The Ozark Mountains felt like home. No, I’m not from Arkansas, but the rolling hills, the blooming redbud trees, and friendly people were like a visit to Grandma’s place. Our original anniversary trip plans failed, the train to Fort Worth already booked up. So Thursday night, Bill was on the computer until midnight looking for a place to go. We left Friday about noon for three days in Eureka Springs, hopefully for a good vacation.
Bill flew us into Rogers Airport (near Wal-Mart headquarters, I think) where Rogers Lake Aviation is FBO. We rented a car and drove north around Beaver Lake to get to our cabin, Pond Mountain Resort, a suite with so many windows it felt like we were camping out, especially when gazing at stars from the outdoor deck.
Eureka Springs nestles in a narrow valley – the shops, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts built into the rock-covered mountains. We drove the historic loop and got lost, but enjoyed the sight-seeing. Then we ate at The Local Flavor, easily our favorite restaurant, and wandered around South Main up through Spring Street. Most shops had already closed, so we didn’t purchase much, but the window shopping was fun.
Saturday, we drove to Beaver Lake, a short distance away, and then came back and had lunch at Bubba’s BBQ, eating pulled pork in tribute to our Razorback son-in-law. If you’re going to have pulled pork, that’s where to have it.
One of the special places we visited was Thorncrown Glass Chapel, 48 feet tall with 425 windows and over 6000 square feet of glass. Wow! Surrounded by God’s beauty, it felt like a holy temple.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel and spa was surrounded with thousands of colorful tulips. That’s where we saw an older man back over the side but he was unharmed.
Bill wanted to visit a cavern, so we chose Cosmic Caverns based on Bubba’s recommendation, and drove about 20 miles east of town, stopping at Berryville Airport (Bill likes to see airports). It had rained heavily two weeks before, flooding the caverns, and still had a pond in the bottom and water dripped on us from above, but all in all, a good hour underground. We saw cute little bats hanging from the ceiling.
We ate at Rowdy Beaver Restaurant and Tavern and took off south around Beaver Lake, stopping at Hobbs State Park visitor center, worthy of an educational tour. Then bebopped over to War Eagle Mill, and had lunch. I had their specialty – good old-fashioned cornbread and brown beans.
Before driving back to the airport, we hiked through the historic Van Winkle Place and the Sinking Springs Trail. For a spur-of-the-moment trip, it was remarkable. I’d go back to Eureka Springs any time, just like I’d always go back home to Grandma’s.