We didn’t plan to spend any time in Arkansas on our cross-country drive. Originally we didn’t even plan to drive through the state. But a change of plans found us on I-40 heading through the state on our way to North Carolina. I didn’t mind the change because Arkansas was one of the only states I’ve never been to before, and even if I just drove through I could check it off my list. But Arkansas had other plans for us…
Shortly after crossing from Oklahoma into Arkansas one of our dogs developed a serious condition requiring immediate veterinary care. Our other dog had also developed a completely unrelated and even more serious condition that would require at least 24 hours of hospitalization. Not part of our plan…
Luckily, the Little Rock area has several ER vets and our pups were quickly in good hands, which left us with a day to explore the heart of Arkansas. Hot Springs National Park looked pretty fantastic on Trip Advisor, so away we went. I can honestly say that if you had shown me pictures of Hot Springs and told me it was in Arkansas, I would’ve called you a liar. I had no idea Arkansas had such amazing architecture and history. The opulence of Bathhouse Row rivals the mansions of old New England and in some ways even surpasses the Turkish Baths of Budapest or any other European city.
But that wasn’t what made Arkansas so wonderful. Parks are fantastic to visit, but lots of places have parks. It’s the people that make Arkansas special, and truly make it worth the visit. I’ve never met so many friendly and genuine people in one day. EVERY SINGLE PERSON WAS NICE! From the vet’s office, to the motel, to the restaurants, and the National Park, every interaction we had was a positive one. (And as my husband can attest, I stop and talk to almost every person with a pulse.) People even thanked me for thanking them! Mind. Blown.
I don’t know if I ever would’ve made it to Arkansas, or seen any actual sights, if it hadn’t been for the series of unfortunate events that landed us here on this trip. But sometimes travel takes us places we never planned. And sometimes those places are better than we could have ever imagined.
Thank you for the hospitality, Arkansas!
If you find yourself near Arkansas and need veterinary care, I can HIGHLY recommend the following places. They are about a mile apart, in the Maumelle area of North Little Rock. Fantastic staff and excellent facilities at both. Though they are not affiliated with each other, they work together. Because they are in the middle of the country, they see quite a few pets who get sick on road trips.
Animal Emergency & Specialty Clinic for evening and weekend emergency treatment (www.animalemergencylr.com)
The Boulevard Veterinary Clinic for all daytime services (www.facebook.com/BoulevardVet)