Let me say that the trip to Hardy was in no way wasted: We were in a part of the country we seldom see. We went through West Plains, where many years ago, on a vacation trip that took us to the Georgia gulf, we took our eight-year-old daughter to the emergency room because of a poison ivy reaction that turned to impetigo while we were on the road. Not a good memory, but a memory, just the same. When we entered Arkansas, we came to the town of Mammoth Spring, which triggered a memory because it was the birthplace of the only boy friend I ever had besides Cliff. It was his home town, and Cliff and I discussed whether he and his wife might be living there now and whether there were still any Armstrongs there. David would be retired, and he used to love his home town. Of course, a lot of things have changed since 1965, so who knows. We saw a state park right in town and thought it might be a place to camp, but there were no camping facilities available and we went on to Hardy. It's probably for the best, because I wouldn't have had such a good blog entry yesterday if we had stayed in any other town.
Usually when we're in Arkansas, we go to the Hub Motorcycle Resort and head out on scenic rides in fairly isolated parts of the state. This time we kept to the main thoroughfares, not freeways, but major highways. One thing about traveling the busier roads is that you see how various people live, which is always interesting whether it's two miles down the road from home or in another state. Cliff said Arkansas folks must really be rough on their transmissions, because it seemed there was a transmission repair shop every couple of miles. Body shops were also as thick as fleas on a stray dog's back.
Our destination was Eureka Springs, which is a large enough tourist attraction that there was bound to be something of interest going on there. We ate the last of our chicken salad in Harrison and arrived in Eureka Springs, watching for a place to camp and hoping to somehow find fuel for our Coleman stove and a container to transport it (or a piece of tubing so Cliff could suck some fuel out of the motorcycle gas tank). As we drove through the outskirts of town, we noticed that at least half the motels were advertising rates anywhere from $36 to $39.
"Cliff," I said, "we had to pay twenty bucks to stay at a campground last night. I'm thinking a motel at these prices is a real bargain."
We normally shun motels because they are priced out of our budget. We are also terrified of getting bedbugs; Cliff had a co-worker whose home got infiltrated by the little blood-suckers because of a night spent in a motel. If you ever read what is involved in getting rid of bedbugs in your home, you will have nightmares. Yes, I would rather sleep on the ground that have to deal with bedbugs. But we agreed to get a cheap motel room, inspecting it carefully before accepting it, because we were really tired. Cliff even agreed to finance a couple of meals out from his tractor fund! That way we wouldn't have to locate and buy fuel for our empty camp stove.
Once this was decided, we headed for the historic downtown to browse through some shops. It makes me a little angry that you have to pay $5 to park anywhere near this area. In fact, we did not do that; we put quarters in a parking meter and walked through a couple of shops. We are not big shoppers for trinkets, but one place had some interesting little overpriced souvenirs, so I took pictures. Oh, and in another one, I bought a biker vest!
|the front of my vest|
|The back of my vest|