Saturday, March 31, 2012

River Market District of Little Rock

We had quite a full day Friday,  we covered a lot of territory on our bikes. We started out about mid-morning and John informed me that just possibly we  may finish our touring in time to see the ducks march out of the water at 5 PM at the Peabody Hotel. I thought he had something figured wrong, surely we would not be on our bikes that long! However, I was not figuring that we would be spending a lot of time off our bikes. In the course of that day we toured an Arkansas conservation center, the Old State House museum,  and the Capital Hotel. We also stopped for fruit lollies at the Market Hall. We had a perfect day weather- wise also;  the temperature did not get much above 80 degrees, and there was no humidity. This posting will mainly be on what we saw along the Riverside Trail, which primarily includes Peabody Park. Our first stop was at The Rock. In 1722 a French officer was exploring the Arkansas River and identified "some rocky country" and a league further up to the right was a large rock which he called "French Rock"- today now know as "Big Rock".  Apparently thus started the naming of Little Rock. People later traveling by land also became familiar with the river's rocky outcroppings and at a low water ford found some smaller rocks which became known as "point of rocks" or "little rocks". That spot served as a survey point in 1818.
The rock above is not The Rock,  it just marks the general area. The tops of the little rocks are now covered almost completely by the river- its flow has been changed in recent years by placement of bridges and rail tracks. The next interesting point in our bike ride was Peabody Park. It was designed by children, which may explain why there are no public restrooms there- just portable toilets. The park has pavilions which have playground equipment constructed in and around them. Arkansas history is written on the walls of the shelters, and a large wooden Indian head sits on one of the pavilions. There is also a mammoth arbor covered with climbing plants over one of the paths.  We instantly felt a drop in the temperature as we rode through it. 
In Peabody Park there is also a Serenity Garden and a Sculpture Garden. I thought of my three sisters when I saw the sculpture pictured below- it is called "Sizzling Sisters". My sisters and I have had some good times over the years, and I am very thankful for them.
And I do believe that every child would want a splash fountain in the park of their dreams. I will write more on our bike trip in the next posting.

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