We had not planned to head further west than Memphis, except maybe to set foot in Arkansas, but when the college football bowl invitations came out, plans changed! After all, the Cotton Bowl is played in Dallas, which is only about 6 hours from Memphis. For anyone who does not know, Doug is a huge Penn State fan, so this was an opportunity not to be missed. Ironically, Penn State played against the Memphis Tigers, so every window front in the town where we spent Christmas displayed signs cheering on the blue Tigers! When we crossed the Mississippi River it was the furthest west Judy had ever driven, and it was the first time in Arkansas for both of us.
We visited Little Rock briefly, the state capital on the Arkansas River. The name derives from the fact that there are no other rocks on the river between the city and the Mississippi. Apparently there is one more, larger rock a little further up the Arkansas – Big Rock. The gentleman at the information center had to tell us that and numerous other facts about the town that he is very proud of – there weren’t many visitors that day! We can usually tell when the information people haven’t had many callers. We stopped for lunch at the international headquarters of the Heifer Project cafe. It was a very healthy meal! Judy and her friend Bonnie (mentioned a couple of episodes earlier) traveled to El Salvador and Guatemala on a Heifer Project trip in our teen years. We drove the rest of the way through Arkansas to Texarkana: Texas-Arkansas-Louisiana.