Many current riders wouldn't recognize the River Trail experience without Two Rivers Bridge. Back in the day....said the geezer. Until the bridge opened, a lake loop, a ride to Roland, and the popular Barrett-Garrison rides all started with a climb of River Mountain Road and a mad dash out Cantrell to Pinnacle Valley Road. The return trip usually involved riding back in on Highway 10 to Taylor Loop and then punishing your legs a bit more climbing Pleasant Forest Drive. There was no easy way home.
In 2010, we greedily followed the bridge construction.
Class, your history lesson is below:
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Two Rivers Bridge: Progress
The Two Rivers Bridge project is moving right along. A steel arch span will bridge the 210-foot gap between the piers in the left-center of this photo. Quite a bit has been accomplished since this was taken in early September.
The steel span over the navigation channel of the bridge has proven to be a design and fabrication challenge. I have been aware of some delays, but it appears now that a schedule is in place and there will be no delays in the completion of the project. My information has come from a number of sources, but the general consensus is that the bridge construction is ahead of schedule and that Jensen Construction is doing a fine job. I'm anxious to see the span in place, as it will do much to define the appearance of the bridge, and I hope to be on site to see it lifted into place. Here are a few things of interest that I will loosely call "facts" in that I don't have the engineering or contractual data:
The span will be shipped to the site in eight sections. A truck will be required for each of the eight pieces. Those pieces will be spliced at the floor beams into four truss sections before the final assembly. I was able to obtain some fabrication shop photos of the work-in-progress:
The truss sections will be disassembled at the center joint and placed on their sides for transportation, as the assembly would otherwise be too tall for highway transport. Spanning the 210 feet required a truss over 14' deep.
The entire span will then be assembled on site. There will be some large scale Erector Set action to get this accomplished.
The camber of the arched span is apparent from this perspective.
The steel is designed to develop a patina of rust that will prevent further oxidation and eliminate the need to paint. Even with the box beam construction, plate has been added to enhance the stiffness of the structure, more for the comfort of possibly queasy bridge users than due to a need for additional strength.
The steel is scheduled to ship in mid-October and, once assembled, the span will be lifted to its final location by a crane that I have got to see, though in checking around, 100-ton cranes are not that uncommon. The weight of the assembly is slightly over 200,000 pounds. These are bridge-building professionals, but I will bet that there will be a collective sigh of relief from all involved when the span is safely resting on the piers.
Folks, the cycling life in Central Arkansas just keeps getting better!
Fort Roots Land Sale
A recent news item concerning the sale of a piece of North Little Rock city-owned land to the US Department of Veterans Affairs caught my attention and caused me a little concern.
Why I worry.....
While over the years North Little Rock has created and supported an enviable inventory of cycling and pedestrian trails, the current administration sometimes seems more than willing to allow encroachment on these trails. One example is the narrowing of the trail at the Rockwater development to create a "buffer" between the River Trail and the new homes constructed adjacent to it. What resulted was not a so much a buffer as a city financed free lawn extension to the homeowners.
The stylish light posts sit well into the River Trail right-of-way. Every home has a private walk on the right-of-way, along with landscaping, sprinkler systems, etc.
I have no beef with the homeowners that have taken advantage of this virtual gift from the City. The City spent $96,000.00 to narrow the pavement and install underground wiring and decorative lighting along the trail. The money came from the sale of land to the AG&FC for a new boat launch ramp slightly upstream. Some time back, I got the plat from the County Clerk's office and estimated that, in addition to the cost of the improvements, several hundred thousand dollars worth of land was effectively given to the homeowners. Since the property is still legally city-owned right-of-way, real estate taxes on that value are not collected from the homeowners.
Additionally, the City has removed striping of "designated shoulders" which served as de facto bike lanes along Rockwater Drive. They were not officially designated as bike lanes because parking along the street was allowed as needed, so I don't understand why we went to the expense of removing the striping. It gave riders and drivers at least the implication of protected space.
Parking places with signs have also been designated where parking was previously prohibited at the Rockwater Marina. There have been instances in which the River Trail was completely blocked by illegal parking on the trail at this location. These 2 spaces are, in and of themselves, unlikely to cause problems so long as everyone is attentive, but when a couple of cars are parked there it is likely to encourage others to think it is OK to park on the trail.
