Friday, March 5, 2010

Postcard from Little Rock

Arkansas State capitol building, as seen from our hotel

I got my early morning run in this morning, and we left Austin just after 8 for the long drive to Little Rock, Arkansas. We had some drama along the way when a rogue plank of wood on Interstate 30 hit one of our front tires, resulting in a large gash in the side that started leaking air like a farting elephant (and probably sounded about the same). Fortunately I managed to get to a Firestone and they replaced the tire for us.

Very lucky indeed.

Other than that, the trip went very well and it didn't seem as if I'd driven over 500 miles. We kept the radio off most of the way and the time flew by as we played games and chatted. It was a fun road trip.

And I've been very impressed with what I've seen of Arkansas so far. It was wonderful to drive down the highway through canopies of trees (reminded me a little of home), and the countryside is very charming. We stopped at the "Arkansas welcome center" a few miles inside the State line on IH-30 - it is set in a rustic old house with a huge fireplace. It was enchanting and very well done.

They also gave us free coffee which helped!!!

The hotel we're staying at in Little Rock is right in the center of downtown, about 4 blocks from the State capitol (and not far from the marathon start line). It's a lovely old hotel that's been designated a historic building, and has welcomed such famous faces as Muhammad Ali, Richard Dreyfuss, Al Gore, Woody Harrelson, and of course former President Clinton and the missus.

The decor reminds me very much of New Orleans - there's a grand piano in the lobby and we have a balcony that I'm looking forward to drinking my morning coffee on. It overlooks a wonderful antebellum courtyard that Gavin and I found our way into this evening.

Tonight we drove around and explored the city a little. We circled the capitol building which is beautifully lit - the dome looks almost ethereal by night. It seems wider than it's Texas equivalent, though nowhere near as tall. They are both breathtaking in different ways.

Tomorrow is packet pickup and hopefully we'll get to explore the city a bit more. The weather forecast for Sunday's race is a high of 67 and a low of 47, so it's looking good.

I'm feeling excited about running - I just wish I had enough miles in my legs to pull a fast race.

Who knows, maybe I'll surprise myself.

1 comment:

Derek said...

Good luck Mark and enjoy your mini vacation.