Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Slightly off the beaten path....

Sarah, my daughter who is visiting from Chicago, and I took a little trip yesterday and today, so there will  be no news from Afton Station, I'm afraid.  But I thought you might want to hear about this hidden gem we stumbled upon while driving in northwest Arkansas this afternoon.  Sarah and I love, love, love drive-through wildlife parks, but this is one we'd never heard of.  After being disgusted by traffic, miles of strip malls, and way too much Walmart influence in Springdale and Bentonville (home of Walmart), we veered off onto a less traveled road in the town of Gentry, where we saw this sign....

Naturally, we followed the directions, expecting a little unimpressive collection of potentially mistreated animals.  How very wrong we were!   This was without a doubt one of the best we've visited.   Many acres of wildness, over 4 miles of dirt roads, and hundreds and hundreds of animals and birds.  Check it out at: www.wildwildernessdrivethroughsafari.com.

Here are a few photos.  The first one was taken seconds before the camel charged the car.  No, I'm not kidding.   I put the pedal to the metal just in time and we got away from him.  
 There was a rhino, a hippo, bears, at least three tigers, a lion, a herd of zebras, and much, much more.  All the animals seemed to be extremely well taken care of and had large amounts of acreage in which to roam.  Well, all except the monkey types, who were caged. . . except a couple who managed to escape.  We had a great time!
 We also drove through Eureka Springs, an amazing town, and checked out the new and allegedly incredible Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, but by the time we got through the traffic in the town, it was only 20 minutes from closing.  Oh well, all these attractions are less than 3 hours from Tulsa, so they can always be done in the future.

What a great 1 1/2 days on the road with my daughter!  This would be a nice side trip for Route 66 travelers, too.




6 comments:

Beth said...

Sounds like a great road trip! Glad you're having fun!

Miss Dazey said...

Glad you are having a grand time with your daughter. btw, we went to Crystal Bridges a few days ago. It is wonderful.

Midday said...

Fayetteville is also nearby and a great place to visit. If you like used bookstores, set aside a few hours for a trip to the Dickson Street Bookshop.

Laurel said...

Miss Dazey -- I hope to go back to Crystal Bridges very soon. An exciting concept!

Midday -- We drove thru Fayetteville, but since I've spent a lot of time there in the past, we didn't linger there very long. It's a great college town! I guess we should have stopped at Dickson Street Bookshop, because my daughter is in the book selling business and would have enjoyed it.

DennyG said...

Car charging camels, eh? Good thing you were at the ready.

Bentonville is next to Rogers which is home to the Daisy Airgun Museum and right next to the ruins of Monte Ne. You probably already know the Coin Harvey/Monte Ne story. I'm pretty sure it's one you would enjoy.

Laurel said...

Nope, never heard fo the Coin Harvey thing, but I'll do some research right now. Perhaps another attraction to visit the next time I hear Arkansas calling?