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Trip Report A Fantastic Fall Foliage Drive

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I leave what I still call Little Rock (LIT) Airport and head on 440West to 30East to 40West. My destination, Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway.

As I drive west along the interstate I have a decision to make. I have to be back in Little Rock this evening and I am not sure if I want to circle back from the North or South.

Should I see a part of the Ozarks or Quachita National Forest. Fortunately, this time of the year I do not think I can go wrong with any choice I make. In the end, I decide to venture in the direction of the Ozarks.

Just off I-40W I make my first stop at CJ's Butcher Boy Burgers. Although I am not sure if their burgers are “The Best In The State”, I would definitely give their fresh fries high marks.

Charged up with a tasty burger and fries, I am back on N Arkansas Ave (Route 7) headed north. It is not long before I begin to see telltale signs of why this is one of the most scenic roads to drive in the state during this time of the year.

Bright reds, soft yellows, mellow greens and soothing oranges along with falling leaves soon have me pulling off the highway to enjoy some of the things I love about fall.

The air is fresh and once a car or two disappears in the distance, I take in the delightful sounds and peacefulness of nature.

At one stop I am taken somewhat back to my childhood as I spot a blue an white swing set surrounded by the greens, reds, purple, oranges and yellows of nature. I resist the temptation to trespass and be a child again encompassed by such beauty.

I do find a few friends along the way that are just as curious about me as I am about them. However, I am still not sure what is up with the long faces although they seemed genuinely happy to meet me.

At one time Route 7 was a popular North-South road through the “Natural State” and some of the history of those days still remain along the highway. It must have been a fun time when a “Double Decker Outhouse” was a key attraction.

If that was not good enough for you could also purchase “Country Cured Hams” nearby.

A highlight of my trip is taking scenic views of the Ozarks at “Rotary Ann Overlook”, a historic rest stop along Scenic 7 Byway. Being here alone on a beautiful afternoon with a gentle breeze blowing is simply amazing.

With the threat of rain looming my scenic journey through the “Natural State” begins to wind down as the sun heads west and takes the daylight with it.

I manage to hike a part of the trail towards “Pedestal Rock” but never quite get there. However, my journey is rewarded by spotting a white tail deer off the trail that is startled by my presence.

As I drive a curving, dark and fun AR-16 back towards Clinton then Little Rock, the promised rain is beginning to fall but it in no way dampens my experience of seeing the wonderful colors of nature in Arkansas.


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