Friday, May 25, 2018

Museum of Native American History

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   David Bogel, who is a member of the Cherokee Nation and was raised in Bentonville, founded the museum to hold his personal collection of  Native American artifacts. In 2015 Jim and Nancy Blair donated their collection of Meso-American items. A special collection on loan contains artifacts from the Taino people, the first Americans that Columbus encountered. 60 years after that first meeting most of the Taino were dead from disease.

  All of the artifacts are carefully displayed and arranged in chorological order starting from 12,000 BC. There isn’t a lot historic information but tribe that made each item, the time period when it was made, and where it was discovered are noted. The collection contains many unique and rare items. We were amazed at the quality and diversity of the collections in this museum. It’s not to be missed if you enjoy Native American artwork!

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   The museum is accessible. The entrance doors are massive but are fairly easy to open.

  RVs will fit in the lot if backed up over the grass. Museum  36.37119, -94.23074

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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  Sam and Helen Walton, founders of Walmart Inc., established the Walton Family Foundation in 1988 as a charitable trust. Since their deaths the Foundation has been run by their children, grandchildren, and other family members who fund projects that are of special interest to them. Crystal Bridges was spearheaded by Alice Walton, the only daughter of Sam and Helen, who developed an interest in art at an early age and wanted to create a museum for the benefit of the public.

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   We were anticipating spending several days exploring the museum and the grounds so we were surprised to find that we could see everything in less than four hours. Almost all of the artists are from the US so although many famous artists are represented the range of artwork is limited. The building itself is fantastic and the grounds are beautiful.  A house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has been relocated to the property. Like the rest of the museum, it is free to tour but tickets must be reserved in advance. We did not know this so we missed seeing the interior.

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    The museum is accessible. It’s located in a ravine so even though 4 miles of the trails are paved visitors using wheelchairs may need assistance due to steep hills.  A map with color coded trails is provided to visitors but we were confused more than once and we could not find a way to get from the north to the south trails without going through the museum building.

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  Parking for RV is not available on the museum grounds. Orchard Park, which is about 1/2 mile away, has a large lot and a paved trail to the museum. It’s also close the overflow parking lot and a shuttle  to the museum. I don’t know if the shuttle is wheelchair accessible.  Museum  36.38148, -94.20273

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks & Lake Fayette Trail

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  Twelve themed gardens are packed into this very small but meticulously maintained garden. A butterfly house, a chicken coop, and sculptures of children playing round out the gardens.

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    An added attraction is the scenic Lake Fayette Trail which can be accessed from the garden parking lot. The paved 5.5 mile trail circles the lake and passes through several different environments.

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   The main garden loop is accessible. Some of the themed area trails are not paved and visitors using wheelchairs may need assistance. Lake Fayette Trail is wide, smooth, and gently rolling with a few steep hills where assistance may be necessary.

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   Small RVs will fit in the garden lot if backed up over the grass. Larger RVs may be parked across the spaces if the garden is not busy. Another small lot is located south of the garden on North Crossover Road.  A large lot with trail access is located at the northwest corner of the lake near the dam and boat ramp.  Garden  Trail  36.13628, -94.1186

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Shiloh Museum of Ozark History

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  The Ozark Mountains cut across the northwestern corner of Arkansas so, unlike the delta region in eastern Arkansas which supported cotton plantations, most early settlers on the Springfield Plateau were farmers who cleared the land to grow fruits and vegetables and raise cattle, chicken, and pigs.  Agriculture still places a role in the area but today it is more known as the headquarters of Walmart and Tyson chicken.

  The Shiloh Museum with nicely arranged exhibits, many artifacts, and informative storyboards is a step above most other small local museums. Five historical buildings are located on the property. The Searcy House can be toured upon request.

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   The accessible entrance is on Center Street, on the north side of the museum. There are several accessible parking spaces on Center Street. The museum building is accessible but the grounds and historical buildings are not due to rough, uneven ground and steps.

  RVs can be parked on Johnson Ave, Main Street, and Center Ave. Museum  36.18642, -94.13183

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Hickory Creek Park Campground–COE

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  This is what happens when you don’t make reservations for a campsite but just show up on Friday afternoon. We were lucky to get the only open site # 36. It’s so bad that nobody wants it even though it is reservable. :-D  I could not get out because the parking pad is really narrow and forget about navigating the hill down to the table.

  The rest of the campground is pretty nice with a good number of waterfront sites. Most are close together but a few of them are real gems – large and fairly private. Site 30 is especially nice.

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    Sites 19 is designated as accessible but we did not check it out.  Campground   36.23788, -94.03811

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