Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 6 - Headed Home to Georgia

Awake at 4 AM for a leisurely drive through the hills to NW Arkansas Regional airport.  The sky is lightening and the sun is destined to peak over the hill to greet a new day. Temp is pushing 60.  Most of the valleys have a shear blanket of fog nestling the foliage, especially where a creek or river are present.  We have both had a great week and will be putting the 'blog' on hold until we are able to consumate the exchange of ownership of our prize in October.  Headed to hot Atlanta.  Hear it is raining there, but hopefully that will push out before we arrive.  Glad to be home!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 5 - Nebulous Excursions

Weathered an intense storm cell that launched out of the west from Oklahoma; knocked on our door last night around 9 PM with lighting, wind and constant rain.  Made for a good night of rest.  New day brings on a fresh day of discovery.  Began our journey to view the Christ of the Ozarks monument that is seven stories high, weights 2 million pounds and can be seen for miles.  Located on the same site is a 10 foot section of the Berlin Wall that was taken down in 1989-90 time frame.  It was time for coffee, so off we went and found a small hole-in-the wall restaurant named Sparky's.  What an eclectic building that was at one time a gas filling station with one bay for auto repair and one for washing cars.  The repair bay had a black painted floor with swirls of red, yellow, white and blue paint ribbons that resembled a Jackson Pollock painting.  We had the pleasure of being served by Sara with an '"i" (Sari) a hot cup of black java and provided us the history of Sparky's Roadhouse. 
We had previously passed an establishment that had peaked our interest and both agreed we would have lunch there before we left Arkansas.  Well, it was time for lunch, so off to "Grandma's Beans & Cornbread and Hot Cobbler" we go.  What a boon!  Met the delightful owner, Mr. Richard September, who came to Eureka Springs for LA, CA.  No regrets!  A great serving of pinto beans, onions, scrumptious cornbread,  and fresh collard greens.  Life is good.  Can not wait to try the white northern beans on our return trip.  And the journey goes on... 

Day 4 - Back to the Barn

We finished the day with an easy drive back to the hotel.  The road back allowed the capture of new scenery to add to our cache of photos.  At the end of the day, the wind was picking up with ominous black clouds building from the west.  It was a dichotomy with appending storms ahead and the complacency of the cows grazing on the hillside without any concern for the future weather. Back to the barn...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 4 - Walk-About in the Ozark National Forest

Departed Jasper and headed 5 miles north to the Buffalo National River at Pruitt, AR.  Discovered a trail along-side the river and took a 2 mile hike.  The photographic advantage of the scenery far outweighed the rigors of the trek.  We were fortunate to observe Elk prints in the trail and were entranced with the natural beauty of the indigenous forest vegetation..  The surrounding atmosphere was serene with the sounds of the river over rock and the songs of the native birds.  What an experience!

Day 4 - Journey to Jasper, AR

The continued journey took us to Jasper, AR.  Jasper is a small town that is located alongside the Buffalo National River and the Ozark National Forest.  We took a respite to acquire some java and mingle with the local folk.  Our previous experience of the Arkansan people has been one of warm and friendly acceptance...this occasion was no exception.  We stopped in the Ozark Cafe for lunch of catfish, beans and shoestring french fries. Yumm...  We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Louise, who had been a waitress there in 1951...  a charming lady.  We were greeted  by affable waitresses, Dawn and Candace, who were intrigued by our adventure and were gracious enough to have the staff take a picture with us.  Good food, good company, and good gracious we are full. Off to the next highpoint.

Day 4 - A Day of Excursions

Our day started out with a hearty breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Myrtie Mays. We made our second trip to Wilson Combat just outside of Metalton, on CR 719, to finalize our selection of custom Supergrade Tactical .45ACP work of art firearms.  The journey to the destination was a plethora of, rolling hills, gurgling brooks, old barns, and sanguine cattle.  Picture of the barn is on CR 719 one-half mile from their facility.

Bob's dream pistol has a black carbon steel slide with "Armor-Tuff" finish, flush cut bull barrel with a reverse crown.  He selected the stainless steel frame with Double-Diamond Cocobola South American wood grips. Tritium night sights and a stainless steel precision cut trigger put the finishing touches on this magnificent pistol.  Barry's bespoke pistol was the same fine selection with the exception of  a black carbon steel slide and frame with the "Armor Tuff" finish, and full checkered burly Cocobola grips. The artisans have begun the manufacturing process and we are excited about our return trip in October to take delivery of the commissioned firearms.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 3 - Intriguing Discovery

On our way back out of town to the hotel, we sighted an intriguing sign, The Cathouse Lounge and Hotel.  Stopped to inquire and met a delightful couple, Danielle and Mike.  Alot of folks in Eureka Springs are transplants from other places, but these two were true locals.  Friendly and entertaining, they are the epitomey of hospitality.  We wish them both well.  After a drink, it was off to the hotel for the days journal entries.  Anticipating the adventures of Day 4.

