Cross Country 2022

Day 4 ~ Friday ~ Washington Arkansas & Weatherford Texas

Day 4 we awoke in the Washington, Arkansas jailhouse with no midnight tales of ghostly visits.

However when our ‘warden’ Star arrived later with breakfast she regaled us with haunting stories she had personally experienced while working in the Inn.

While awaiting for the children to wake we heard a knock on the front door of the Jailhouse BnB. Seeing two men in uniform I assumed they were from the HVAC company that had recently upgraded the air conditioning and had returned to tweak their work. Upon opening the door, Josh asked, ‘do you know where we can get some food or do you have anything?’.

Even during daytime, the sign eerily announces your location.

I opened the door and as we walked to the kitchen I learned ‘Josh and Caleb’ were not HVAC workers but grave setters–workers who place cemetery headstones. Because of the heat wave in the South they started work around 4am and tried to complete as much of the work they did in a 100 mile radius before the midday sun and heat was at it’s worst. They were on their last stop and looking for a little food.

Josh & Caleb, grave setters.

Jules had taken a morning run after waking up and was amazed by the historical restoration and was excited for the rest of the family to see what she had discovered that morning.

Once Acadia was forced out of the shower and we checked out ten minutes late at 1110am, we hopped in the car and drove the historical district. Excited to see Lauren, Emily, Mike, Jill, Jud, Hazel, and Kate we decided NOT to walk the entire historical district and save a dedicated visit to this town when perhaps we lived closer.

I should say we didn’t do a complete walking tour of the historical district because we did walk a portion of it. We reached an intersection where the incline leading down to the stop sign was so great, there was no way the back of our Sienna would not drag–and possibly get stuck–on the pavement. Our vehicle is massively loaded down in the rear for this trip and clearance is an issue. At that point, we exited the vehicle and walked. Eva and Acadia were very excited to be walking in the heat and humidity.

While the ladies made a bathroom and coffee break at Jolly’s, Hunter and I examined a Magnolia tree so large, they closed the street so cars would avoid hitting it! Planted well before the Civil War, the tree is now supported with bracings to keep it upright.

Following the road, Hunter and I visited the old schoolhouse where groups of up to 50 can camp in bunkbeds in the old building. As we turned back to meet the girls we heard a clanging in the ‘Blacksmith’ shed. Hunter thought I misheard something. Part of me thought it might be an audio recording used to simulate the noise from a blacksmith.

Entering the open building we discovered it was Nat, a summer intern, working the anvils while the blacksmith was taking some time off.

Hunter demonstrating proper OSHA rules in a blacksmith shop.

Nat soon engaged Hunter into helping him craft a fork. Note the proper footwear Hunter is wearing and how he carefully left one piece on the other side of the work station. It was interesting to learn that historically forks only had two prongs and that additional prongs of say 3 or 4 were reserved for the wealthy due to the labor, ie, cost of the extra prongs.

Soon the ladies joined us and I pointed out a snake sculpture in the window to Acadia and Eva. Nat mentioned we may not want to handle it too long as it was made from lead. Hehe.

Spending time with Nat it was easy to see how someone could spend a couple of days in tiny Washington, Arkansas but for us it was time to get back on the road.

Relatively speaking the distance to the Fort Worth, Texas area was short however navigating the Dallas AND Forth Worth 5 o’clock traffic was brutal with many STOP, go 70mph, STOP, go 70mph, and on and on.

Greeting us at the end were Julia’s high school friends Lauren and Emily and their family (featured image of the Little House where we would be bunking).

Quiet homebody.

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