I mention these things because they kind of stuck in my craw and raised my suspicions where the City's actions around the trail system are concerned. I covet our River Trail system and know that once even a small piece of it is gone that it is likely gone forever.
That said, the Fort Roots land sale does not seem to affect the integrity of the adjacent Highland Trail. The NLR Mayor's office provided the photo below showing the location of the land to be sold.
This is the plot of land being sold to the VA. The numbers coincide with the views in the photos below.
This is a lovely park-like green space. I hope the development doesn't start with the usual dozing of every tree.
The 2.32 acres is being sold for $90,000.00 to allow for the expansion of a law enforcement training facility currently being operated on the Fort Roots campus. Judging by the large numbers of officers seen coming and going, the operation is well-used and will likely make good use of the expansion.
This project is obviously in its early stages and I will try to follow it as building plans emerge.
Good news on the horizon
I don't want to paint the City of North Little Rock with too broad a brush, as there are some very exciting developments coming to the north side of the river. I will report those when more details are available.
The Highland Trail
The Highland Trail was one of the last projects of long-time Mayor Patrick Hays and was the result of cooperation between the City and the VA to eke out the route between the VA property and the steep bluff line.
The Highland Trail lies just outside the Fort Root Perimeter fence.
Several benches offer places to enjoy the views, the woods, and moments of quiet contemplation
Even on this hazy August day, the views are striking.
The Highland Trail connects Fort Roots Drive to the older Emerald Park Trail and offers cyclists the opportunity to ride from one end of the bluffs to the other with a number of vantage points along the way. Though many of the views are hindered by dense foliage in the summer, from fall through spring they can be nothing short of spectacular.
Many riders remain unaware of this great addition to any climb of Fort Roots, as there are no signs to direct you. The trailhead is at the small parking area on the left as you approach the summit of the hill. Take that left turn and check it out. You'll appreciate your new discovery.
Random scenes from the River Trail
You seldom see sailboats on the Arkansas River but this intrepid sailor has enjoyed a couple of breezy days recently. Squirrelly winds, current, and a fairly narrow channel require attention.
With the move of theArkansas Boathouse Club to River Mountain Park on the Little Maumelle River, riders and walkers will be able to enjoy watching these sleek craft from the vantage point of the Two Rivers Park Bridge.
One more thing-Clinton National Airport
I want to give a shout-out to the airport and the Airport Commission. Rob Stephens of the Arkansas River Trail Task Force recently reminded me of their support of the Southeast Trail, the installation of bike racks, and the encouragement of cyclists to use the facilities of the airport. Next time you drop in for your Starbucks fix, bathroom stop, or water bottle fill, take a photo and tag the airport. They'll appreciate it and it can only lead to more good things on this oft used bike route.
Snakes alive! They slither among us.
While it is common to see venomous snakes along portions of the River Trail, the cottonmouths were out in numbers on my Tuesday midday ride. The first one I saw was making good progress across the trail so I just observed until he was on his way back to the swamp. ( The real swamp--not the one festering in Washington.)
This stubborn little fellow took a break in mid trail, stopping traffic. Someone tossed a few rocks to try to encourage him but he was unimpressed. I moved beside him to take this photo and he finally moved on.
This impressive specimen seemed to like this spot and was hanging out as I took this picture. I was also watching an oblivious runner approaching in a direct path to the snake. I started yelling at the runner but he was head down, apparently with ear buds on high volume. I was virtually screaming at him when he finally looked up.
Heavy rains upstream mean that the river is back to some high flows and the backwaters are flush.
I don't know whether the snakes are out in such numbers because the recent welcome cooler weather makes the warm trail more attractive or if they have been displaced by recent heavy rains, but they are more active than usual. If you encounter snakes on the trail, the best advice is generally to leave them alone. I often stop to caution approaching users until the snake moves on. They are driven mostly to eat and mate, so have little interest in us unless threatened.
Be alert, and I suggest keeping kids and dogs out of the brush adjacent to the trail, especially in the marshy areas of Two Rivers Park. The snakes live there and we are just passing through.
Pinnacle Valley Bike Lanes and Bypass To Cantrell/Highway 10
OK, OK, I am admittedly a year or so behind on reporting this, but the addition of bike lanes along Pinnacle Valley Road north of Cantrell is a great addition to the Arkansas River Trail system. This had been discussed for years within the Little Rock Bike Friendly Community Committee ( I swore years ago to quit typing the whole name, so from now on it is back to LRBFCC) and championed by former chair Ed Levy.
