I walked into hilly Fayetteville on Friday Oct 27th (to rewind how I came this far see Part 1). Fall color was near peak.
I had secured a CouchSurfing spot for the night. I slowed my approach to downtown to time my arrival to when my host got off work from the University of Arkansas Library. Closing in on her house I wandered in picturesque Wilson Park:
I stayed in all evening chatting with my friendly Canadian host. We touched on topics around public transportation, the oil industry and controversies around the influx of Walmart wealth in the area such as this. Again when offered a humble home cooked meal for dinner I jumped at the opportunity. And I did literally sleep on a couch:
I was up early on a crisp clear Saturday morning to head to a yoga class at Trailside Yoga & Beyond. I got slayed by the guest teacher's patented Breathless Yoga sequencing which featured burpees and the like set to throbbing music at the tail end of class. Thankfully the cold overnight temps paired with a sluggish heater behind me kept it from being a true hot yoga hell for me.
I was pretty sweaty nonetheless as I hustled out. I had an hour to grab breakfast and walk 3 miles west to catch a bus to Fort Smith. Having visited Fayetteville previously, I knew a quick breakfast place and was not swayed by the picturesque downtown streets. My route needed to be a non-stop affair aiming me straight out by the interstate. I did manage to stay on wooded secondary roads for over half the way.
Soon though even scenic Fayetteville faltered and my walking path turned grim:
Nearly a mile along a busy road sometimes with no sidewalk (or just one under construction with dust flying everywhere) before arriving at the bus station. The station is closed on Saturdays, but a note assures you the bus will still stop for ya!
A steady cold wind whipped at me strong enough to make the shaded building front untenable for sitting. I waited anxiously pacing in the sun to the side next to a car wash. One other man waited across the parking lot smoking as he hoisted a giant duffle bag from the back of a pickup truck. Luckily our wait was no more than 15 minutes so no despair set in.
The first nearly week of my Arkansas experience was behind me. I had gotten everything I had hoped for and more. I was halfway to my walking goal. My days with Garth in and around Bentonville had been hilarious. Yoga Gypsy times in Springdale were great especially with the opportunity to teach a class. I knew Fayetteville would be enjoyable going in and it did not disappoint. All this success was taking the shine off that novel thought of catching a train at midnight in Texarkana. Perhaps just going to Fort Smith would be more than enough.