Arkansas: The Natural State

Welcome to Arkansas sign

Arkansas has a rep for being a cultural wasteland, and it may well be. But the claim as the natural state is well earned. The Ozarks are curvy and rich with trees. I don’t know what a “dale” is, but am certain that it was among the rises and descents in the landscape.  And although I knew the Ozarks as mountains, I never anticipated the rolling hills and vast amounts of green. In my mind it was a plains state–and plain. Everywhere is a panorama–more than the eye can take in from one point of view. And what tickled me the most is that trees often got in the way…of seeing more trees.

How Does Your Garden Grow?
Farms abound, breeding cows and apparently propane tanks. Hopefully not with each other.

Boom or Bust
This is rural America: towns with population signs boasting 85 and 90.

Terra Firma?
Half of Arkansas is covered by mountains, 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,000 miles of streams. Oh, and 2,000 documented caves!

Overachievers
With the exception of citrus fruit, Arkansas grows practically every crop produced in the country. Good for them.

Quilting Bee
This is also quilt country. The Amish make them to sell to consumer America and earn money for their communities. Quilts for use at home are simple and plain–it’s too prideful to have patterns and beauty. Despite this restraint, they use magnificent colors and designs in the quilts made for sale, and earn thousands of dollars. The business is so profitable for involved parties that fabric vendors come to the Amish communities with catalogs and swatches.

The Arkansas Autobahn?
With miles of open road ripe for the adventure, the speed limit is but an aspiration, not a reality.

Have you been to Arkansas?
Does the beauty hold up beyond the Ozarks?
What are your recommendations for a return trip?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

2 Responses

10.21.11

I wanted to see more photos! Truly beautiful. Any photos of the quilts to share? The cows and propane tanks? More, please.

10.21.11

thanks! more Arkansas posts coming. but if you’re impatient, check out my flickr album.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/americanathebeautiful/sets/72157627944817298/

concerning the quilts, they wouldn’t let me take pictures. sorry.

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