Christian Bionat: Day 3, JF Spring Trip

Friday, February 25, 2012

On our way to an early-morning hike, I was chosen as the vehicle navigator, so my dream to catch some z’s on the way to Petit Jean State Park was shattered quickly. However, my map reading skills proved effective, and we arrived at the park before 7:00. When we started along the Canyon Creek Trail, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first 50 yards of the trail, I was trying to gauge the land and assimilate myself to the rough mountainous terrain and the cold morning. We were able to see and capture some nice pictures of different rock formations and parts of the creek. The steep grades of the trail proved to be tougher than I thought, but provided a good challenge to start our day. I was impressed with the trail, the weather, and simply the opportunity to be out in nature with the Junior Fellows. Although we detoured ourselves from going to Cedar Falls, we were able to quickly double-back and get to the waterfall before we ran out of time.  The waterfall was large and powerful, and the natural setting well illustrated the best of “The Natural State.”

 

Junior Fellows, Petit Jean State Park

Our next stop was the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. We were fortunate to have a meeting Dean James and a 3L/MBA student at UALR, where we able to learn more about the Law School.  My favorite part of the meeting was touring their four-story law library, the first law library I have ever seen.

Dean Valerie James with the Junior Fellows

The experience to meet Dean James, Jason, and see the library provided an excellent opportunity to think outside of Texas for law schools.

Following our UALR meeting, we were able to tour the state capitol of Arkansas. The interior was mostly marble, making for an impressive structure, and we were able to see many of the rooms and facilities, including the House of Representatives and the former Supreme Court.

Arkansas House of Representatives

The current Supreme Court building is on the grounds of the Capitol Building, and we were fortunate to have the amazing privilege of touring the Court, guided by Ms. Carolyn Bond.  I was intrigued by the carpeted logo behind the judges and the acoustic design of the room. Ms. Bond also allowed us to take pictures in the courtroom including photos at the attorneys’ podium and the Justice’s chairs. For a future lawyer, it was an inspiration.

Justin Beiser Pleading His Case at the Arkansas Supreme Court

Afterward we took visited the Little Rock Nine monument on the capitol grounds and took a picture with the statue of Elizabeth Eckford, whom we met yesterday.

Junior Fellows with Statue of Elizabeth Eckford

For dinner, we went to the world-famous Whole Hog Café. Santiago and I shared a rack and a half of ribs with coleslaw and beans. These ribs were by far the best I have ever had and would be more than happy to visit again. The meat on the ribs seemed to just fall off the bone and with the choice of the six specialty sauces, this café was a place that everyone who loves BBQ should try.

Tomorrow we look forward to the Arkansas Political Science Conference, so until tomorrow…

 

 

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