Central and Northwestern Arkansas

From Hot Springs we drove to Petit Jean State Park.  This is probably one of the most beautiful state parks we have visited yet.  Our site was humongous and it had a very pretty view of the lake.

We hiked the small trails and came across Bear Cave Trail, which was rather intriguing.  We walked around, over, through and over these gigantic rocks, formed by tremendous forces of wind and water.

The “Eye of the Needle”

My imagination runs away from me.  What do you see?  I see the face of a cat.

The most popular trail in the park was Cedar Falls Trail, however, we both knew that if we went down we would also have to come up  and since the ranger considered it to be a strenuous hike, we opted to just do the overlook.  Cedar Falls cascades more than 90 feet to the canyon floor.

While at Petit Jean, John received a call from Dave Damian, a friend with whom he had gone to high school.  After catching up a bit, we decided to meet with Dave and Lida Damian, for dinner at Petit Jean’s Mather Lodge, which is a restaurant right at the park and we enjoyed a very beautiful view of the sunset. 

We then drove to the highest point in Arkansas known as Magazine Mount.  There is a lodge on the highest peak which sort of reminded me of the ski lodges out west.  The view from there, of course, was also quite nice.  The mountainous terrain gives off a peaceful aura to your surroundings.

As we were driving around, a deer literally just jumped over the road right in front of us, naturally getting Jackson very excited.  The deer, who probably was aware that Jackson was secured in the truck or perhaps it was just waiting for its mate, stopped and turned to look at us, as if posing for a picture.  Soon after, a second deer caught up to the first one and off they both went deep into the woods.

Driving back, we drove though Havana and noticed its population of only 375.  Oh my, it must be true!  All the people are now in Miami!

We traveled to Table Rock, AR to connect with Cindy and Steve Keith, friends whom we met while wintering at Torrey Oaks in Florida.  They own a golf range in Peculiar, MO.  We visited Branson and attend the Shoji Tabuchi show, which was a bit corny but entertaining nevertheless.  Bathroom break was a treat though.  Check it out for yourselves.

Entrance into the Ladies’ Room:

View into the hallway that leads to the stalls:


My understanding from John was that there was a pool table and a seating area in their bathroom.  Silly boy, didn’t take pictures.

We had the opportunity to attend the Legends Golf Tournament also in Branson, MO.  The Tournaments were held at two different courses, so together with Steve and Cindy, we went to both, Buffalo Ridge and Top of the Rock.  It was pretty exciting to see these golf legends up close while they played in such beautiful surroundings.  

Buffalo Ridge had herds of buffalos roaming around and actually, it was the first time I had ever seen these animals out of captivity.

When we left Branson we went to Mountain View, AR for the Heartland Arkansas Chapter.  We had the opportunity to meet a completely new group of people.  Mountain View is known for folk music and people gather everywhere and at anytime to play instruments such as fiddles, dulcimers, banjos, etc. and it was quite an experience.  Also, we were unaware that the park was in a dry county and upon arrival management advised us that we were told that we were welcome to consume alcoholic beverages but they were to be consumed inside our RV.   Now, that was certainly a new experience for us.  Oh well, I guess we needed to dry out anyway and we did have some “very” nice meals (as if we needed any).

We took a tour to a nearby cave known as Blanchard Springs.

Do you see a ship?

The black stuff pictured below is bat poop.  When the cave is closed for off season, bats roam the cave.
Blanchard Springs is very picturesque.

From Mountain View we drove to Eureka Springs, AR.  Eureka Springs was my favorite town in Arkansas.  It has about 270 roads and none connect at 90 degrees, they all went up, down and around.  Most especially what stuck me the most was that there were no box stores, all were mom and pop stores and that is such a rarity anymore.
On the outskirts of Eureka Springs, we visited Thorncrown Chapel, which is a non-denominational chapel which has won numerous architectural awards.

Eureka Springs has beautiful homes, most of which are bed and breakfast establishments, as tourism is their main source of income.  Notice the gingerbread – 

We had lunch at the veranda of the Basin Park Hotel, built in 1905.

We took a tram tour of the small town and were taken to the Crescent Hotel, which is known as the most haunted hotel in America, built in the 1800’s.  There is aparently about 8 spirits floating around.  

Lobby Fireplace:

Front desk:

Dining room:

From the hotel’s rooftop though you have a beautiful view of Eureka Springs and far in the distance, if you look carefully you can see the Christ of the Ozarks sculpture above the treetops.  

I really enjoyed Eureka Springs, AR and vowed to return and next time, stay longer!  Next stop …. Kansas City here we come.