KC Wedding – Natchez Trace, Part Six

April 29 – May 4

We left downtown with no other touristy motive than to drive around a bit and as we ascended the onramp to the freeway noticed a bridge in the near distance that caught our attention.  We steered the car in that direction and after some circling, found a parking lot that enabled us to access the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, lying parallel to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the 1930 Texas and Pacific Railway Trinity River Bridge as they all cross the river of that name. 

Trinity Skyline Trail

Constructed as the Lamar-McKinney Viaduct in 1933, the original road bridge was built to carry vehicles across the periodically swelling Trinity River.  The bridge was renamed the Ronald Kirk Bridge in 2016 (from its former name, the Continental Avenue Bridge) in honor of the first African American mayor of Dallas, Ronald Kirk.  The bridge had fallen into a state of disrepair by 2010, when plans were being developed to reconstruct Continental Avenue and the bridge.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge

During the reconstruction, it was decided that there was no need for it to carry vehicular traffic, since the nearby Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was completed in 2012 to do so.  The design as a footbridge complemented the nearby open park plan for Klyde Warren Park, as a recreation amenity.  The Bridge reopened on Sunday, June 15, 2014 (Father’s Day) with a playground, a splash park, lounge chairs, human-sized chess boards, and a ceiling of cloth to shade the area, along with many trails surrounding the bridge in the Trinity River Basin and on the levees.

It’s is a lovely space and beyond its utilitarian use for pedestrians and cyclists, it is one of those places in Dallas where people come to take celebratory pictures of graduations, wedding parties and Quinceañera’s.  Indeed, we witnessed one or more examples of each, the Quinceañera groupings the most affecting, the execution of a tradition with roots in Pre-Columbian history, found in other cultures through debutante balls and Bar or Bat Mitzvah’s. 

Having satisfied our tourist jones, and feeling thirsty, we drove to the Peticolas Brewing Company Taproom for some much-needed rehydration.  They offered a broad range of beers but to my delight, quite a few higher gravity choices, two of which I would sample, the Doppelboxer doppelbock and the Sledgehammer Triple Imperial Red Ale, while Joanna would opt for a Worth the Wait Cherry Vanilla Stout. 

Peticolas Brewing Company

These were all good choices, so much so that I would buy a sixteen-ounce four pack of the doppelbock and one of the red ale to take with us, some of which would eventually follow us home for enjoyment later.  We made our way back to the Best Western wrestling with what to do for dinner; it being Saturday we had run into the predicament that the nicer places we would have liked to eat at did not have any openings. 

The Good Stuff at Peticolas

And so, on an off chance we parked outside of Ida Claire (get it? I declare?), one of our top choices and checked to see if they could squeeze us in and sure enough, after a reasonable wait, we were seated inside their large dining room.  Joanna started with a Demogorgon (banhez mezcal, pineapple, lime, agave, midori, orange bitters, soda, and tajin rim) while I opted for a Bitter Sisters Hissy Fit Marzen Lager, both refreshing and just the right touch for what would be a very nice dining experience.

We first ordered the Crawfish Corn Beignets with mustard rémoulade, a dish so unique and tasty we’d likely order it every time we’d visit.  What’s not to like about deep fried corn fritters with just the hint of mild crawfish?  Exactly! 

Next, we ordered the Creole Rubbed Pork Chop (summer squash, zucchini, farro, quinoa, pickled fresnos, scallions, kale and, hot sauce butter) accompanied by a side of Orzo, Tomatoes & Spinach.  Along with them I’d drain a Peticolas Velvet Hammer American Strong Ale that perfectly complimented the mild spiciness of the chop.  While both were excellent, the winner was the Orzo side, a creamy concoction that one found quickly addictive.  We settled our tab, a very reasonable $83 including tip and returned to the hotel ready to hit the road the next day, having felt our time in Dallas had been well spent. 

The next day we set out for Bentonville for two nights, a six-hour drive, that would then put us a relatively short three-hour drive to Kansas City.  Our lodging would be at the Best Western Plus Castlerock Inn & Suites, conveniently located near the couple of sights we had on our radar.  The primary target would be the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. 

avilion of restaurant “Eleven” with the main lobby building and 19th-century galleries at left by By Charvex

Spearheaded by the Walton Family Foundation’s involvement the museum’s glass-and-wood design by architect Moshe Safdie and engineer Buro Happold features a series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds and forest trails.  The 217,000 square feet complex includes galleries, several meeting and classroom spaces, a library, a sculpture garden, a museum store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, a restaurant and coffee bar, named Eleven after the day the museum opened (11/11/2011).

