Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bentonville 2013

Bentonville in April is a mixed bag of emotions. In my two week stay, i saw the weather go from awesome pleasant, to cloudy with no rains for couple of days, from extreme rainy one day to extreme heat (90F) for next couple of days and then it snowed couple of days later.

This BV trip was full of events. Days were filled with meetings and evenings were spent in exploring different restaurants and cafes. I reached BV Friday evening, on saturday while thinking of best ways to beat my jet lag, i remember somebody's suggestion that if you spend the day under the Sun, the jetlag will go away. In order to test this, i decided at the last moment to go for a hike A quick search showed Devil's den state park only at an hr's drive, Somnath joined in at the suggestion as well and after 1.5 hrs, we were at the park. We did two short trails and then returned back after 4 hrs.  It was beautiful to see the Ozark trees, up and close.

The Devil's den hike did little to my jetlag, i think it actually had a detrimental effect,  as at 6:30 pm i was completely exhausted both physically (from the hike) and mentally (from being up for 15 hrs), that i went down to sleep. I was up at 3 am next morning and spend Sunday morning in Zombie state. I tested the Sun theory again to beat jetlag by going for another hike to trails around Crystal Bridges museum but this time we went at 2:30 pm and hiked the area for about 2-2.5 hrs. Trails around Crystal bridges museum are beautiful, perfect for running and spending your evening. That you can get to these trails at 15 mins drive from your workplace is enough for me to switch my place of work. From one point on the trail, we could see a String quartet playing some beautiful symphony under a clear blue sky, next to flowing water.  The trees were not as beautiful as they were in Fall when we visited last time but the beautiful weather made up for everything. Walking near Crystal Bridges is a must-do thing in BV.

On the Wednesday evening, our calendar got free early and we decided to go for a trip to Eureka Springs. Being a weekday and being in Arkansas, it was almost empty. Being unknown to the area, we decided to checkout the springs on foot and it was a very smart decision. Walking through the historical area, with empty roads, silence all around us, big open homes with trees in their backyard, architecture reflecting what it was to live there 100 years ago, water coming out of springs as clear as it can be - A perfect way to de-stress after a busy work schedule. We ended up walking to almost 6 of the springs. At Eureka Springs where Indian population would be less than 100 and most of the Indians even living in BV would not have been there, there is a New Delhi cafe serving Indian food, their definition of Indian food means serving dished primarily with garlic :) but they have samosas in their menu as well. I had soup and sandwich and it was amazing. The surprising fact is that i will not find an equivalent cafe in New delhi but i found one in Eureka Springs.

Butterfield hiking trail is a 15 mile loop trail that goes through the Ozark national forest. Starting at Devil's den park, it is an almost flat trail (450 ft of elevation gain) about 12 miles of the trail is into the forest and it crosses couple of springs in between. It was my plan to do it on Saturday but BV weather forced us to change it on to Sunday. The cloudy weather with just enough Sun made it a beautiful day to hike. Ozark trees were lush green in color and waterfalls were flowing with water at this time of the year. We finished it in 8.5 hrs which included a 25 min nap time for me in between. Napping under the shade of trees with the sound of flowing water right next to you, giving rest to tired feet, is an experience not to be forgotten. 20 min nap invigorates like a deep sleep of 6 hrs. The trail overall was decent.
From Bentonville 2013

We also saw a musical called Next to Normal at the Walton Arts center.  Next to Normal is a story about a family where the mother is depressed as their son died when he was very young. The play revolves around the dynamics of this family where everything is just next to normal.  Good story, well acted and very good lyrics, the only downside was that the music was not that exciting to me. I was constantly thinking about music in Les Miserables and how good it was. I think couple of background scores in les Miserables are so generic that they could be applied anywhere. If they were played in Next to Normal, it would have been much better.

On other days, i checked out Cabella's a outfitting showroom which also sells guns. I think it was for the first time in my life that i help an actual rifle in my hands. The craze here is indeed incredible. On the last day, i checked the Native American Indian museum for about an hr. Pretty well done, need to spend more time there next time. Thai food is aplenty in BV and i ate 4-5 times and enjoyed it. Mexican food was also quite authentic.  Atlanta Bread Company became my goto cafe as they also had great internet. Working from cafe was back in fashion and i also tried to infect Somnath with it but i don't think i succeeded.  But thanks to Somnath for the company in all my hiking ventures.

Photos can be seen here -
Bentonville 2013

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