Saturday, October 6, 2012

Northwest Arkansas

We've enjoyed our week in Northwest Arkansas. Our home in the trees at Hickory Creek COE Campground in Lowell has been the perfect place to kick back and relax.

With a view like this from our "porch", what's not to like? We're on the shore of Beaver Lake. But, this year, the shore is much farther away than normal. The severe drought has resulted in extremely low lake levels. But, it's out there. Really!

See! There is some water in the lake!

We've enjoyed hiking around this beautiful campground and seeing the sights. The fall colors are just starting to show. But, these cheerful flowers at the marina are in their full glory!

Wednesday we made a day trip to the opposite side of Beaver Lake to visit Eureka Springs. Neither of us had ever been, so we just had to check out this quaint Victorian town just south of the Missouri border. Carved out of the Ozark Mountains, the town streets and walking paths are steep and winding. The challenging terrain has earned Eureka Springs the moniker "The Stairstep Town."

As its name implies, Eureka Springs "sprung up" around natural springs, which were believed to have magical powers.  In the mid-to-late 1800s, the town grew from a rural village to the state's second largest city. Visitors flocked to town to bathe in the healing waters. Many gathered in Basin Spring Park, which was the source of the "Balm of Life."

Today, Basin Spring Park is "protected" by this mosaic princess, which looks down from the bluff.

Modern day visitors come to Eureka Springs more for the shopping than bathing. There are plenty of places in which to poke around. This blessings bowl was a lovely touch in one shop.

One reason for our visit to town was to complete the second of three stops in our Great Arkansas BBQ Tour. We stopped in Bubba's for a delicious pulled pork sandwich.

From Eureka Springs, we headed north to check out Holiday Island, a very laid back community on Table Rock Lake. As we continued our loop back to Hickory Creek, we crossed this very interesting (and narrow and low) bridge. Rocky made this crossing with no problem. But, this is a route Bullwinkle will never know.

There's a bit of Kansas in Arkansas. (Think about it.) So, we were pleased to see our beloved Jayhawk enjoying some out-of-state shelf space at Macadoodle's, our favorite wine and spirits purveyor in the state.

There's a chill in the air here in Northwest Arkansas, and we love it. For the first time in a long time, we spent an evening by a campfire. What a treat! Tomorrow, we're heading south - and up - to the highest point in the Natural State. But, we look forward to a return visit to this lovely little corner of Arkansas.

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