Small Town USA–Part One

Do you ever go through a small town and say, “we should stop here sometime.”

That’s exactly what we did on our last motorcycle trip.

Our trip started with breakfast at the only café in our very small town of Hindsville (population 75).  The café is in a 100 yr. old building and was a bustling business until the new highway bypassed the town.  It came to life again when an independent film company wanted to use it for a movie called  Valley Inn (not sure when it will be available for viewing)

valley inn valley inn hindsville

About 40 miles from here is a small town called Alpena.  The main drag consists of a small farmer’s market and various stores containing vintage items. alpena, motorcyclealpena, motorcycle alpena, motorcycle alpena, motorcycle alpena, motorcyclealpena, motorcycle

One of the reasons we stopped was to watch the chainsaw carver work.  This family carves benches, chairs, and statues while you watch.

alpena, motorcycle chainsaw art,  motorcycle, alpena alpena, motorcycle, chainsaw art chainsaw art, alpena, motorcycle chainsaw art,  motorcycle, alpena chainsaw art,  motorcycle, alpenaCan you see the bear’s nose starting to take shape?

90 percent of the carvings are done with a chainsaw and the rest with a dremel.  They do amazing and beautiful work.

chainsaw art,  motorcycle, alpena alpena, motorcycle chainsaw art,  motorcycle, alpena alpena, motorcycle

Our next stop was 50 miles south of Harrison, AR to a town called Leslie.  Once a bustling town of around 10,000 in the early 1900’s, Leslie’s population is now around 500.  When the bank closed and the school was forced to consolidate 10 years ago, the townspeople came together and are working hard to rejuvenate this historic town. leslie, motorcycle

In the old bank building,

leslie, motorcycle Serenity Farm Breads is staying busy making artisan sourdough bread.  The loaves are shaped by hand and then baked in a very large, wood-fired brick oven. .leslie, motorcycle leslie, motorcycle leslie, motorcycle Featured in Southern Living Magazine, Serenity Farm will ship bread to any location in the continental US.  For me, I can find this bread at Ozark Natural Foods in Fayetteville.

I love to support small town efforts.

Leslie is also home to many antique and gift stores leslie, motorcycle

as well as a fun looking music venue.

leslie, motorcycle

Love the name!

leslie, motorcycle

I’m so glad we finally stopped here.



About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
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16 Responses to Small Town USA–Part One

  1. I know Leslie fairly well…that’s my maiden name, and Daddy grew up in Salem and Mountain View 😀
    I love those old hill towns…there’s always at least one building that make me stop and say, “Hmmm… I wonder if it’s for sale?”
    Can’t wait to see where else your ride took you!


  2. Thanks for the tour! I LOVE these little downtowns!


  3. The Dancing Rider says:

    Great travelogue. So enjoyed reading and looking at the photos. Sounds like a very nice trip.


  4. Holleygarden says:

    My, my – these are little towns! But such character! Love the bear carving – and I could almost smell the bread from here! Now I’m hungry! 😉


  5. I do enjoy visiting those small towns that still have businesses going on Main Street or in the courthouse square. That bread looks really good.


  6. I’ve never been to Arkansas so it’s really fun to see it. Look’s like a great place to live!!


  7. I love exploring small towns.


  8. Kathy says:

    I am heading our way and I know I will enjoy Arkansas. I will be in Little Rock going to take in the gardens, and antique shops. Any advise or tips. Kathy


    • I’m not that familiar with that area, Kathy but the Clinton Museum and River Market would be on my list. The capitol used to have a garden/tree tour but not sure they still have that. Scott, Ar is home of the Hubcap burger at Cothams Mercantile. never eaten there but saw it on Diners, drive ins and dives. Also, you might check out the old mill in north little rock. It appeared in the first scene of Gone with the Wind! Also, check out for more ideas. Hope this helps!


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