Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ozarks Road Trip

Last weekend was Parents Weekend at Hendrix College, which regular readers may recall is where College Boy is right now. I’m never one to turn down a road trip, especially one through the Ozarks. We passed lots of cows and horses, and I suspect deer, but they weren’t out. It’s a good thing too, because deer and cars don’t mix very well. Ditto for elk, which this part of Arkansas also has.

Conway is about a three to four hour drive depending on how much stopping you do. We do a lot. I have already found a good lunch spot, Neighbor’s Mill Café in Harrison, Arkansas. On the return trip, we stopped off and took a peek at the Buffalo River, a National River, and one of the few rivers in the Lower 48 without dams along its 135-mile course, which makes for remarkably fine canoeing.

College Boy himself seemed to be happy to see us and let us treat him to dinner Friday night before he was off to spend time with friends. However, he gave his whole Saturday to us—minus time for sleeping late and a nap. While he slept, we hit the breakfast spread put on to meet faculty where we met one of CB’s professors. She and the rest of the faculty seemed pretty neat. The campus is small, compact and lovely but getting bigger. Former Sen. Bill Bradley had just visited earlier in the week to dedicate the new Wellness Center. Complete with a rock climbing wall, wood-paneled hallways and shiny marble floors, this place is a tremendous asset, and CB has a wonderful place to work out. Oh, and CB got to meet Sen. Bradley and ask him a question when the former senator spoke to CB's class, Issues in Politics: Terrorism.

CB showed us some of his world—the library, the tiny radio station where he has a weekly show—and Dad saw his room (I decided it was better that I skip this part of the tour and trusted husband’s report, which is classified). We lunched on lasagna and met the cafeteria ladies who CB says remember to ask how he did on tests and notice when he looks tired. Thank you dear ladies.

It seems for CB now the rather small enclave of the campus is his world. And yet, I feel as if he has had thrown open wide the doors to the whole world.


Sarge Charlie said...

Looks like a great weekend and a wonderful place to get an education. I did not know there was elk in Arkansas

Lorelei said...

My S-T-B CB is thinking about Penn State. Maybe I'll suggest throwing Hendrix in to the mix to think about. He says he wants a small college. It sounds like you had a nice time visiting!

Educator-To-Be said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip and a wonderful time.

I am glad your son is doing so well at college.


Sheila said...

The local paper down there, The Log Cabin Democrat, had a story about elk hunting and so there are apparently fewer elk after last week. I think the elk population is managed and only a few legal permits are issued. Then some of the elk get poached or die from illness. Still, I'd bet it would be interesting to canoe down the Buffalo and catch a view of some of the big critters. Arkansas reintroduced them into the state in the 80s.

As your S-T-B College Boy prepares himself, pick up a copy of Loren Pope's book, Colleges that Change Lives, at the bookstore and read a bit if he's interested in small colleges. Of course, Penn State is a great big school if he is going that route. Also, the forums at College Confidentials are chock-full of helpful info and a link is:

Thanks. I hope you are well too.

Lorelei said...

Thanks for the tips! Currently he is completely uninterested in investigating anything college-related. So I've been keeping notes (and all the postcards and letters colleges are sending him) so when he decides it's time, he'll have it all ready. I will add these links to the info pile. :)

Jay Croft said...

Lorelei, Penn State is NOT a small college!

One thing to keep in mind: the bigger the school, the more rigid the bureaucracy.

Marion said...


What a heart-warming thing for those dinner ladies to do, and for a mother to hear.

I'll bet CB has changed, even in the short time he's been there. He'll be maturing in leaps and bounds. He sounds like a really loving young man.

The trip you took would be a wonderful one, during the early fall. Have the leaves turned yet?

The Crazy King of Clowns said...

Hi! This is one hell of a blog! Could we exchange links?

My blog is - Infinitely CRAZY

Please do leave me a comment after linking to me(if you agree to the exchange, of course)


Sheila said...

Good for you. My CB mostly lollygagged around for his junior year, which is when high schoolers need to get going. If you can schedule visits on family trips, it will do your CB in training a service to at least see some campuses. Once he narrows it down to size and region of the country, it will be a lot easier to find the right college. And even if he isn't interested, you could go to college fairs, and this is the season for those. I forget what grade your son is in but if he's in high school and the colleges are sending him stuff, the time is right.

Thanks for your observations. I do tend to agree. It just seems easier to find a place at a smaller college and things are on a more personal level. Of course, there are trade offs and large universities certainly have more programs and choices. I just happen to think a concentration on getting a good liberal arts education before getting too focused on a career is still important.

And thanks for stopping by crazy.

KJ said...

Oh how I would love to visit here! I have only seen a brief portion of the Ozarks.


Sheila said...

If you love rural, this is the place to be. I grew up in the country and so appreciate the lovely trees and hills.

Miss Trashahassee said...

Great pics, Sheila!

Looks like College Boy is doing very well. I know that makes College Mama very happy!

Miss T

Sheila said...

Miss T,
College Mama is doing pretty good. CB is studying and busy, but I think he might be a bit homesick. Of course, he would never let on to that.

Naomi said...

Beautiful scenery Sheila. It sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful visit. Glad your son is doing well at college. It's nice that the dinner ladies are keeping an eye on him. I'm sure that's a weight off your mind.

Sheila said...

Small can be good in that you know everyone. Of course, again that everyone knows everyone can be a drawback too. I'm glad someone is noticing that my son is around.