Day 3 - Evening in Town

After some afternoon coffee and German Chocolate cake at Myrtie Mae's, we headed to historic downtown Eureka Springs for more exploration.  Came across the Crecent Hotel, a magnificent hotel built in 1886.  It's so old, I bet it has ghosts.  On our journey we discovered the Eastview Cottage,  a house that was build on a bedrock in 1881.  What a site!

Day 3 - Sojourn to Berryville and Points South

Departed Eureka Springs mid-morning headed east to Berryville and beyond. We were greeted with 65 degrees temp and clear blue skies for our trip.  The land is full of rolling hills and dotted with scores of cows.  A Norman Rockwell scene.  Berryville is a small eclectic town with interesting folks.  Make a hard right turn South on SR 21 headed to Wilson Combat, makers of world finest custom firearms.  We were greeted on our arrival by Mr. Matt Riker who provided us a personal tour of the firearms facility. Very impressive!  Next stop lunch and Eureka Springs. Great day!!

Day 3 - Breakfast at Myrtie Mae's

Started the day by having a great breakfast at Myrtie Mae's restaurant.  Cat head biscuits and apple butter...yum.  Apple butter, as Bob corrects me, is not a jelly!  Met some unique individuals while enjoying our breakfast.  This place is one where the locals congregate to catch up on the days happenings.  Our waitress, Audrey, (known to her friends as Sunshine) kept us with fresh hot coffee and wished us well on our adventure.   She had an interesting past of traveling with her Dad, who was a migrant bee-keeper.  Turned 35,000 bee hives into truckloads of honey.  I must say that one would be hard pressed to find better food or service anywhere.  Off to Berryville...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 2 - Cruising Eureka Springs, AR

Spent the rest of the day cruising Eureka Springs.  Such a quaint town...requires more discovery tomorrow.

Day 2 - Arriving Arkansas

Wheels down and locked... smooth landing at NW Regional Arkansas Airport.  Looked for a Porche for a rental car, but Enterprise only had a Buick.  Oh well, although it did not have a GPS, it rides nice.  We proceeded to immediately get lost while we tried to find a Walmart for a Garmin. (You must know that we we're in Bentonville, AR, home of Sam Walton and his HQ for Walmart.  There are four Supercenters in this town with only a population of 26,000).  Finally stopped for directions from more nice folks before we made it to Oklahoma and found our way back to Wally-World.  Fired up the Garmin and headed to Eureka Springs. Beautiful drive with some nostalgic scenes of old barns and such.

Day 2 - Traveling to Arkansas

Well, day two has come early.  We got up at 4:30 (ugh) to head down to the coffee shop (had to have some java) around 5:30.  Needed that fix to get our engines running.  Met some really nice folks at the Marriott Atlanta Airport. (Jeff and Tracy)  Jeff greeted us with a smile and was upbeat.  We requested a favor of Jeff to take our picture for prosperity. (Do not adjust your TV set, it is the picture!)  Well, he proceeded with enthusiasm, but I must say that Jeff may need to keep his day job.  We had our picture taken with Jeff as a rememberance of the ambassador sending us to our next leg of the journey.  Made it to the airport at 6:30 for an 8:30 departure. The flight was overbooked, so we attempted to "sell" our seats and take a later flight to capitalize on a free trip for a future journey.  But to no avail;  the overbooking was resolved and we caught the flight on schedule.  Wheels in the well at 8:52 and we are on our way. (P.S., don't sit in row 9 or your get the full effect of the landing gear operations)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Ready for Day 2

It's been a long day.  Getting ready to hit the sack - got an early flight in the morning.  Looks like the weather in Arkansas will be kind to us voyagers.  Time will tell.  More tomorrow!

Day 1

Making the journey by staging ourselves in Atlanta for tomorrow's flight.  Sunday travel is always anticipated as being an easy ride, but ran into Mother Nature with sporatic downpours.  Reminded us of the soft warm rains of Bali with the exception that we were on I-75 N in Middle GA.  Oh well, just slowed down and enjoyed the company!  It is, however, about the journey and not the destination.

A Whale "Tale" of an Adventure

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pre-day adventure

Today is Saturday, 15 May 2010. My best friend and I are on an adventure...what we typically call a whale hunting trip, that will start in Middle Georgia, and will take us through the Ozark mountains of Arkansas and return. The journey starts tomorrow. The idea is to enjoy the journey and not rush to the destination. Take time to live.