Day 4 Memphis TN to Crater of Diamonds AR: Road Trip 2017

A long, mostly good, interesting day. I have to say I am happily surprised by Arkansas. It is a pretty neat state so far!

Woke up to a happy little girl at 5:45 this morning.  With lots of time before leaving about 8:20am I took a leisurely shower, we did laundry, played with the giant chess board and ate a relaxed breakfast. Yesterday we passed a sign to an archeological site so instead of doing Memphis we went on some back roads into Arkansas to Parkin Archeological State Park.  What a great find!  I put a link to the site but here is the short version… it is the site of a Mississippian Settlement that was visited by de Soto about 1541. From the artifacts and de Soto’s accounts they have pieced together some amazing Native American Pre-history!  Lots of fun hands on stuff to explore and a short hike. Perfect start to the day. 

L slept for two hours so we got to Benton Arkansas before we pulled over for lunch and some grocery shopping. We all needed some extra time to stretch our legs so we also  a sporting goods store next to the Kroger. The final hour and a half drive was a little less pleasant as L was pretty done with vehicle time. No toy, food, song or silly face could keep her calm for long. Q did a great job of trying to entertain her. I am incredibly grateful we do not have a travel day tomorrow. 

Part of the reason we are going through Arkansas is the Crater of Diamonds State Park.  Diamond finds have hit the national news several times in the past few months but Q has been interested in visiting for probably the last year. In 2017 alone 217 diamonds have been found by visitors in the old volcanic field mine. 

We pulled in about 4:00pm and checked into our campsite. I must say this is the best campground yet!  Having made our reservations a bit late we will be moving a few sites for tomorrow night. After finding our spot we walked the wooded path to the visitors center. They allowed us to buy tickets after 6pm and use them again the next day…  so we did about an hour and a half of prospecting!  No diamonds but we found some jasper, agate, quartz, volcanic tuft and a few we didn’t identify. 

Back to the campsite by 8pm making it a very late night with salad, hotdogs and s’mores over the fire. It is way past my bedtime. Night all. 

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