Little Rock, AR

Did you know that Bill Clinton spent 16 years living in Little Rock, AR? If you don’t know this fun fact you A.) have not been to Little Rock or B.) have been to Little Rock but were tricked into believing that he was born, raised and still living there.

Little Rock, AR loves Bill Clinton.

They’ve named the main street in the city after him (President Clinton Avenue). And also a downtown park (President Clinton Presidential Park – say that several times fast). And a bridge near that park (Clinton Presidential Park Bridge). And also the airport (Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport). Oh, and Little Rock is home to the Bill Clinton Presidential library. And a local bookstore that dedicates an entire section to Bill Clinton books. And the local Holiday Inn features a Bill Clinton exhibit. Also the local coffee shop features two roasts names after President Clinton. I’m fighting the urge to make a “Bill Clinton taste” joke here. I won’t do it.

But basically, Little Rock is in a Bill Clinton love affair.

He did start his career there. And get elected President of the United States while residing there. So I guess that’s cool.

Most of the stuff we found in Little Rock had to do with President Clinton, clearly. But that was cool, because most of Little Rock is really beautiful. Someone dumped some money into the downtown river portion of the city (was it you President Bill?!), and it has paid off. It’s lovely.

Little Rock’s other claim to fame (currently) seems to be having “food that is so good you will eat it.”

Little Rock wasn’t false advertising. *Most* of the food we sampled edible. The pizza was fine. And there is a farm to table place downtown that had good breakfast. Just don’t get tricked into the rainbow cake at the Little Rock Market though. Clearly Bill had nothing to do with making that cake. It tasted awful.

We actually didn’t end up trying too much of Little Rock’s food. A little bit because we ate out so much back in Memphis. And a little bit because what is “Little Rock” food? If you know of a Little Rock delicacy let us know. (That rainbow cake sure wasn’t it.)

We were treated to Little Rock’s version of a pride festival, which was small, but cool. It was a chilly day for a pride festival, but we bundled up and stopped by anyways. And got rainbow popcorn. The popcorn was so good we could eat it.

We parked Dyna at the Downtown Riverside RV Park, which was located awesomely downtown. And on a river trail, which meant optimal running opportunities. If you are willing to run 15 miles you can run from the RV park to the Big Dam Bridge, which is, in fact, a big damn bridge. And there is a big damn dam under the Big Dam Bridge. You can then run back on the opposite side of the river to the RV park by crossing a bridge which is not the President Clinton Presidential Bridge. And if you’re feeling deserving towards the end of the big damn run, you can stop at the coffee shop with the special Bill Clinton roasts at the end of your run, and then walk over the actual President Clinton Presidential Bridge to the RV park. Clearly this running access pleased me.

We lucked into a riverfront site, even though we reserved last minute. Rigs were pretty crammed into the RV park, but we didn’t much care because our front window view was a combo of  the President Clinton Presidential Bridge (god I love that name), some other bridge which was not named the President Clinton Presidential Bridge, barges, bigger barges, and night time light shows on the President Clinton Presidential Bridge and the not-President Clinton Presidential Bridge bridge.

This RV park also hosted a conglomerate of characters while we were there. There was a group of RVers who were having a meet-up and insisted we join them for happy hour one evening – knocking on our door 3 separate times to insist upon this before 4pm (we work). There were the typical older gents who gang up on Jake as soon as he opens a bay containing an RV system. This time it was the battery bay. He had two assistants during this battery cleaning session. Then there was the RV lady who traveled with a monkey. Yes, a monkey.

We celebrated Halloween while in Little Rock, by buying candy for the children which were definitely going to come to the RV park to trick-or-treat, then staying in Dyna and eating said candy when they didn’t show up and ask for it. Who knew? (Ok, ok, we knew).

And then, we were invaded.

The opposition was tiny, but persistent. And we were vastly outnumbered.

After a morning run, we returned to Dyna to discover that in our short absence, we had been overtaken.

Ants.

EVERYWHERE.

Tiny, non-bitey, determined little creatures scouring our floor for a morsel of something edible.

Not that there was any Halloween candy left to eat.

Tiny, non-bitey, unwelcome creatures were still in our rig searching out any leftovers.

Now, typically, I’m all “let’s just catch it and put it outside.” Yep, nope. When you bring a large representation of your ant family of 1,000+ up into my house without any invitation while we are gone, you don’t get the benefit of ‘oh, you poor little bug, you must have just gotten lost’. Nope. Your ant super highway that is now running from the grassy area a few feet from where we are parked, up our front leveler, and into my house is a dead giveaway. You clearly intended to be here. And you clearly intend to stay. And you didn’t even enter through the front door.

(rude)

We commenced a counter attack immediately. We dialed up our bleach spray and squirted the shit out of every ant cluster we could find, wiping them up with paper towels as they succumb to our chemical attack. If we are charged with war crimes, so be it. Bleach causes insta-death on tiny, rude ants. Then we used our entire box of baking soda to surround points of ant access into Dyna.

Lucy stood and watched. And occasionally laid down on ants. Our cat is shit at fighting ants.

Pleased that we had won the battle, we showered and went on with our day.

And a few hours later… ANTS!!!

Those little crapheads had rebuilt their ant super highway over my epic baking soda defense, regrouped, and restarted their parade into Dyna in search of food. They found Lucy’s dish. They found our honey jar. They found my bleach spray. Again.

After a second round of chemical annihilation, I decided to add another line of defense.

And that is how half a bag of powdered sugar ended up 15ft outside of our RV near the ant super highway. If you can’t defeat them with chemicals, trick them into eating sugar outside of your RV.

After a final sweep to check for any vagabonds, we went to bed. And in the morning we woke up to a reformed superhighway. And this time the superhighway had side roads to explore new places. Like behind the refrigerator. And Lucy’s water dish. And the shower. And the clothes cabinets.

Seriously, what the hell do you want with our clothes, tiny horrible ants? You are so tiny. We are so large. It’s just not going to work out.

So I spent about an hour wielding my bleach bottle in what I was beginning to think was a losing battle – before coffee.

How on earth was that big pile of powdered sugar not enough? Those little buttheads were eating that too! COME ON!

I left for a long run to Pinnacle Mountain State Park. While I was gone, Jake continued the battle, eventually deciding to pull up our levelers to cut off access to Dyna. He sprayed our tires with bug spray so they wouldn’t get any ideas that those tires were an ‘okay’ route to utilize. He picked up our bleach weapon and continued where I left off.

A few hours later Jake met me at Pinnacle Mountain and we had a nice hike. After picking up some smoothies, we returned to Dyna and found…

The ants were IN MY CANDY CABINET. They had reformed their super highway AGAIN. And they were EATING MY CANDY.

Nope. Done.

We packed up Dyna and left Downtown Riverside RV Park with 2 days left on our reservation.

(If you’re wondering, they were now getting in by climbing up our electric cord and also our bikes, which were locked to our tow hitch.)

Conveniently, we had heard our friend Michelle and Wes were near Hot Springs, AR, which isn’t too far from Little Rock. So, we showed up unannounced at that RV park and parked next door to them. And then waited for them to get home from their adventures.

Because we’re creepers like that.

Our creepiness paid off. We spent an evening drinking beer at the picnic table between our rigs.

Today’s lesson: when attacked by ants, secretly figure out where your nearest RV friends are parked and show up unannounced. They’ll let you drink their beer.

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