The explanation turned out to be user error. Somehow, I had selected walking, instead of driving, as my means of travel. My next search showed a much quicker and easier 5 hour trip.
While in Springdale, I spoke to the Wolves at Westwood Elementary, the Mallards at Monitor Elementary, and the Tigers at Tyson Elementary. Students earned The Legend of Sassafras House swag for answering questions about the importance of literacy and the elements of fiction writing.
Along with the students, I met librarians, counselors, teachers, principals, secretaries, and security officers. The common thread woven throughout my visits was dedication and enthusiasm. Nary a discouraging word was heard anywhere.
If I get a chance to return to Springdale Public Schools, I won't let a mere 85 hour walk stop me.