In addition to the bike lanes, there is now a bypass from the traffic signal at the intersection of Taylor Loop to Pinnacle Valley Road, thanks t the cooperation of a friendly developer.
I ran into my friend and not-quite-cousin Becky Barton Dalton while I was out for a spin on Sunday. She dragged me around as she hit her 5000 year-to-date mile mark. (Kudos-that is some riding!)
This stretch of Pinnacle Valley previously challenged riders with limited sight distance, no shoulder, and a lot of traffic. As you can see, it is a much more comfortable and safe situation today.
This new subdivision ends in a cul-de-sac but the developer cooperated with the community by allowing a bike path that extends to Cantrell.
The developer apparently has expressed a little frustration that riders are not using the bike/pedestrian lane he added to this bridge. Riders tend to stick to the road but the bridge will certainly add value to his neighborhood and be appreciated by residents. Thanks go to him for the consideration.
I seldom ride that way these days, but before two Rivers Bridge opened I regularly took life in hands to ride out Cantrell from River Mountain Road or made the unpleasant climbs of Pleasant Forest to get to Taylor Loop. It was always frightening to cross 5 lanes of traffic from Taylor Loop to get the few hundred yards to Pinnacle Valley.
Riders coming from West Little Rock can now just cross Cantrell at the light on Taylor Loop rather than making a mad dash back to Pinnacle Valley Road.
The bike path ultimately leading to Pinnacle Valley connects behind Buffalo Wild Wings.
The bike path leading from the subdivision to the back of the shopping center where Buffalo Wild Wings is located.
Improvements like this do not just happen. Work on this seemingly small infrastructure improvement has been going on for many years within the LRBFCC and the participating LR city departments, along with lobbying of developers and other stake holders. There are typically months or years of boring meetings to identify a need and develop a plan. Then, those plans often don't see implementation until a street is resurfaced or some outside funding becomes available. The wheels of government move slowly and, when it comes to cycling improvements, those wheels are being pushed and lubricated by your fellow riders who invest their time for the common good.
The weather has gotten a little nicer. Go ride your bike.
I promised to explore some more dining options for riders so here is the next installment on that front.
Cathead's Diner-515 Shall St. Cathead's Diner is the latest addition to Little Rock's fast growing East Village, where it joins The Cromwell Firm, Heifer Project International, the Clinton Presidential Library, Lost Forty, Rebel Kettle, E-Stem School, and more. Shall Street runs between Heifer Project and 6th Street so is very easily accessible, just a couple of blocks from the River Trail.
A cathead biscuit, as any southerner knows, is a big 'un. Head chef Donnie Ferneau is well known to central Arkansas diners, as he has created tasty fare for a number of restaurants in town, some more successful than others, but all with some flair. Pastry chef and head baker Kelli Marks is less well known to me, but, seeing as how I have a bit of a pastry problem, I may want to know more about
No bike rack, but the wide sidewalk and this handy fence in a very visible area should do nicely.
While I did not ride my bike for this exploratory lunch, I surveyed the area with a rider's view. The first thing I looked for was a bike rack, of which I saw none. That said, riders should be able to easily hook up to a handy architectural feature. The Food
The dining format is the blue collar working man's familiar "meat and 3", meaning that you pick one of the daily entrees along with three side dishes. Usually a couple of the entrees are offered every day, with another served on a rotating basis. We were there on Friday so catfish was in the rotation.
I had fried chicken strips, which were very good, along with fried okra, purple hull peas and jalapeno cornbread. My lunch buddy had catfish, greens, and …..well, something else I can't remember. He gave the catfish "B", which I took as pretty high praise, but he pushed the greens away after one bite. "Sugary, too sweet. Who the hell puts sugar in greens?"
As I'm not a fan of greens, I've never cooked them, so I looked at a number of recipes from reliable sources. Some did include a teaspoon of sugar in 10 lbs of greens, but I will surmise that an abundance of sugar in greens must be a travesty, as is ANY sugar in cornbread.
