I had a conversation with a buddy of mine in the midst of a long road trip, wherein he posited that nobody ends up in Arkansas accidentally. You never find yourself just happening to pass through Arkansas in the way that you sometimes look up and realize ‘oh, this is what Delaware looks like.’
This is to say that about two weeks after that conversation, I found myself in Arkansas.
I happened to be driving across the country. I happened to be taking a southern route across I-40 to dodge the Rockies in my janky little VW. I happened to cut right through the whole breadth of Arkansas.
And so I was compelled to bring up this discussion I had had with my other Californian buddy on my last road trip, about the lack of accidental Arkansas’ing. Literally the first person I talked to, a very kind woman who let me charge my phone at the [REDACTED] she ran, happily laughed and admitted that she “could never go back to Los Angeles.” There was no doubt in her mind that nobody just happened to go to Arkansas. Everyone in Arkansas was in Arkansas for a reason.
And this came up when we saw a Toyota pickup driver with Arkansas plates getting evacuated by helicopter when he drove onto a jetty striking out into the wild waters of Northern California’s Humboldt Bay.
This struck a chord with reader OldManMcKenna:
Here’s to the great state of Arkansas. God only knows when I’ll be back.