Hope for the New Year

Hope, Arkansas Train Station

My New Year celebration now behind me, I took to the highway headed back to Texas, opting for as much two-lane as I could cover before sundown. I had read about the “Scenic Seven,” Arkansas’ byway that runs from north to south through the heart of the Ouachita and Ozark Mountains, over rolling hills through the dense pines of the Ouachita National Forest. After spending only a month on the prairie of Texas, I was surprised at how excited I got from seeing the sign, “Steep and winding for the next 50 miles.”

Rest Stop Along Scenic 7 Byway

Everything was brown at this time of year, but still beautiful views. With all the hardwood trees, I can only imagine what it looks like during the fall foliage time.

Lake Ouachita, Arkansas

I spent some time exploring the beautiful Ouachita State Park, only 20 miles outside of Hot Springs. I could not believe how clear the water was here, as I could really see far down into the lake. I loved their walk-in tent site area which forms a peninsula out into the lake. I think this couple had the right idea on how to see in the New Year! If only I had my tent, I might have joined them in the next site over!

Ouachita State Park

Booger Hollow, AR

The Scenic Seven passed many lakes and quaint hamlets, but I was losing daylight, so I made one last stop before getting back on the freeway. No “Billgrimage” to Arkansas would have been complete without a visit to “A town called Hope,” boyhood home of Bill Clinton.

Clinton Boyhood Home, Hope, Arkansas

I thought “Hope” was a fitting place to be on the first day of the new year

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