.
The dark green trails here represent the paved biking/walking trail. Isn’t that wild! I love it.
Stay tuned to hear about our time in Nashville!