Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs – located about as far north as you can get in Arkansas without straying over into Missouri. At last count, there is supposed to be 63 natural springs – guess that is where the name came from. It used to be a mecca for people wanting to be healed but since the Health Department has declared that perhaps it is not maybe in your best interests to 'take the waters', Eureka Springs has become more of a tourist town.

As is my nature, when I first get to a town, I like to do a city overview, if possible. In Eureka Springs, this takes the form of a open air tram ride to most of the town sites. There were Victorian houses, the haunted Crescent Hotel, a 65 foot statute called Christ of the Ozarks and a very touristy downtown with very very narrow streets. I'm really glad I wasn't doing the driving. The guide was your typical corny tour guide but he seemed to have found his audience among the 48 tourists. The tour was about 90 minutes and it was a pleasant afternoon to be driven around.

There is a place called Quigley's Castle that I needed to see. In the forties, Mrs. Quigley designed a house which Mr. Quigley said he would build for her. She got a little impatient, waiting for him to build the house. One day, when he left for work, she and her children tore down the house they were living in. When Mr. Quigley returned from work, he had to resort to living in a chicken house. Mrs Quigley designed the house so it had two frames. The outside frame was decorated in rocks and shells that she had collected over the years. The inner frame was several feet inside the outer one and in that space between the two frames,there was no floor, there was just dirt where Mrs. Quigley planted a garden. Some of the two story plants that are there are over sixty years old. Mrs. Quigley had a lot of energy and ended up putting stones and crystals everyplace.

The Castle

Inner/Outer Frame

The Goldfish Tank

The second story - plants growing up from below

Mrs Quigley's Butterfly Wall - one whole wall in an upstairs bedroom

Mrs. Quigley collected rocks - Mr. Quigley collected bottles

My mother thinks I put too many pictures of rocks in my blog - Mom, it could be a lot worse

I felt guilty for leaving Miko alone and so when I got back we decided to go hike around Lake Leatherwood. I chose to do the four mile loop around the lake, forgetting, of course, all the rain that Arkansas had been literally flooded with. It was a nicely marked trail on the first half of the trail until we crossed the dam. There were several creeks that normally you could walk across on stones, but now were about ankle deep. I started regretting the fact that I had opted not to buy waterproof hiking shoes. At the very end of the trail, the flooding got even deeper. I let Miko off leash because of her tendency to try to hop over water. I knew she would pull me over. Somebody had tried to put some logs and boards across the waterway, which I used, but mostly I just resigned myself to getting wet.

How to get from here to there?

Blue Springs Heritage Center was the home of Blue Springs – a spring that pumps out 38 million gallons of water a day. The walkway around the springs was all flooded out – you could only walk on the upper walkway. It was sort of eerie looking down into the water and seeing a bench that was about three feet under water. It was a little like looking at the Lost City of Atlantis.

The water was actually this color

Upper walkway and stairs down to the lower walkway

Never one to turn down an opportunity for a Junior Ranger badge, I headed over to Pea Ridge National Military Park – site of a civil war battle. The ranger was unable to tell me the difference between a National Military Park and a National Battlefield, even though he said he had tried researching it. I hope he finds his answer. I watched the movie, drove the seven mile loop around the battlefield, impressed aforementioned ranger with the depth of my Junior Ranger answers and got my badge.

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