The Museum from the Parking Lot

Joanna has long wanted to visit and so we agreed that she would do the museum in the morning the next day and I would get in a bike ride on the nearby Razorback Greenway, which runs from Bentonville down to Fayetteville.  Later in the day she would swing by the Best Western and I would return with her to the museum for a short visit of my own.  Having eaten well the night before, we decided to do a simple less expensive meal and hit the Panera Bread near the hotel. 

Strawberry Chicken Salad

This chain was a regular stop for us after our Sunday rides out of the Trek Store in Charlotte and we enjoy their healthy take on good tasting food, but unfortunately, none have survived near us in Los Angeles.  Joanna enjoyed a Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken Salad, and I filled up with the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT half sandwich with a small bowl of French Onion Soup.  It was more than enough food to carry us to the next day for our visit to the birthplace of Walmart.

Turkey BLT and French Onion Soup

After Joanna took off for the museum, I zig-zagged my way to the bike path and proceeded to head south.  Like many greenways I’ve ridden, this one alternated between rural and urban scenery and as I rode the route, like in Charlotte it recalled to me how close to nature one can be inside a city.  Indeed here, there were still working farms and open grazing land.

Razorback Trail to Fayetteville

I rode down to the outskirts of Fayetteville and turned around, facing a bit of a stiff headwind, a prevailing feature it seems wherever we ride in some parts of the country. 

Returning to the Best Western I cleaned up and upon Joanna’s return, we drove up to the Museum so I could take a quick look at it and more importantly, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House there.  Built in and originally located in Millstone, New Jersey, it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1954 for Abraham Wilson and his first wife, Gloria Bachman.  In 2014 the house was acquired by the Crystal Bridges Museum and relocated in its entirety to the museum’s campus.

Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House

The house is an example of Wright’s invention of Usonian architecture; he built many of his houses around the notion of comfortable, low-cost living that fits the needs of its residents, as well as building a structure to match its environment.  Wright was determined to use his new style to reinvent the previously box-like forms of early-to-mid twentieth century architecture, and create buildings that were right for modern times, as well as engaging and exciting for people to experience in a visual sense.

The house is a beautiful example of Wright’s ongoing pursuit of the “destruction of the box,” with its continuous open and flowing spaces and transparency.  Wright’s invention of the transparent corner, which can be seen in the way the tall windows meet at a corner looking out onto the back porch area of the house, allows the interior space to have an even greater sense of openness and calm.  

We couldn’t take pictures indoors, but Wright’s use of open flowing designs can be found in most of his work and numerous examples exist online.  We left the house, and I took a quick spin through the museum gift shop and then we decamped for some liquid refreshment at the Bentonville Brewing Company, a nice tap room not far from the museum. 

Bentonville Brewing Company

Joanna would start with the Blood Orange Wit and I would rapidly consume a Trailhead Lager, a great way to start the late afternoon.  We took our beers outside to enjoy the pleasant conditions there and discussed dinner plans, as they had food for sale at the brewery.  Although it looked good, we were inclined to stay on a low cost somewhat healthy roll and decided instead to head to a nearby Panda Express. 

I finished up at the brewery with an 8.3% Airship Coffee Double IPA, a delightful brew that sat well on the palate.  We closed out our tab and made our way to the Panda to order a three-item combo, keeping with our usual Kung Pao Chicken and a serving of the mixed vegetables and adding the Honey Walnut Shrimp to round out the meal.  It was as satisfying as always and more so knowing we’d made inroads on saving the budget by spending just $13 for dinner. 

Panda Combo

We returned to the Best Western for one last night of relative calm before landing in Kansas City and the contained chaos that would ensue in the days leading up to the wedding.  We felt good about where we stood, most of the way through a two-month journey, one with challenges that we’d handled and turned into positive outcomes.  

Rolling Countryside

Links

Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge: https://www.10best.com/destinations/texas/dallas/trinity-groves/attractions/ronald-kirk-bridge-felix-h-lozada-sr-gateway/

Quinceañera: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era

Peticolas Brewing: https://www.peticolasbrewing.com/

Ida Claire: https://www.ida-claire.com/

Best Western Plus Castlerock Inn & Suites: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.04108.html?iata=00171880&ssob=BLBWI0004G&cid=BLBWI0004G:google:gmb:04108

Crystal Bridges Museum: https://crystalbridges.org/

Razorback Greenway: https://www.nwarpc.org/razorback-regional-greenway/

Panera Bread: https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html

Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House: https://crystalbridges.org/architecture/frank-lloyd-wright-bachman-wilson-house/

Bentonville Brewing Company: https://bentonvillebrewing.com/

Bridge attribution: By Renelibrary – Own work,

Blog Post 8-14-22

KC Wedding – Natchez Trace, Part Six

April 29 – May 4

We left downtown with no other touristy motive than to drive around a bit and as we ascended the onramp to the freeway noticed a bridge in the near distance that caught our attention.  We steered the car in that direction and after some circling, found a parking lot that enabled us to access the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, lying parallel to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the 1930 Texas and Pacific Railway Trinity River Bridge as they all cross the river of that name. 

