Bumpy Road Trip Through Little Rock

We were on a mission. The goal was to swap horses in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, a town south of Little Rock, a three-hour trip one way via a very bumpy highway system. I sat in the back seat of a crew cab dually on the passenger side hoping to grab some noteworthy photos along the way. As bumpy as the ride was, I left my good camera in its bag and resorted to taking pics with my iPhone. The results are …interesting.

Coming from the north on Highway 67/167, right before the highways splits and merges, then splits again and again before crossing the Arkansas River to Little Rock is this gigantic church. More than once, we’ve commented about the unGodly amount of money it must’ve taken to construct such a behemoth of a building and how that money would’ve been better spent actually helping people. From what I understand, we’re not alone in thinking that. It’s a sight to see nonetheless.

Once you pass the church at the foot of a mountain in North Little Rock and navigate toward the bridge that takes you over the river and into Little Rock, the land levels out. However, the bumps in the highway become worse.

I had no idea that the camera would capture the bumps in the images by creating these waves. When I thought about it, it stands to reason: That is exactly what my eye was seeing as I bounced around in the back seat of that pickup truck. It’s amazing just how much the brain compensates for the funky signals sent to it. Trust me, there’s more like this.

Ah, there’s the city of Little Rock coming into view now. The very first time I rode into the city, again as a back-seat passenger, the driver pointed to the left at a big man-made mound – the dump – and said, “That’s Little Rock.” I hate to say it, but the highest elevation in these parts is the massive city dump. Once I got over that little disturbing description, I saw the city with its few tall buildings in the distance.

After the flat warehouse area is the first major landmark: The Verizon Arena. This is the venue for major events like big-name concerts, a rodeo or two, and I imagine there’s sporting events held there too. Since Arkansas doesn’t have a pro football or basketball team or hockey team, I don’t know what sports events are held there. I wouldn’t pay attention anyway since I’m not a sports fan of any kind. Well, except for the rodeo. Heh.

The road elevates the closer you get to Little Rock in preparation for crossing the long bridge over the river. The closer you get, the more tall and large buildings of the city come into view.

And, so does the perfect view of my finger over the top edge of the lens of the iPhone’s camera. The lines aren’t straight and things start looking wiggy again.

When you look south from the bridge, you see another that I think is a railroad bridge. It has one section that is raised for larger ships to pass under. I’ve never seen a boat on the Arkansas River, but that’s probably because I very rarely venture down there.
Just north of the bridge I’m on is a river side museum. There was an old submarine docked there.

Another major landmark for Little Rock is the River Market on the bank, and the first thing you see when going into the city. There’s a farmer’s market there during the warm times of the year, and concerts in the amphitheater. That is where I saw Kenny Loggins a few years ago, and it was nice. Of course, it was raining, but the concert was still fantastic. It’s beautiful on the River Walk.

The highway splits again in the middle of the city, with another major route that heads toward the state capital and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Right before that branch is the Acxiom building that looks like a thin chunk of glass sitting there. It’s a strange building made even stranger by the recorded bumps in the road.

That’s my little photo tour of a venture through Little Rock on the way to Pine Bluff. At this point of the trip, the constant bumps in the road were getting to me. I plugged in my headphones and listened to a few favorite Loggins and Messina tunes until we got to our destination.

Our trip didn’t include going into the town of Pine Bluff, and the horses were traded out at the mall there. It wasn’t a large mall – I don’t think there is a large mall in Arkansas – but even so, more than half the stores were empty. I had not yet seen such a glaring sign of the economic recession as those empty mall stores. Heading back home, it started raining and got a lot colder, so I kept the window rolled up and the camera in my pocket.

If you click on any of the photos, you’ll see a larger version. Be careful of those wavy lines – they will make you car sick.

1 comment:

  1. Those photos came out really cool! Who would have known, huh? Sounds like an interesting trip...that would have been a major city for this country bumpkin!