Saturday, October 5, 2013

From One Side of the Arkansas River to the Other

North Little Rock, Arkansas
Downtown Riverside RV Park #41

The weather forecast called for heavy showers this afternoon so we decided to fuel up the truck and check out the Old State House and the Arkansas Inland Museum.  We are right across the pedestrian bridge from the River Market but we decided we didn't want to chance the weather.  

Diesel prices are much lower here but do tend to vary from $3.99 a gallon to $3.55 which we paid at Kroger.  

The location of this park is perfect for doing anything in downtown Little Rock.  Across the water on the banks of the Arkansas River lies the Old State House Museum.  Bill found a parking space on the street very near the museum.  By the time we got out of the truck and walked across the street, the rain had soaked my shorts.  It was a pleasant surprise when we walked in to find somewhere to pay and find out that it was free.  

The State House construction began in 1833 and is the oldest state capitol building WEST of the Mississippi.  Did you notice I said, WEST of the Mississippi?  
This is how it would have looked in 1833
Territorial Governor John Pope said, "The capitol should be near, and if practicable in view of the river.  A State House, built with taste and elegance, near the fine river which passes by this town, would command the admiration and respect of the passing stranger, and have a moral and political influence on the whole community."

There were different exhibits in the many rooms.  

Bill enjoyed the law enforcement exhibit

We were disappointed that the Supreme Court Chamber was locked.  Wonder if it had anything to do with the shutdown.

The 1836 House of Representatives Chamber was located on the second floor.

This was the 1885 House of Representatives Chamber which had some programs for children.  One neat thing was a black and white movie without sound and the items that made sound effects.  They also gave out free butter or caramel popcorn.  

This was the pioneer association period room.

The Spanish-American period room.

Daughters of the American Revolution period room.

The museum had a large collection of first ladies gowns and first families of Arkansas exhibit.

It was lightly raining when we left the State House but I wanted to see the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum which was next door to the campground.  

Bill sucked a lot of air when he saw this sign, but he didn't let it stop him.

When we entered the museum we were told that the next tour would be at 1 pm to give it 20 minutes for the rain to let up.  It was an extra 20 minutes that Bill had to think about climbing down that ladder.  

There was a small museum we checked out while waiting for tour to begin.  

The USS Razorback was commissioned in April 1944.  The USS Razorback won 5 battle stars in the Pacific during WW II and 4 stars during the Vietnam War.  In 1970 she was sold to the Turkish Navy and commissioned the TGC Muratreis.  

The Turkey navy retired her in 2001.  This was the longest active duty for any submarine in the world.  The Razorback became part of the Arkansas Inland Museum in North Little Rock in 2004.  
Here's our tour guide opening the hatch which was closed.
It wasn't the easiest thing to climb down a straight ladder.
I'm so proud of Bill, he said he was going to do it and he did!
No case of claustrophobia is going to get the best of him.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and because he served on a submarine knew some funny stories.

We really enjoyed the tour but I didn't want to tell Bill until we were on dry land, that I almost had an anxiety attack when they clanked the hatch down and closed it once we went down the ladder.  He said that was the worse part. 

Bill came out of the submarine higher than a kite.
We both really enjoyed the tour.

By the time we spent an hour inside the submarine, the rains had stopped and we had time to enjoy some of the displays outside.

And of course, Bill couldn't resist this one.
It was a very enjoyable day and it was nice to see the sun come out.  I highly recommend taking this $4.00 tour if you are in the area.

Turtle Safely.........

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