From Barling we traveled north up the pike to Bella Vista to ride the trails of Oz. Walmart’s headquarters are here in Bentonville and they have spent $15 million on creating greenways (paved bike paths) and mountain bike trails. There are probably 9-12 days of riding along the I-49 corridor from Ft Smith to Bella Vista. On Wednesday we rode the Back 40. Wildflowers, dogwood, lots of ledges and gravelly trails, all well marked were all part of the ride. As we crossed the last road crossing, I heard Butch yell out “Riders up” and then some surprised sounds… and (SMALL WORLD), it was Rob and Muriel from home riding the Back 40 in the other direction. The odds of meeting there are pretty slim; if we hadn’t stopped to drink a bottle of water at the top of the hill, we would have completely missed them. They’re on their way back to New England after 3 weeks out west riding. We were on our third ride of the season getting ready to head west for the summer and fall!!
Anyway, the riding was fun. Wednesday after the ride we visited the Crystal Bridges Museum, funded by the Walton family. Lots of American art, a Frank Lloyd Wright house and outdoor walks, sculptures and gardens. From there we went into town and walked around the vendors of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF). It is also sponsored by Walmart and allows only films that are written, produced or directed and filmed by women. It was pretty amazing with free outdoor movies, live music, free samples of lots of products (goodie bags full), wine and beer tasting and other booths. We knew that Thursday would be stormy, so we took advantage of that afternoon until it got dark.