I bit the bullet and decided to make the 5 hour trek up to Fort Smith to see if there was any metal stamping, aluminum extrusion, investment castings (insert other keywords here…) business in the Northern Arkansas area.  I was surprised to see a good deal of potential up there but was also a bit dissapointed to see how the recent recession has affected a town.  I dropped by several large manufacturing plants only to discover they had shut there doors. Some made it out ok, but I couldn’t shake the feeling there was a lot of plants who didn’t make it.
While in Fort Smith, I decided to take the hour trip north to check out the Fayetteville/ Springdale area.  I was expecting more travel time between businesses, but what I wasn’t expecting was the country side.  I don’t know if you have been up that direction in a long time, but it was truly breathtaking.  Between the mountains and fall spotted tree’s, I have never had a more relaxing, joy filled travel experience.  I can’t tell you how many times I pulled of the side of the road to make a phone call (signal is pretty spotty in the area) and got stuck there for 20 minutes gazing into the wilderness.
If you are growing tired and restless of the traveling salesman routine, I suggest making the trip to Fort Smith… it’s like a shot of red bull to the soul.