You see, after my experience with news reporting on Hurricane Ike in Galveston, I knew that a news crew's first order of business was to find the most sensational damage and park the camera right in front of it to get the best impact for their on-the-scene report. It might be live and on the scene, but the camera is not going to be pointing towards the intact building. So as I approached the town, I was prepared to go hunt for where the damaged section of town was actually located. I had no problem. I barely got into town before I pulled over and snapped these two shots with my iPhone camera. (Compare this spot with Google Earth's Street View at 282 Mena Street. Click my photos to expand.) Driving around town, there were blue tarps on the roofs, yellow police tape, and piles of rubble everywhere. The place wasn't leveled, but it's going to take a lot of work to get life back to normal in Mena. I talked to a postman who worked in Umpire, and the stories he told about many people relating their close calls was dramatic. The death count, by rights, ought to have been much greater than it was.
Then I moved on. I was close to another spot in Arkansas that I had never seen, but that was on my to-do list. I wanted to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park. There is an old volcanic pipe in these mountains that contain diamonds. If I read the history correct, there were attempts to make a commercial mining operation there, but they were abandoned and instead, it's now a tourist enterprise.
I didn't actually dig. I don't buy lottery tickets either. It was muddy and I didn't bring any tools or appropriate clothes. But maybe some day, I will.