The joint was busy, but not overcrowded, and service was prompt; simply place your drink order and walk to the serving line
Like Lost Forty and many other converted industrial and warehouse spaces, the interior is a spartan mix of concrete, metal and glass, but the look was stylish, clean and comfortable. The acoustics make for a loud lunch. "What? I can't hear you. It's loud in here." "I said, it's loud in here" "What?"
Don't expect to carry on meaningful conversation at Cathead's. It is reminiscent of the original Homer's on Roosevelt Rd.
As we walked outside, my friend mentioned that he had a sound measuring app on his phone so we stepped back in to quantify our impression of the sound level. Yep, it was LOUD.
The food was very good and I'll go back, though it seems that Ferneau tries a little too hard at times to add his touch to tried and true fare (re- the greens). Some things are best left alone, though I really liked the treatment of the whole fried okra, which had a thick crisp batter without a hint of greasiness.
We both opted for cornbread, so I'll have to make another trip to check out the namesake biscuits. Such is the burden of the blogger.
Yet another follow-up on Cook's Landing...
I've continued to have inquiries about the fate of the Cook's Landing Corps of Engineers site. I guess that some rumors have circulated due to the closing of the restrooms that the parking lot will be closed as well. That is not the case.
My experience has been that Corps folks are very careful in making any kind of statement, but I did get assurances that the area is not slated for closure. My contact had to check with a counterpart for verification but I got this information,
"The restroom facility the Corps operates is in need of
some fairly extensive repairs which is the reason for its' closure.The rest of the Corps facilities as well as
facilities managed by local agencies are still open and will remain so."
The needed restroom repairs are being evaluated. Just a photo
Coming through. Thursday morning was steamy hot with a silver blue sky, making for a near monochrome look.
follow ups: Overgrown Trail
I contacted LR Parkslast week regarding the overgrown brush along the trail between Two Rivers park and Jimerson Creek. I was told that crews were scheduled for the work and it was soon a done deal.
After the work: There is still some welcome shade but head-level brush has been removed.
This is the "Before" shot.
Broadway Bridge Ramp
As of Tuesday night, the paving project at the Little Rock River Trail-Broadway Bridge ramp was partially done and it appeared to be no more than a day away from completion; however, rain was approaching as I visited the site and continues as I write this on Wednesday.
Pavers got a good start on this project before rain set in. Nothing rides like fresh asphalt.
Restrooms at The Sub
After a storm drain collapse and other issues required closure of this restroom and excavation of the nearby trail, there was a few weeks of activity followed by months of.....nothing.
The bathrooms have been repaired but policy has changed on leaving them open.
After making a few inquiries with my usual sources I pieced together what I believe to be the current status of this facility. The restrooms have been repaired and are again functional. A steel grate gate has been added to the foyer area for added security. From what I was told, control of the restroom has been turned over to the folks at the adjacent Maritime Museum, and the restrooms will be opened during tours, concerts, mass rides, and other area events.
Unfortunately, ongoing damage and defiling of this resource by the many homeless folks who frequent the area make leaving it open impractical. While I'm sympathetic to the plight of these urban campers, I have a bit of resentment for the fact that we can't have freely used public amenities due to these abuses. The situation has been much the same at the skate park up trail. In that case, it seems that some the teens who frequent the park can't refrain from vandalizing a facility that is there for their convenience. Fencing remains in place for the short trail section that was excavated, and River Trail traffic is detoured through the parking lot. While a contractor repaired the underground lines, the repaving of the River Trail was left to the NLR Street Department as a cost-saving measure. It remains on their "to do" list as other projects take priority.
A riding writer has got to eat! Heifer Project Café
I have to give a periodic shout out to the Café at Heifer Project International. Many people in Central Arkansas are aware that Heifer exists, though for many it's just "that building over by the Clinton Library." Relatively few folks are aware that the Café at Heifer is open to the public, serves a lot of locally farmed produce and meats, and boasts one of the best burgers in town. It is convenient to downtown without the parking hassles of other nearby venues.
While gather information and taking photos for a recent article, I rode over for lunch. I was of good appetite and chose the Smokehouse Burger with house made chips. While delicious, I had second thoughts as I wallowed through another 25 miles on the bike on a hot July day. Ugghh.. Try this burger but time your lunch for the end of the ride or for a drive up visit.
The Smokehouse Burger-delicious but perhaps not the best choice for a hot ride.
