My first night officially in the van was spent in a rest area outside of London, Arkansas. I was heading to visit some family in Fort Smith and decided to call it a night and sleep in the van instead of driving another hour on top of the 7 I had already driven.
I thought it’d be more scary than it was, but was pleased to see the rest area POPPIN’ all night long. I awoke the next morning and made a quick parking lot coffee and got back on the road.
The next day or so was spent with sweet family members who fed me, offered to wash my hair (a loving way of them telling me, girl, you NEED to wash and brush that rats nest,) and offered me a bed to sleep in.
After departing from the family, I headed North towards Fort Smith Lake State Park. Once I got to the top of the mountain my breaks were smoking, literally…I’m not used to driving in the mountains so that one is my bad for riding the brakes up and down mountains in 100 degree weather, whoops. I paid to sleep there for a night, and it was luxurious, but $24 to park is still overpriced in my frugal opinion. I spent the evening hiking down to the lake, painting in the grass, and ate dinner next to a friendly deer. I showered under the stars (nope, still didn’t wash my hair) and fell asleep to the sound of owls and crickets after scaring away a raccoon that tried to steal my solar shower. Apparently he cared more about bathing than I did.
In the morning I did my usual breakfast coffee setup and finally washed my hair under a water spigot. There I was, dressed in a lizard printed sarong, bent over forward, scrubbing my hair under a spigot that, height wise, didn’t even reach my hip. The fellow campers walked past and waved and it took everything in me not to yell '‘fine mornin, ain’t it yall?” I mean Arkansas is filled with weirdos, but in that moment I was definitely the weirdo.
After a relaxing morning, I headed North towards Bentonville, Arkansas and spent the day at Crystal Bridges, a contemporary art museum founded by Alice Walton. It was incredible. The museum is filled with art of all forms including a few hiking trails and outdoor sculptures. Twas a great day.
Next up, Texas…which I’m currently writing this in because living in a van takes away all concept of time and work sometimes and I forgot that I even had a laptop for some time.
Endless amounts of love,