Spring Break 2022!
I haven't gone anywhere for spring break since maybe 2005, when I last participated in one of the Upper Midwest's most prodigious institutions for learning. (an English major I was not) When Jr. North had a gap in his April school schedule, so we packed up the Vista Cruiser and headed south in search of spring. The snow followed us to about mid Iowa. We did find it eventually, in Bentonville Arkansas.
The 10 - 12 hour drive to Bentonville, Arkansas was broken up with hotel stops in KC on the way down and Des Moines on the way back up. Thankfully, a hotel with a pool is all we need for a successful and entertaining layover.
That night we stayed in Independence, Missouri near the Bass Pro Shop. It's a destination shopping area but we were there for its proximity to the freeway and the indoor/ outdoor pool. Jr and I swam outside in the cold sunshine and we took an after dinner walk around the "lake," watching the waterfowl do their thing. It was very spring like.
Heading back North on Thursday, we stayed in downtown Des Moines, hoping to take advantage of the giant skateboard park and botanical gardens. It was cold and rainy in the morning, so we didn't get many outdoor activities in. Dinner at the Royal Mile, meat pie and English bitter, was a trip highlight.
And now for the main attraction, Bentonville Arkansas. Bentonville is a booming little town in northwest Arkansas and the home of Walmart. It's also home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. The locals sport an interesting mix of business casual and athleisure wear; the trails reflect that mix too. In town you'll find highly manicured bike trails and jump lines while just north of town there are at least 100 miles of back-country Ozark bike trails to explore.
Our outdoor activities, social distancing, and AirBNBs have kept us all (mostly) happy and healthy in these turbulent times. The family bike rides, both near and far, have been a much needed diversion, a consistent reward, and a relief valve for us all. I very much hope that you and yours are finding balance, happiness, and satisfaction in your day-to-day or weekly routines.
- Ride North
cool | rainy, then sunny | April 3rd - 8th