Road Trip 2020, Asheville to Denver.

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Jim, Gail, Mitch, Jill, Phyllis, Bob, Philip & Sandy.

Our last day in Asheville we had breakfast at Sunny Point Cafe which was also our first stop on arriving here. After breakfast Bob and Gail dropped us at the airport to pick up a rental car.  They were very low on cars and the first car we got, a Toyota Camry, had a loud roar and did not appear to have been cleaned at all as we found a mask and phone charger in the car.  After packing up we drove back to the airport and picked up a Chrysler 300 which was clean and drove much better.

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Leaving MacAlpines with our first car.

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This is what we ended up driving to Denver.

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Eighth state of this road trip.

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First stop, Silver Point to visit Jim’s brother David and wife Lynn.

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Lynn prepared us a very healthy lunch, everything from their garden.

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David and Lynn bought 50 acres on top of a ridge. The house was in terrible shape but they have renovated it into a beautiful very comfortable, livable home.

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David and Lynn’s daughter Lisa and husband Kevin are still in process of building this lovely home.  The porch wraps around three sides of the house and there is a beautiful view from the other side.

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Lisa has been the general contractor and has done most of the work herself with the help of David and Kevin.  She also works full time as an OR nurse.

We left David and Lynn’s after 7pm as we waited for Lisa to arrive home from work.  We had an Airbnb reserved which overlooked the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville.

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This is the condition of the Airbnb when we walked in just before 9pm.  We texted the owner and he offered to have it cleaned within an hour.  We refused that offer and so he found us a much larger place which was clean but about two miles from Nashville city center.

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This is the house that we ended up with, more in the suburbs than we wanted but at least it was clean.

Since we were not downtown Nashville on the river we gave up our planned run along the river and headed for Memphis.

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While driving we stop every hour to walk around a bit and give Jim a break from driving.

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We stopped in Memphis and had a brief walk around Beale Street which was quite quiet and uncrowded.

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Sandy researched the “best ribs in Memphis” and came up with Arnold’s BBQ on Monroe Avenue which is really a back alley.  The ribs and beer were outstanding.

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A big family came into Arnold’s while we were there. They had been on vacation in Ft. Morgan Alabama when hurricane Sally hit. Ft. Morgan is a tiny little peninsula sticking out into the Gulf of Mexico. The roof came off of the house that they were renting.

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Hernando de Soto bridge over the Mississippi River.  Entering our ninth state.

Our destination for the second night was Little Rock Arkansas, Sandy researched lodging options for the evening while en route and came up with The Empress of Little Rock which turned out to be a great little Bed & Breakfast.

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The following is from the B & B website. The Hornibrook Mansion was completed using only Arkansas materials in 1888. It has been described in the National Register of Historic Places as the best example of ornate Victorian Architecture in Arkansas and the most important existing example of Gothic Queen Anne style regionally. Its unique architecture features; a divided stairway, 3 1/2 story corner tower, stained glass skylight, and octagonal shaped rooms, create a massive structure representing late-nineteenth century architecture in its most flamboyant style. ​Our host Antonio was Spanish but born in Little Rock.  He has lived all over the world but returned to Little Rock and purchased the Inn.  He gave us a full tour and was very enthused about the place.

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We took a five mile run/walk exploring Little Rock which turned out to be our favorite stop on this trip.

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Lots of very nice murals.

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A beautiful little park along the river.

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The Gateway Bridge over the Arkansas River.

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Running over the bridge towards downtown Little Rock.

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That is about all of “downtown”.

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Shenanigans.

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Part of the Arkansas River Trail.

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We really did like Little Rock. Unfortunately the William Jefferson Clinton Library was closed due to COVID.

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Old State House Museum.

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Unity salute.

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Breakfast after our run.

Day three we are going from Little Rock to Bentonville Arkansas which should be called Waltonville as it is the birthplace of Walmart and the Walton family have left a huge impression on this small town.  We are going there specifically to see Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art which opened in 2011.  It was founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Sam Walton, and designed by Moshe Safdie.  Admission is free to all and it is rapidly becoming one of the top museums in the US.

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Huntsville Arkansas.

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This town is not known for anything but was kind of cute and we took one of our breaks in the city center.

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Sam Walton’s first store in Bentonville.

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Sandy did more research en route and found us another victorian Bed & Breakfast owned by an American wife and her French husband.

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We walked from our B & B to the museum.

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Back entry to the museum where they were having an outdoor private event in the evening.

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The museum is in the middle of the woods and all set on water.

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We had the museum all to ourselves, felt very safe.

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There was a special Ansel Adams exhibit which we did have to pay for. Most of the display was from the MFA in Boston. This is The Golden Gate before the bridge.

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Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell

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This was made with multi-colored shoe laces.

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The museum was nearly empty as we had a timed entry at 4pm.

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Beautiful grounds surrounding the museum.

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We had a lovely outdoor meal after the museum visit and returned to The Victoria Bed and Breakfast.

After another delicious breakfast we headed out for our final nights stay before Denver, Dodge City Kansas.  We crossed Kansas on all secondary roads avoiding the Interstate.

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Our tenth state.

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This is in Columbus Kansas, our eleventh state.

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Dodge City Kansas where we ate Mexican food and stayed in a La Quinta by Wyndham.

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We awoke early and headed out before sunrise for our half day drive to Denver. This is Garden City Kansas at sunrise.

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Brandon Colorado, population 21, surprisingly we are already at 3,925 feet of elevation.

The official photographer and navigator took only two pictures in Kansas.  Don’t know if that is a reflection on how boring Kansas is or whether she was just being lazy and playing Scrabble with friends too much.  We arrived at our Airbnb in Denver before noon but Denver will be in our next blog.

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