Initially, I had planned on spending more time in Tulsa – checking out some local museums and the Golden Driller statue – but when I woke up yesterday morning, I decided to press on to Arkansas. I had been told really good things about Bentonville and since it was only a 2-hour drive, I figured why wait! My route took me mostly on back roads (yay) so when I got to the border, I was able to pull the MoHo to the side of the road and do a proper sign pic. And even better – I got an Oklahoma pic too!
I seriously think they should rename Bentonville Walmartland. And I don’t mean this in a derogatory way at all. Bentonville is awesome. One of the cleanest towns I’ve been in – I can’t imagine how many landscapers are employed between the town itself and all of the Walton land where the Crystal Bridges museum is built. Beautiful trails, cute town square, fun boutiques and of course everyone is so nice (did I mention the main road through town is Walton Blvd). Seriously, it’s kinda like Microsoft and Redmond, except without all the Teslas. I went to the original Walton’s, checked out the Walmart Museum which was excellent, got a shake at the soda fountain next door and put Juno in a replica of Sam’s Ford truck that was out in front. I also drove by the home office, the logistics complex, the transportation complex and the culinary and innovation complex. They have Walmart Neighborhood markets, which is where I went grocery shopping this morning. I had never seen these before – they are different from the Supercenters (which Bentonville also has) as they are just grocery stores. Oh – and I filled up the MoHo with diesel at the Walmart gas station. $2.17/gallon – $.08 cheaper than the gas station across the street. Walmartland…
There is a lot of art to enjoy in Bentonville. Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges museum is nothing short of world class and I enjoyed my visit immensely. The only bummer is that I will miss the Chihuly exhibit which is starting next month in both the gallery and in the forest that surrounds the museum. There were two pieces already installed – pic below shows one of them. In addition to Crystal Bridges, the 21C Hotel in town has a very nice collection and even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you can wander through the galleries. They are also known for their green penguins which move around the hotel grounds throughout the day. Perfect photo op for Snug. I’m also including a cool piece of interactive art – the pic on the left is what you see with the naked eye – the one on the right is when you take a pic with the flash on.
After enjoying a patty melt in the company of Terry – a man who plunked himself down at my table and proceeded to tell me how great Bentonville is and how much he likes living there – I parked the MoHo in one of the many Public Parking lots around town. Since there were no restrictions, I ended up sleeping there last night. No cops knocking on my window – slept like a baby.
Got in a nice long run this morning before saying bye bye to Bentonville and heading for Eureka Springs. I read about ES in my Off the Beaten Path book and some guys I met yesterday confirmed that I would like this place. They were right! Great street art, for one:
I’m staying at the 1905 Basin Park Hotel tonight which is this historic (obviously) and possibly haunted hotel in the middle of town. There is a ghost story tour tonight at 8pm here in the hotel but I’m not going. I’d get scared and probably wouldn’t sleep. The view from my room is pretty great – just sorry that I’ll miss the Jesus celebration…
But by far the BEST thing I’ve seen in town is this:
Humpty Dumpty… right here in NW Arkansas. Who knew?!?!?
Okay, time for dinner. I’m hungry and the rain has stopped.
State count: 36