I eat at the Café pretty frequently, enough so that I'm often asked if I should get the employee discount. The food is always fresh and well prepared, the parking is convenient (incredibly so for cyclists), and the price is right.
The Southwest Salad with chicken. A better choice for the ride.
The Heifer Café offers indoor and outdoor dining along with convenient parking.
If you drive to Heifer, I suggest parking at the very back of their lot near the loading docks and the alpaca pens. There is a bike rack that is in sight from the restaurant, though I often just lean my bike near a table.
I plan to check out some other dining opportunities along the trail as time goes on, with secure bike parking being a requisite.
See you on the trail and please share this post if you enjoyed it.
Usually when I write about boating on the Arkansas, it looks something like this:
For this Arkansas River kayaking experience, go 900 miles upstream and get it!
The headwaters of the Arkansas attract tourists and recreational boaters to central Colorado and help fuel the local economy in a big way. While our stretch of the Arkansas won't support whitewater rafting and kayaking, it does offer numerous recreational opportunities right in the center of our City.
Why be a purist when you can be a tourist?
That was a catch phrase of a big water western boating trip I joined many years ago but it can apply here. I've often eschewed flatwater boating, as my passion is whitewater; however, that position meant that I missed many opportunities to slow down to enjoy the beauty and unique perspective that comes with paddling a small craft on virtually any body of water.
Rock Town River Outfitters
I met Rock Town owner Sam Ellis a year or so ago at an open house for Rockwater Marina. Sam is a local guy who learned to kayak while attending college in Conway, got the bug, and spent a couple of seasons guiding rafts and boating on the Arkansas River in Colorado. He eventually came back home, got a real job, and soon rediscovered the river here. He saw it as an underutilized resource that people drove over or rode beside every day, often not even really noticing the river except perhaps in times of high flows. He relates how he was always warned off of the river because of the ever lurking undertow. My grandfather tried to scare me away from the river with tales of whirlpools and talk of giant alligator gar. Undertow and whirlpools do exist on the river but with a little common sense the river can be enjoyed safely.
The river at Little Rock is usually pretty placid. By keeping to the north shore, kayakers stay out of the navigation channel where commercial traffic and speeding fishermen rule.
A small towboat passing by in the navigation channel.
While any river deserves respect, caution, and an informed approach, for most of the year, the Arkansas here is a slow moving lake. The fact that it is moving means that there are currents and eddies, sand bars that shift, and banks that can fall away, but the river can usually be enjoyed safely in small paddle-powered craft.
Sam had taken friends out on the river and saw a business opportunity in renting kayaks, providing some instruction, and in escorting paddle tours in the downtown area. The result is Rock Town River Outfitters.
I recently joined him and his clients for a Sunday tour. I had brought my own boat so I launched from the ramp upstream and paddled down to our 10:00AM meet-up. The launch site is near the F.O.P. on River Road in NLR and it allowed me to unload at water's edge rather than carrying down the steep ramp to the marina. If you have your own boat, this G&FC public ramp is a good option.
Sam giving Cole, Everett, Courteny and Diane an overview of the trip in the pre-paddle talk in the comfort of the Rockwater Marina shop.
Sam instructed the participants on the correct way to enter a kayak from a dock or steep bank. The paddle is braced between the rear deck and the dock, creating a solid platform. It's always embarrassing to take a swim while launching.
And we're off! Sam's dog Griz is an experienced boater and he adds a little fur to the trip.
We left the marina and headed downstream. It was hot and sunny but felt a bit cooler with a nice breeze on the river. I always enjoy watching riders passing by on the River Trail. It gives you a very different perspective of how the river and trail fit together, and presents a new appreciation for the many recreational opportunities that lie at our doorstep.
After crossing under the Baring Cross RR and the Broadway Bridges we were downtown....tall buildings, everything...
The new Broadway Bridge is striking in the late morning sun.
As Sam was exploring opportunities to join with other hospitality provides in the downtown area, he approached Jeremy Lewno of Bobby's Bike Hike. Jeremy had returned to Chicago to run the primary location of that business. They ended up striking a deal wherein Rock Town took over the business. Rock Town offers various bike tours around the City, including a Sunday brunch ride.The Sunday brunch bike tour happened to roll up as we bobbed around at the sub. The brunch tour grazes and sips along the way with stops at SOMA and the Diamond Bear Brewery tasting room, among others. I plan to join one of these rides soon and will give you a report.
