Ozark National Forest and Bentonville - From the Forest to the Biggest Five and Dime
From the Quachita National Forest I continued north. My destination would be a short three hour journey to the Ozark National Forest. Leaving the one forest to get to the other forest would take me along some gravel roads, but soon I was back on the asphalt highway. The highways in Arkansas are like highways just about anywhere - straight and non-descriptive. However, the backroads of Arkansas are twisty and scenic, simply a pleasure on which to drive.
After about two and a half hours of driving on the highway, I turned off the highway and traveled on a side street that turned into a gravel path. Earlier in the year, I visited the Ozarks with my friend Brian and a few of his friends. We saw some sights, went on some hikes and I had a great time. The area that we visited has mountains, valleys, canyon, rivers and waterfalls, but this part of the Ozarks seemed completely different.
I followed this gravel path for quite a while. I really did not have a destination in mind, I was just following it as deep into the forest as it would take me. I eventually found an area off the side of the pathway to stay for the night. I was pretty much surrounded by a green wall of trees. I was somewhere in the middle of the Ozark Mountains, but to my surprise there were no mountains ridges, no scenic overlooks, just lots and lots of trees. It was late in the afternoon by the time that I arrived, so I ate some fruit and nuts that I had stored in my cooler. Fruit and nuts are pretty much my food of choice when traveling on a road trip. They are easy to transport, can be stored for a long time and to me they are tasty. A banana, an orange and a mix of good nuts and I'm a happy camper.
Outside the box.
I camped for one night in the Ozark National Forest. On my way out of the area I stopped at a gas station to fill up with gas. I asked the attendant if there were any sights to see around the vicinity. He said that the town of Bentonville was probably the biggest attraction. Really? I asked, Why? He said because of Walmart... because Bentonville was where the original Walmart was founded. He said that there is now a museum to visit. Hmmmm, interesting. I thought that it might be cool to see a little Americana. I headed toward Bentonville.
There were some booths with jelly and jam.
There were some booths with fresh vegetables and fruit.
Walton's 5-10, that's five and dime for those unfamiliar with the lingo. Back in the day, small convenient stores were called five and dimes because most of the items in the stores could be bought for 5 to 10 cents. Walton's 5-10 was a successful store that would eventually grow to become Walmart - the largest retailer in the world.
"Ours is a story about the kinds of traditional principles that made America great in the first place. It's a story about entrepreneurship, and risk and hard work, and knowing where you want to go and being willing to do what it takes to get you there. It's a story about believing in your idea even when some other folks don't, and about sticking to your guns."
It had some classic automotive emblems posted on the walls.
1969 Yellow Pontiac GTO