Yesterday we headed southwest from Little Rock, stopping at the Crater of Diamonds State Park to let Miss D. indulge her geological habits. It was an interesting visit for me, too, given that I was born and raised in South Africa, where the Kimberley diamond discoveries in the 19th century gave rise to the name of "kimberlite", the type of rock in which diamonds are found (as at Crater of Diamonds). It was interesting to compare the relatively low-key, sedate "diamond rush" in Arkansas during the early 20th century with the frenetic, no-holds-barred, sometimes deadly rush to Kimberley a few decades earlier, twenty to thirty years after the "gold rush" in California (and resembling the latter in its human drama and lawless frontier ethos).
Given the heat, we couldn't stay at the Crater of Diamonds for too long. Upon consideration, we decided we'd rather head for home, getting there late in the evening, rather than overnight in Texarkana as originally planned. We spent a couple of hours meandering through the back roads of Arkansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas before hitting Highway US 82, which took us west across the top of Texas towards home. We made an obligatory
pilgrimage shopping stop at Fischers in Muenster to stock up on their delicious German sausages (knackwurst, bockwurst and weisswurst) and cheese (onion, garlic and a couple of others), and a few other tasty items. It'll be our turn to feed the North Texas Troublemakers in a week or two, so we bought enough to satisfy a hungry crowd.
We got home as the light faded from the sky, to be met by two very affectionate cats who demanded to know where we'd been, how dare we abandon them to the wiles of friendly cat-sitters, and did we bring back treats for them? After being much purred and rubbed upon, we unpacked, and I fell straight into bed. As I grow older, spending eight hours a day behind the wheel for several days on end gets old quickly!
We'll spend tomorrow unpacking and sorting out, and taking our SUV in to the dealer to get its fractious air-conditioner sorted out. It turned out to be a mixed blessing. It'll cost money to repair, but the exceptionally good fuel economy of Miss D.'s Toyota Camry (it routinely achieved better than 40 mpg) meant that we spent less than half as much on gasoline this trip as we'd budgeted. The savings will come in handy to pay for the SUV's repairs.
Blogging should return to normal on Thursday morning.