Griz was torn between staying on the boat or making a swim for shore to join the cycling tour. He stuck with the kayak even with the promise of food and beer ashore.
Everett exits the kayak as we returned to Rockwater. The trip took about 2 hours.
Rock Town rents kayaks, SUPs (Stand Up Paddleboards), and bikes in addition to providing tours and some introductory-level instruction. For rates and a menu of offerings, follow the link to their website. Rockwater should have their craft beer license by this time so that they can serve up a cold one at the end of your adventure.
Rock Town is providing a unique opportunity for experiences that should appeal to tourists and locals alike. Whether you just want to try out a kayak or paddle board for the first time or you are a visitor wanting to see the city from water level, there is something here for you. Sam's personality and raft guide experience make him a congenial and helpful host.
Like most river cities, much of Little Rock's early history took place on the riverfront, and as a result there are many points of interest along the path of our short tour. From the Big Rock to the west to the namesake Little Rock landing near the Clinton Library, there is a rich story to be told. I think that, in time, the tours could embrace that history and share the narrative along the way.
Perhaps it is just because I'm back to riding more consistently and seeing more of my old readers, but I've had quite a few inquires about JBarCycling of late. Some folks actually miss the information and attempts at entertainment while others have yet to notice that I stopped writing regularly a year or two ago.
I've decided to turn the lights back on dust off the keyboard here in the JBar Bunker and see where it leads.
"Along The Trail" has been my header for general articles about happenings and situations along the Arkansas River Trail so it seemed appropriate to begin on familiar ground. As you can see, I've retained my penchant for alliteration.
Cook's Landing and Riverfront Park Bathrooms Closed
The bathrooms at Cook's Landing have been closed for a while and it appears that the closure may be permanent. I'm told that the sewer line serving the facility has collapsed and that repairs would be in the $50,000.00 range and would require extensive excavation. The bathrooms may eventually be replaced as the current ones are outdated and, frankly, have been nasty for years. There are facilities at each side of the nearby BDB so this should not be a burden for cyclists. If you've used it for a change shelter, now is a good time to learn how to dress in public places while wrapped in a towel.
Don't expect these restrooms to be open any time soon.
And don't ask Ken, the site host, about it. The portable toilet is actually cleaner and more pleasant then the restrooms here. There is still a working water faucet behind the pavilion just across the street.
The restrooms at North Little Rock Riverfront Park has been closed for months due to a collapse of adjacent storm sewers. This is a little more problematic than the Cook's closure as there are no nearby facilities. Work in the area has stopped.
Brush Along The Trail -BDB to Jimerson Creek
Brush and trees are once again effectively narrowing the River Trail near Jimerson Creek. After being driven into a face-slapping tour of the overgrowth by a fast pace line, I reached out to my contact with Little Rock Parks. Work should start this week on clearing back the brush and be completed by next week. (Slow down here, guys. Your actions reflect on all of us. Save it for the road)
Overgrowth has narrowed this stretch of trail but LR Parks will be on the scene in the next few days.
We noticed tree trimming crews working along County Farm Road on Tuesday, clearing overhanging branches and brush from the bike lanes there.
Broadway Bridge ramp from the Little Rock River trail temporarily closed.
I ran into local cyclist Tom Burks last week and joined him for a ride over the Clinton Park Bridge, behind the River Market, and through the sculpture garden to the Broadway Bridge. it was an interesting break from just rolling down the trail, and I've made the loop a couple of times since.
The River Market Sculpture Garden allows you to add a bit of art appreciation to your ride.
I've run into some construction detours in the area, but they are well marked and have not been an inconvenience. That had changed today as I tried to reach the Broadway Bridge ramp along with my newest trail friend, Lisa T. We were both probing for a way through, only end up taking a forced detour over to Markham Street and back to the foot of the bridge.
The guys on the crew said that the pavers would be here soon. Expect the ramp closure to continue for a few days.
The closed ramp was more apparent from the bridge.
Please feel free to comment, suggest, and share.
If you enjoy getting this kind of information on the Central Arkansas cycling scene and think others would appreciate it, please share. While I don't understand current Facebook algorithms, I'd like to reach more than my current contacts. I always appreciate comments and questions. If you see something that needs attention, let me know and I'll do my best to do the research and report what I find.