Constructed as the Lamar-McKinney Viaduct in 1933, the original road bridge was built to carry vehicles across the periodically swelling Trinity River.  The bridge was renamed the Ronald Kirk Bridge in 2016 (from its former name, the Continental Avenue Bridge) in honor of the first African American mayor of Dallas, Ronald Kirk.  The bridge had fallen into a state of disrepair by 2010, when plans were being developed to reconstruct Continental Avenue and the bridge.

During the reconstruction, it was decided that there was no need for it to carry vehicular traffic, since the nearby Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was completed in 2012 to do so.  The design as a footbridge complemented the nearby open park plan for Klyde Warren Park, as a recreation amenity.  The Bridge reopened on Sunday, June 15, 2014 (Father’s Day) with a playground, a splash park, lounge chairs, human-sized chess boards, and a ceiling of cloth to shade the area, along with many trails surrounding the bridge in the Trinity River Basin and on the levees.

It’s is a lovely space and beyond its utilitarian use for pedestrians and cyclists, it is one of those places in Dallas where people come to take celebratory pictures of graduations, wedding parties and Quinceañera’s.  Indeed, we witnessed one or more examples of each, the Quinceañera groupings the most affecting, the execution of a tradition with roots in Pre-Columbian history, found in other cultures through debutante balls and Bar or Bat Mitzvah’s. 

Having satisfied our tourist jones, and feeling thirsty, we drove to the Peticolas Brewing Company Taproom for some much-needed rehydration.  They offered a broad range of beers but to my delight, quite a few higher gravity choices, two of which I would sample, the Doppelboxer doppelbock and the Sledgehammer Triple Imperial Red Ale, while Joanna would opt for a Worth the Wait Cherry Vanilla Stout. 

These were all good choices, so much so that I would buy a sixteen-ounce four pack of the doppelbock and one of the red ale to take with us, some of which would eventually follow us home for enjoyment later.  We made our way back to the Best Western wrestling with what to do for dinner; it being Saturday we had run into the predicament that the nicer places we would have liked to eat at did not have any openings. 

And so, on an off chance we parked outside of Ida Claire (get it? I declare?), one of our top choices and checked to see if they could squeeze us in and sure enough, after a reasonable wait, we were seated inside their large dining room.  Joanna started with a Demogorgon (banhez mezcal, pineapple, lime, agave, midori, orange bitters, soda, and tajin rim) while I opted for a Bitter Sisters Hissy Fit Marzen Lager, both refreshing and just the right touch for what would be a very nice dining experience.

We first ordered the Crawfish Corn Beignets with mustard rémoulade, a dish so unique and tasty we’d likely order it every time we’d visit.  What’s not to like about deep fried corn fritters with just the hint of mile crawfish?  Exactly! 

Next, we ordered the Creole Rubbed Pork Chop (summer squash, zucchini, farro, quinoa, pickled fresnos, scallions, kale and, hot sauce butter) accompanied by a side of Orzo, Tomatoes & Spinach.  Along with them I’d drain a Peticolas Velvet Hammer American Strong Ale that perfectly complimented the mild spiciness of the chop.  While both were excellent, the winner was the Orzo side, a creamy concoction that one found quickly addictive.  We settled our tab, a very reasonable $83 including tip and returned to the hotel ready to hit the road the next day, having felt our time in Dallas had been well spent. 

The next day we set out for Bentonville for two nights, a six-hour drive, that would then put us a relatively short three-hour drive to Kansas City.  Our lodging would be at the Best Western Plus Castlerock Inn & Suites, conveniently located near the couple of sights we had on our radar.  The primary target would be the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. 

Spearheaded the Walton Family Foundation’s involvement the museum’s glass-and-wood design by architect Moshe Safdie and engineer Buro Happold features a series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds and forest trails.  The 217,000 square feet complex includes galleries, several meeting and classroom spaces, a library, a sculpture garden, a museum store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, a restaurant and coffee bar, named Eleven after the day the museum opened (11/11/2011).

