How did we end up in Arkansas?

So how did we end up in Arkansas? Hurricane season has died down finally, so we wanted to take a longer-than-usual trip and, this time, travel outside of Texas. We spent some time deciding whether to take a long journey to Arizona or Kansas.

We nixed Arizona because of COVID restrictions in New Mexico. It did not appear likely that we would be able to roam freely around New Mexico, stopping and staying last minute to see what we wanted to see. My sister sent me a link to some excellent chalk pyramids in Kansas, which looked very interesting.

My Dad was from Kansas, and I have cousins in Kansas, so I did have a connection there. Kansas, it would be!

Unfortunately, the day before we were to leave, we checked the weather again. We had missed the prediction of a massive ice storm that would dip into the part of Kansas we wanted to travel to.

We were already packed and ready to go, so we logically headed to Arkansas to wait out the weather for a few days! This is the first story of our long, over the 17-day trip, so far, a meandering RV excursion into Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It has, so far, been a wonderfully adventurous expedition for us.  

How did we end up in Arkansas?

Lake Livingston RV Park

739 FM -2457
Livingston, TX 77351

We usually leave for our trips late in the afternoon, which is what happened this time. I have to say that it gives me a terrific sense of freedom for us to take off to just anywhere, whenever we want to, on our time. It takes my breath away!

We just struck off with a sketch of a plan that included sites we wanted to see but left huge gaps in our time to discover whatever we could. Our first overnight stop, found with a quick Google search, was at Lake Livingston RV Park in Livingston, Texas. This is a beautiful park with lots of trees.

We did have to back into our RV spot in the dark, which meant unhooking our Jeep, but we expected that. We were anxious to start this journey, so we reserved the park’s express check-out, which meant a 9 am check-out. The cost of our one-night stay was $23. There are different prices, of course, for different types of sites.

We will return here for more extended stays in the future to visit friends who live nearby. The owner/host was an amiable lady who gave us excellent and helpful information. This is an RV park we can highly recommend. 

Lincoln, Arkansas 

How did we end up in Arkansas?

Lincoln, Arkansas, is near the Oklahoma state line and a long 7-1/2 hour’s drive from Livingston, Texas. We found what turned out to be a spectacular Boondockers Welcome location in the Lincoln area and decided to spend the night there.

Our arrival was much later than planned, but our host was very understanding and even had a roaring bonfire waiting for us when we pulled up. We knew virtually nothing about this area and ended up in the Lincoln, Arkansas area for no other reason than the beautiful overnight spot we found.

Our host gave us tons of information about Lincoln and the surrounding area. He had a fascinating life and had great stories to tell. In one of our conversations, he showed us a cool item he had purchased in Colorado.

He has a Silver Ceremonial “key to the city” given to President McKinley in 1901 by the Mayor of Austin, Texas. He had several communications with “Pawn Stars” in hopes of selling the key to them, but it did not work out. 

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

506 E. Douglas
Prairie Grove, AR 72753
Open year-round, 8 am – 5 pm 
Free Admission

How did we end up in Arkansas?

We discovered, from our new friend and Boondockers Welcome host, that Lincoln had been the location of an American Civil War battle. The Battle of Prairie Grove took place here on December 7, 1862. This battle resulted in the Union forces securing control of the northwestern portion of Arkansas.

Ten thousand Union soldiers with 56 cannons and 12,000 Confederate soldiers with 30 cannons participated in this battle. When the five-hour struggle was over, 2,700 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing, leaving a horrific scene of death and destruction.

The Confederate soldiers withdrew, and in doing so, the Union army was able to claim a strategic victory. 

We drove into the park, expecting to see a small museum and a playground-type park. We were very mistaken. The park’s museum was our first stop. The first thing we saw in the museum was a video that explained how the Prairie Grove battle came to take place and what happened during that battle.

Unless you are familiar with this particular Civil War battle, the video and the other museum exhibits are essential to understanding and appreciating the battlefield trail driving tour. We were given a brochure with a map and descriptive material explaining the fourteen stops on the driving tour.

Battlefield tours are more Steve’s thing than mine, but I very much enjoyed this drive through history. The tour winds through the state park area and onto Lincoln’s town’s residential streets. It is one of the best driving tours we’ve experienced.

On even years in December, this park holds the largest Civil War battle reenactment in Arkansas.

Bean Cemetery

Our Boondockers Welcome host directed us to this cemetery in Lincoln. He told us we’d find graves marked by name and followed by “owned by _______,” or “property of _________.” We did not come across any of these markers.

Many enslaved people are buried here, and I realize this practice is part of our nation’s history, but how wrong and sad it was. The oldest dated burial here is 1874, but there may be older graves whose markers are illegible or nonexistent. Many markers are simply rocks marking the graves.

Bean Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We always enjoy walking through peaceful cemeteries like this one. 

Fayetteville National Cemetery

We took one afternoon to drive over to Fayetteville, just 30 minutes away, to visit, yes, another cemetery. Visiting these cemeteries is not a jolly walk in the park. Still, it is a way to show respect to our country and often gives us a better understanding of the areas we visit and the people who live there. 

Oak Cemetery 

This cemetery was adjacent to the National Cemetery, so we took some time to wander through here. It is full of deteriorated headstones and unmarked graves. This particular cemetery illustrates the era of slavery in this part of Arkansas.

In 1867 when this cemetery was established, it was the only cemetery African Americans could be buried in. 

Downtown Fayetteville

After our sobering cemetery trips, we took an enjoyable drive through the strikingly pretty downtown Fayetteville, where the trees were red, yellow, orange, purple, and brown. Since we’re Texans, it’s been a very long time since I have seen these beautiful fall colors.

We took a quick drive through town and then headed back to our home on the road back in Lincoln. 

Kansas is still freezing, so our plan for the next few days is to spend some time in Oklahoma. Let’s see what happens there! Next stop Oklahoma!

How did we end up in Arkansas?How did we end up in Arkansas?

4 thoughts on “How did we end up in Arkansas?

  1. Pingback: Next stop - Oklahoma! | Always Want To Go
  2. You always find the most interesting places to visit. Or maybe you just make every place you visit interesting because of your enthusiasm for experiencing new places!

    1. Thank you, Judy! What a nice thing to say. Actually though everything we see is kind of interesting.

  3. I also really enjoy the history you come across meandering in cemeteries. We are sticking close to home until the health situation improves but will be using your blogs as a map to travel when we hit the road again.

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