I-40 is an incredible interstate … it cuts through the south-central portion of the United States and is the fastest route from the Atlantic Ocean to California.
Because Jimmy and I tend to favor two-lane roads, it seems that just about every time we’ve been on I-40, we are outrunning bad weather or in a rush to get home.
However, to relieve boredom, or to just get out of your rig, stretch your legs and grab an ice cream, consider an RV Short Stop in Alma, Ark., the self-proclaimed Spinach Capital of the World. (BTW: Crystal City, Texas, also calls itself the Spinach Capital of the World.)
Once you spot the World’s Largest Spinach Can sitting along I-40, you’re pretty much there. Alma is located in the Arkansas River Valley at the foothills of the Ozark
Mountains and sits just off exit 12 on I-40 at US 71, about 12 miles east of the Oklahoma
border and a dozen miles north of Ft. Smith (about a two-hour drive west of Little Rock).
Alma is the original home to Popeye Brand Spinach (once with the Allen Canning Company, now part of Del Monte). “Around 1987, Alma began calling itself the Spinach Capital of the World because the Allen Canning Company based in Alma canned more than half of all the spinach canned in the U.S., about 60 million pounds annually,” states Wikipedia.
|Popeye Park, Alma, Ark. (Wikipedia)|
A bronze statue of Popeye the Sailor Man was unveiled in April 2007 and sits in the heart of a circular garden near downtown Alma. In 2009 a mural was painted on an adjoining wall of old Fayetteville Avenue.
Directions to Popeye Park:
801 Fayetteville Ave., Alma, Ark.
I-40 exit 12 onto US 71 south. Go through the traffic light, bear left, then turn right onto Fayetteville Ave./Hwy 162 into downtown.
The Park is at the other end of town, on the right. (If you get to the high school, you’ve gone too far.)
While in Alma, if you are looking for a cool ice cream treat, check out Braum’s Ice Cream and Burgers, 129 US Hwy 71 North. Open daily at 6 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Photos: World’s Largest Spinach Can (Stephanie Geckle). Popeye Park and bronze statue (Source: Wikipedia.)