Joanna has long wanted to visit and so we agreed that she would do the museum in the morning the next day and I would get in a bike ride on the nearby Razorback Greenway, which runs from Bentonville down to Fayetteville.  Later in the day she would swing by the Best Western and I would return with her to the museum for a short visit of my own.  Having eaten well the night before, we decided to do a simple less expensive meal and hit the Panera Bread near the hotel. 

This chain was a regular stop for us after our Sunday rides out of the Trek Store in Charlotte and we enjoy their healthy take on good tasting food, but unfortunately, none have survived near us in Los Angeles.  Joanna enjoyed a Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken Salad, and I filled up with the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT half sandwich with a small bowl of French Onion Soup.  It was more than enough food to carry us to the next day for our visit to the birthplace of Walmart.

After Joanna took off for the museum, I zig-zagged my way to the bike path and proceeded to head south.  Like many greenways I’ve ridden, this one alternated between rural and urban scenery and as I rode the route, like in Charlotte it recalled to me how close to nature one can be inside a city.  Indeed here, there were still working farms and open grazing land.

I rode down to the outskirts of Fayetteville and turned around, facing a bit of a stiff headwind, a prevailing feature it seems wherever we ride in some parts of the country.  Returning to the Best Western I cleaned up and upon Joanna’s return, we drove up to the Museum so I could take a quick look at it and more importantly, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House there.  Built in and originally located in Millstone, New Jersey, it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1954 for Abraham Wilson and his first wife, Gloria Bachman.  In 2014 the house was acquired by the Crystal Bridges Museum and relocated in its entirety to the museum’s campus.

The house is an example of Wright’s invention of Usonian architecture; he built many of his houses around the notion of comfortable, low-cost living that fits the needs of its residents, as well as building a structure to match its environment.  Wright was determined to use his new style to reinvent the previously box-like forms of early-to-mid twentieth century architecture, and create buildings that were right for modern times, as well as engaging and exciting for people to experience in a visual sense.

The house is a beautiful example of Wright’s ongoing pursuit of the “destruction of the box,” with its continuous open and flowing spaces and transparency.  Wright’s invention of the transparent corner, which can be seen in the way the tall windows meet at a corner looking out onto the back porch area of the house, allows the interior space to have an even greater sense of openness and calm.  

We couldn’t take pictures indoors, but Wright’s use of open flowing designs can be found in most of his work and numerous examples exist online.  We left the house, and I took a quick spin through the museum gift shop and then we decamped for some liquid refreshment at the Bentonville Brewing Company, a nice tap room not far from the museum. 

Joanna would start with the Blood Orange Wit and I would rapidly consume a Trailhead Lager, a great way to start the late afternoon.  We took our beers outside to enjoy the pleasant conditions there and discussed dinner plans, as they had food for sale at the brewery.  Although it looked good, we were inclined to stay on a low cost somewhat healthy roll and decided instead to head to a nearby Panda Express. 

I finished up at the brewery with an 8.3% Airship Coffee Double IPA, a delightful brew that sat well on the palate.  We closed out our tab and made our way to the Panda to order a three-item combo, keeping with our usual Kung Pao Chicken and a serving of the mixed vegetables and adding the Honey Walnut Shrimp to round out the meal.  It was as satisfying as always and more so knowing we’d made inroads on saving the budget by spending just $13 for dinner. 

We returned to the Best Western for one last night of relative calm before landing in Kansas City and the contained chaos that would ensue in the days leading up to the wedding.  We felt good about where we stood, most of the way through a two-month journey, one with challenges that we’d handled and turned into positive outcomes.  

Links

Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge: https://www.10best.com/destinations/texas/dallas/trinity-groves/attractions/ronald-kirk-bridge-felix-h-lozada-sr-gateway/

Quinceañera: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era

Peticolas Brewing: https://www.peticolasbrewing.com/

Ida Claire: https://www.ida-claire.com/

Best Western Plus Castlerock Inn & Suites: https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotel-rooms.04108.html?iata=00171880&ssob=BLBWI0004G&cid=BLBWI0004G:google:gmb:04108

Crystal Bridges Museum: https://crystalbridges.org/

Razorback Greenway: https://www.nwarpc.org/razorback-regional-greenway/

Panera Bread: https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html

Frank Lloyd Wright Bachman-Wilson House: https://crystalbridges.org/architecture/frank-lloyd-wright-bachman-wilson-house/

Bentonville Brewing Company: https://bentonvillebrewing.com/

Bridge attribution: By Renelibrary – Own work,

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