Mosey through the Arkansas Ozarks

Pigs poop
Fish die
Re-elect Nobody

That was a bumper sticker we saw in Eureka Springs. We then learned the locals are fighting a “hog farm” aka factory farm on the outskirts of town. Add to it, the day we departed we discovered they won their first battle against a utility company’s plans to expand high voltage power lines through the Ozarks. The progressive little town of Eureka Springs was a delight.

This is the first time either of us have visited Arkansas, and with the help of a trusted friend (thanks M) we chose the town of Eureka Springs in the Ozarks. Highly recommend! Eureka Springs is a charming, artsy, historic, eclectic enclave enveloped by lush greenery and delicate wildflowers of purple, yellow and pink. Plenty to do here too – from hiking to biking to fun water activities like kayaking and canoeing. For the more adventurous, diving. One has the sensation of being in the old west walking through town. And it’s dog friendly with some establishments allowing dogs inside.

Our first stop in the Ozarks on the way to Eureka Springs was at this uber cool Natural Bridge.

This is the kind of thing one sees when taking the smaller roads – Frosty and Statue of Liberty in Arkansas
What a shocker – the Kenda Theatre?

Originally planning to stay only 2 nights at Eureka Springs, our tranquil lodging gently convinced us to stay a third night. It rained nearly the entire visit, but that didn’t stop us from taking a slushy hike along the Leatherwood Lake.

Leatherwood Lake
Leatherwood Lake

Downtown Eureka Springs

Lodging:
Cabins at Sugar Mountain Resort (scale 1-6)

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Cleanliness – 6
General Accommodations – 4
We love everything about this place except the other guests. We stayed in Sugar Shack #1 (top recommended choice) which is attached to #2. Our first night no one else was on site. That was sweet. The following two nights folks were staying in #2, and we could hear more things than we dare share. Shacks 3-5 are also all connected, so I prefer #1 to them all. Otherwise, the accommodations are lovely. A large modern-rustic room equipped with dishware and silverware, a microwave, small fridge and comfy bed and bedding, the back porch opens up to the woods. My favorite part was hearing the rain splash against the trees outside. Super cozy.
General Environs – 6
The woods! Yummy, lush, fresh. We had to drive to the better hiking trails, but it’s a beautiful drive. I felt very happy at this place, in the rain, in the woods.

The Market at Eureka Springs


Need organic? Gluten-free? Non-GMO? Go to the Eureka Market. Albeit a bit pricey, this classy and quaint market fed us well. We bought all our meals here – falafels, dolmas, kale salad, and the list goes on. We’ve been eating Subway and peanut butter sandwiches for several days, so the organic, healthy choices were a nice change. And despite the cost, it was still more cost-effective than going to a restaurant. Besides, apparently the best place in town to get vegetarian is only open Thursday-Sunday. We visited Sunday night through Wednesday morn. Too bad for us, we didn’t get to try Caribe.  Another recommendation (for organic, healthy choices) is Local Flavor.

Overall, what’s my take on Eureka Springs in the Ozarks? Two thumbs up. I’d go back. Next time – more hiking, kayaking and hanging out at the coffee shops downtown.

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But wit is so common in Arkansas that it does not distinguish a man—not while he is in Arkansas. It is the tradition of the land.
~C. L. Edison

October morning in the Ozark Mountains,
Hills ablazing like that sun in the sky.
I fell in love there and the fire’s still burning
A flame that will never die.

Chorus:
Oh, I may wander, but when I do
I will never be far from you.
You’re in my blood and I know you’ll always be.
Arkansas, you run deep in me.

Moonlight dancing on a delta levee,
To a band of frogs and whippoorwill
I lost my heart there one July evening
And it’s still there, I can tell.

Magnolia blooming, Mama smiling,
Mallards sailing on a December wind.
God bless the memories I keep recalling
Like an old familiar friend.

And there’s a river rambling through the fields and valleys,
Smooth and steady as she makes her way south,
A lot like the people whose name she carries.
She goes strong and she goes proud.

Chorus:
Oh, I may wander, but when I do
I will never be far from you.
You’re in my blood and I know you’ll always be.
Arkansas, you run deep in me.

~Arkansas, You Run Deep in Me,
Arkansas State Song, written by Wayland Holyfield

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Our Journey West Across the US

Post #1: Macon Music in Georgia
Post #2: Boy from Tupelo, Mississippi
Post #3: Two Must-Sees in Memphis Tennessee
This is Post #4: Mosey Through the Arkansas Ozarks
Post #5: Gettin’ Our Kicks on Route 66 from Missouri to Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Post #6: More Route 66 Kicks from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City
Post #7: Don’t Mess with Texas on Route 66
Post #8: Route 66 Texas Panhandle
Post #9: Bound for Tucumcari, New Mexico
Post #10: Santa Fe’ed Your Soul
Post #11: The Winds of Taos
Post #12: The Good, the Bad, and the Heinous of New Mexico
Post #13: Dusky, Durable Durango
Post #14: Cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde Colorado
Post #15: Moab Rocks
Post #16: No Clever Title for Richfield, Utah
Post #17: Leavening Las Vegas

 

18 Comments

  1. Mark Sitton

    Arkansas is a fantastic place, and it has all four seasons and great rivers (went to school in Fayetteville). I stumbled on this site as a Trimalleolar frac sufferer. I’m curious, how’s the ankle? I’m almost 3 weeks post-op…long way to go. Just writing the alphabet with my foot (or trying to) right now.

    1. Thanks for writing in, Mark. We found the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas to be stunning and super peaceful.

      Well, yes on one hand you have a way to go, but on the other hand, you’ve come a long way. I recall things progressing quickly one month post-op. And now? The ankle is doing great and kicking some butt. I ran 6 miles today, biked 25 miles yesterday and am swimming. I still have some periodic reminders of the injury – a little tightness here and some (very minor) swelling there – after intense exercise or a dramatic change in climate. But overall, I do believe it’s better and stronger than ever.

      Mostly, though, I find myself grateful – daily – for well-functioning limbs.

      Please, if you get a chance, keep my posted on your progress. I wrote several blog posts about my healing process and kept some records of the progress through PT. It was helpful for me to see the positive changes: range of motion, ability to increase certain exercise frequencies or weights, ability (eventually) to hold increasing weight on the ankle, walking with the boot, with hiking boots with no shoes on sand and eventually running (my PT allowed me to begin running on it in about 4.5 months – very VERY slowly for very short distances on a treadmill). Hopefully you have a great support network. Feel free, seriously, to write anytime.

      I’ll be happy to support you. It does get better!

      1. Mark Sitton

        Well it’s been over 3 months post-op now but I can tell you things are getting much better! I appreciate the response a while back. I’ve been going to PT for over a month now and have been walking/swimming/riding. I still have the nerve damage on the top of my foot and can’t raise up on my calf but can fully bear weight…so progress indeed! Again, thanks for the encouragement a few months ago, it helped!

        1. Kenda

          Thanks for writing in, Mark. It sounds like you’re making great progress in only 3 months post-op! I’m quite happy I was able to help, albeit the small role I played in your support system. And yes, I forgot to mention that I have some nerve damage on my foot (mostly the upper top but a little on the bottom as well) in the form of numbness. I recently noticed some tingling and think perhaps it’s starting to repair itself. Another amazing feat (no pun intended) of the human body – it’s will to heal.

          It’s all downhill from here. It’ll keep getting better and easier and one day you’ll look back on this as one of those defining moments in your life. In the words of my late father, “It’s all character building.” 🙂

          Well done!

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