I moved up into the mountains to a little town called Mountain View. Mountain View bills itself as the Folk Music Center of the World. If you need to buy a dulcimer, this is the place for you. Usually, Mountain View has a population during the year of about 2500 but when Bean Fest happens, the population swells to over 30,000. The Arkansas also has a state park here which is called the Ozark Village State Park which was my primary draw.
The State Park is set up like a small village. Each of the buildings has some sort of Ozark craft focus where you can learn about various crafts. Did I mention that there was also a kindergarten class that was wandering around also, so some of the crafts I got to learn about on a kindergarten level which was actually fun because we got to do little hands on crafty things.
In between my kindergarten crafts, I spent a lot of time talking to the various artists. I especially enjoyed the candle maker. It looked like a lot of fun to make candles, she would dip strings into wax multiple times and then once everything had dried, she would dip them in different dyes. I decided that I need to be a candle maker.
|There were also other buildings - this was the one room school house|
I also enjoyed the Apothecary Shop, where I learned all about soap making. The woman said that it had been 15 years since she had used commercial soap on her hair or body. She talked about how it was pretty much a chemistry project, putting together different chemicals, melting them in a big pot and adding essential oils. If it didn't have Lye in it, it wasn't soap. I'm thinking I should start making soap.
The other fascinating shop I visited was a copper shop. They would take a piece of copper and they would paint with a mini blow torch. Depending on how hot the torch was and how long you kept it on the copper, that would determine the color. Yup, if I had any artistic talent, after my soap and candle making, I would be a copper painter.
I also visited a knife maker, weaver, glass blower and a potter. I guess I will have to put all of this on my to-do list.
Of course, the highlight of my visit was lunch. I had been wanting one of these like forever and finally the stars aligned. I had a Frito Pie. Does life get any better than this?
After being all crafty, I went home and picked up Miko. We were off for Blanchard Springs. The big draw in the area is Blanchard Caverns, but I really don't have much interest in going underground. It was too nice of a day and I had been promised a waterfall. This is a most excellent time to see waterfalls in Arkansas because of all of the heavy rain that we have had in the last few days, those waterfalls are gushing. Also because of the rain, the creeks have all overflowed their beds. The trail I was planning to take, went along the creek in a loop but I could only go down one size of the creek – there was no trail or way to cross the raging torrent.
|I think that is a trail on the other side of the creek|
|Finally A Water Fall!!!!|
|Bonus - another one!!!|
|Miko spent a lot of time chasing these guys|
As I left town, I had to stop at the Conoco station in a little town of Leslie. When I entered Arkansas, way back when, the woman at the Welcome Center told me that this Conoco station makes the most fabulous chocolate rolls. They have this dough that they spread out flat and then smother it with chocolate, roll it up and then deep fry it. I walk in, stood in line, asked for them and the lady says – “how many? A dozen?” I took a deep breath and said sure. Gotta say, they are pretty incredible.
I ended up in a Corp of Engineer Park called Old Post Road Park. It had a nice dam and river but not a lot of charm. There was a soccer field there that had about 100 Canadian geese all lounging around. I thought about all those kids playing in all that goose poop and Miko told me that she could fix the problem. I looked around, there was nobody nearby and I let Miko go. She took off at warp speed and it was like one of those nature photo ops from National Geographic. One hundred geese all taking to the sky. I sure wish I had had my camera ready.
I also have learned about a terrible thing that Arkansas has. Something called Seed Ticks. Not so Fun Fact: The life cycle of a wood tick is composed of four states: egg, larval, nymphal and adult. The larval stage is also called Seed Ticks. They are super tiny, smaller than a deer tick and they attach themselves like a regular tick. A lot of times, you can feel them attach – they have super sharp biting heads. I speak from experience. They are so tiny that it is difficult to notice them, let alone get them off. It is Seed Tick season here in Arkansas.