Whew! I’m writing this from a comfy co-working spot I was turned on to in Fort Worth, Texas.

Here’s a recap of how I got here:

After overnighting in the Nashville area, and being treated to the pleasant, lazy sound of rain pattering on my roof all night, I finally got myself and hit the road for a long and grueling day of driving.

I drove west through Memphis and caught the world’s 10th largest pyramid out the window right before driving over the Mississippi river and entering Arkansas.

The day began dreary and rainy and largely cleared up by the time I arrived where I was headed, my first stop being the Toltec Mounds outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. These mounds were constructed by the Plum Bayou culture of Native Americans and held social, spiritual, and ceremonial importance to them likely between AD 700-950.

After meandering the area, it was just a short drive to Little Rock, where I parked and lunched at The Root Cafe, a recommendation from a friend. A great Banh Mi later, and then an ice cream at the Loblolly creamery, and I set off toward Hot Springs Arkansas to see a local National Park and gardens.

First stop was the Garvan Woodland Gardens, which must be absolutely spectacular in the late spring and summer when everything is in bloom. As it was for me, it was a great experience to stretch my legs on their long trails, and marvel at the plants that were in bloom when I was there, as finding green where I’m from right now is long and far between.

It felt so good to see buds on trees and daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths poking out of the ground — like spring had finally come. Did wonders for my mental health.

Then, I made a quick drive over to Hot Springs to see their National Park. In my opinion, and perhaps this was because I arrived in early evening just after 5 when many of the buildings closed, I was underwhelmed at the offerings. The town was certainly nice and stocked with people having fun in the beautiful weather, but the natural offerings were slim. It seems that the hot springs there are mainly commercialized as opposed to naturally-occurring wonders that one can be treated to at other national parks. Still, I observed some of the smaller, steaming springs outside, and then left to shower and continue driving westward toward my next stop in Oklahoma. Eventually I overnighted in the prius at a roadside motel in order to start the next day anew.

The next morning, I drove into Oklahoma, and through the Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation until I hit the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, in Sulphur, Oklahoma. I stopped at the visitor’s center to get information and then grabbed a tea across the street. Everyone I came into contact with in town was extremely friendly and helpful.

The park I visited here was permeated by a running stream fed by cold water springs you could walk to and observe. The park boasted waterfalls dubbed “Little Niagara Falls” that fits the descriptor in the same way I could call my prius a “Little Space Shuttle”. Even so, it was a beautiful area and I greatly enjoyed the chance to walk around after being in my car for four hours.

I continued driving southwest until I was in Texas, where I visited two state parks. First I visited Lake Arrowhead outside of Wichita Falls, TX. This lake wasn’t much to see, particularly in the dreary but warm weather of the day. But, it was nice to see other folks enjoying themselves fishing and playing on the local playgrounds.

The next state park I visited, Lake Mineral Wells, had more available scenery, trails, and even rock climbing that visitors could partake in. It was greatly enjoyable to pop the trunk and relax a bit after driving nearly 2,000 miles in four days.

That night, I made the trip into Fort Worth, Texas, and treated myself to some Mexican food before connecting with a local for lodging and co-working. So far this trip has been wonderful and I really look forward to getting into the heart of Texas after taking some time to work this week!