This morning after dropping Maegan off at work I decided to have a bit of an explore over the other side of the Arkansas river by Toad Suck park and beyond. It was chilly this morning, car needed to be left to heat up and defrost but the sky was pretty much completly clear, the air clean and crisp. Fantastic day to snap a few wintry photographs. Here are 4 photo-stitches taken today at Toad Suck Park and down in Bigalow.
Fisherman prepares his fishing rod on the Arkansas River.
Mist rises off of the Arkansas River.
Big old wonky saloon in Bigalow, Arkansas.
Saloon and old Barber Shop in Bigalow, Arkansas.
Everyone knows that America is famous for its wide range of drive-in/through food. Here in Conway there is Burger King, Long John Silver’s, Sonic, Taco Bell, POpeyes Chicken, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, Subway and a lot of others. Besides food we have drive through banks with drive through ATMs, drive-through utility corporations for paying bills, drive-through pharmacies for getting your prescriptions, even saw a drive-through liquor store the other day!
Even Maegan was surprised, however, the other day when we stumbled across a whole different drive-through experience. The day before we had gone for a drive around so we could enjoy the Fall colours and see the country areas around Conway. We did a bit of Brown-Signing (seeing a sign indicating a Reserve or Attraction and following it) and a couple of the most promising State Park areas were currently being used for Field Trials for the Army or something. We ended up finding an access point and Jetty by Lake Conway and watching the sunset there.
The next day we go back to see if the parks have opened up and a few had. This is how we found the drive-through forest. Not far from a shooting range next to a big map and box containing leaflets was a mud and gravel trail. It was literally like a Woodland Walk but for cars. Along the way there were stops which told you about the plants (a lot of the land had been allowed to grow wild for years) birds and animals to be seen. There was a climb to the top of a high hill and another semi-perilous (in the non 4x4 automatic) descent.
- HSBC: I'm sorry. Your telephone and internet banking security is now showing as failed.
- Me: ...
- HSBC: This means that the ONLY way to access your funds or transfer money now is to go into your local branch back in the UK.
- Me: No....
- HSBC: There's nothing I can do. I'm really sorry Mr Lawson.
- Me: ...
- HSBC: Have a good day Sir.
- HSBC: unfortunately you will have to come into a local branch in the UK...
- Me: Ah.... aka: I will just have to starve.
- HSBC: ... Sorry about that.
- Me: Can I still transfer money into another account?
- HSBC: I'm sorry I cannot divulge any more information with you.
- Me: Right...
- HSBC: I'm really sorry.
- Me: Right....
- *Stomach grumble*
- *hang up*
- Me: Oh Bugger!
- Me: Hi there, I've come over to America, my debit card has locked.
- HSBC: Yes there is a marker to prevent fraud.
- Me: Could you please remove it?
- HSBC: Certainly just walk into your local branch with Photo ID-
- Me: My local branch is hundreds if not thousands of miles away...
- HSBC: Ah... can I call you back?
- Me: Quickly, please.
No more gun shots. All is well!
Heart rate is up slightly. watching a film and someone just fired off 6 shots not far outside the apartment! eeep!
It has been a while since I updated, internet has been foggy and I have been busy!
Its gotten a lot cooler since August. Some days are still hot and humid but a lot of the mornings now are pretty chilly (not so bad as to make it impossible to go outside in a t-shirt and shorts however).
We’ve had a few storms. Crazy loud thunder and lightning flashes every half a minute or so sometimes lasting for hours. It was great to feel the rain again. I’ve decided that the weather here is different. In the sense that the rain feels and smells different, the wind is still wind but it again feels different. As does the heat and what not. I think its because back home, a strong cold wind generally means it is going to start getting really cold for the next few days. Here it doesn’t mean anything. It could be overcast for a few days but that doesn’t stop it still being reasonably warm.
We’ve been planning like crazy recently to. For those of you who don’t know, I proposed to Maegan and she said yes. The photos from that are in the link to Flickr further down the blog.
I am so full of cold!! I’ve not had one as horrid as this before. I’m a little bit spaced out on Anti-histamines and pain-killers but not much is helping with it all. Very congested and a slightly sore throat. Generally just incredibly bunged up though which is frustrating.
Yesterday we went to visit Mae’s Mum again. We had lunch there, ham and cheese grilled sandwiches and corndogs. Delicious with some American mustard! It has been lovely weather recently, really low humidity and temperatures around the 25 - 30 degree C mark. The weather said we might get a few inches of rainfall at the weekend as Tropical Storm Lee looks to be heading back around and right over Arkansas.
Before visiting Mae’s Mum yesterday we went to see some of the worst tornado damade near Vilonia. It was out on a barely double lane back road, proper country area with trailers and whatnot). Although it has been a few months now since the tornados there was still lots of damage. Trees mangled, areas where there are foundations for houses but no houses. There was a big metal container half in a lake. Maegan tells me that during the storm 2 people took cover in there, it got lifted by the tornado and dropped into the lake, both drowned.
Fascinating to see however, I love the back roads around here.
I’m starting to get to know my way around and have had the opportunity to drive a few times now. Very strange sensation to be on the wrong side of the road.
Anyhow, hoping to make a few phone calls again in the next couple of days when I can get to reliable internet,