The Sweep Part 1
Often credited to newspaper editor Horace Greeley, there’s just no evidence he said “go West, young man” and, in fact he denied it. No one has proven the origin of this phrase.
Lucky for me, my days as a young man are gone – going East should be fine. Nearing six years of full time RV travel, all the states (in the lower 48) I haven’t visited in the RV are in the East.
I left Butte County, California, which is still recovering from the destruction of the Camp Fire, on February 21 heading for Arkansas. It was slow going – winds gusting to 90 MPH, flipped 18 wheelers and a freight train blown off the tracks along the way. Had to hunker down in Benson and again in El Paso. It felt right to stop in Texarkana, Texas before really getting into Arkansas.
The Texarkana Post Office, right on the state line.
Yup, located downtown in Texarkana, Texas, salutes “our loyal confederates” … just like all the statues celebrating America’s adversaries and traitors like Hideki Tojo, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Robert Hanssen, Erwin Rommel etc. No statues of them? How unfair, part of our culture!
A short drive later I was in North Little Rock, staying in a municipal park on the Arkansas River.
View from my campsite in North Little Rock. The bridge, formerly a rail bridge, is a pedestrian walkway to the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.
I got to see the presidential library / museum which showcases the good, bad and ugly of the Clinton presidency. What a fantastic museum.
I also visited Little Rock Central High School and the National Park Service’s Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site across the street, which tells the moving, yet horrific, story of Arkansas’ fight to block integration of the High School, a lasting stain on our entire country. You might want to watch Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later, available on HBO or DVD.
Little Rock Central was again the subject of a Supreme Court case in ’68 challenging the state’s prohibition on teaching evolution. It’s no surprise that the state ranks 44th in percentage of residents with at least a high school diploma, and 45th in personal income.
Heading east through Tennesssee towards Maryland.