Riding into Bella Vista from western Missouri, you get to see beautiful rock canyons and walls along the sides of the road on Highway 71. Bella Vista is a beautiful little town, from what I can see, and northwest Arkansas (NWA according to the locals) looks like it is too. The woman in the visitor center suggests a ride down the Pig Trail (Highway 23) but it’s going to be so cold the next day that it will have to stay on the “must see” list for another time. Instead it’s a mad dash down through Fort Smith and then east alogn the interstate and south again on Scenic Highway 7 toward Hot Springs…going as far as I can before the ice storm from Boreas catches me.
The road is beautiful and winds through forests and near state parks on its way to Hot Springs National Park and the town of the same name. Central Avenue is lined with old buildings and shops. It’s charming. Lots of art deco styled shops and old bath houses and a grand old hotel…I wish the weather was better so I could stop and see it, but the pouring rain is pushing me to find a hotel room instead. After a day off to wait out the ice, we keep moving further south along the Scenic 7 which is also on the Civil War Trail and the Heritage Trail. Next stop Louisiana.