Hippie Days – Of Haircuts and Bug Bites

Beaver Dam Reservoir

After breakfast we go back into town for supplies, a little sightseeing and a post office run. Eureka Springs is one of our General Delivery locations for dropping off and picking up info on our traveling companions’ whereabouts. On our winding way in we pass an orange VW. It’s Herb and Trudy. I wave them over, “Good timing! You two, in person are way better than General Delivery.” We learn that they’ve camped just a few miles from us on a secluded bluff. We follow them to the spot and  Terry, Barb and Kathy are already there, sitting in front of their green VW camper taking life easy, eating famous Chipley watermelon while enjoying the view from the bluff. Never know when we’ll meet up with this wandering bunch of hippies. Or does our karma keep bringing us together? I scan the vista, “How’d you guys find this place? It’s glorious.”

“Some local hippies. It’s called Log Rolling Bluff,” pipes Trudie.

“Cool!” I smile.

This very secluded spot is on private property and named by the pioneer lumberjacks who used to roll their logs down the hill and into the lake where they were floated downstream. But there are no facilities, so the whole gang decide to follow us to our campsite on the Beaver Dam and Reservoir, which ain’t half bad either. It’s no problem for the others to break camp as there are no tents to take down. This time we stock up on booze before we arrive, and proceed to consume a bottle of Vodka in the form of gimlets, with lots of limes.

barber shop

We’re a pretty motley crew sitting around the campsite, and sufficiently mellow, so that when Ray suggests haircuts, we laugh and razz each other. Who looks the worst? The best? We all rise to the challenge and talk Terry into going first. Who’s going to do the honors? Ray of course. He started the whole thing and talks a good game. Terry morphs from hippie to clean cut David Bowie look-a-like. Trudie takes over for a final touch up including a wet comb job. Terry’s skeptical, but after a toast to his handsome new self, he gives in with a big smile.

The kids get all wrapped up in the good times jumping up and down, calling “My turn, my turn.”  I must admit Ray gets better and better and both Scooter and Nicole love the results in the mirror.

I’m last, repeating over and over, “I just want a trim.” It’s taken me a long time to achieve the long straight Joan Baez look that’s in style now.

Ray’s loose, snipping away saying “I’ve been telling you to get a haircut and now you’re looking better than you have in months.” I’ll take that as a compliment.

There is one catch to this beautiful area. Remember we’re still in Arkansas and have already had a run-in with mosquitoes. This time it’s chiggers or red devils: the bright red parasitic larva that feeds on the skin and tissue of mammals including humans, causing irritation and swelling. Having grown up in Florida we’ve long been familiar with these “red bugs”, encountering them camping in the piney woods, especially in the Spanish Moss. But by the next day we’re all covered from head to toe, Scooter and Nicole complaining the loudest. We’ve heard that the only way to get rid of them is to dot each bite with nail polish to suffocate the little varmints. The nail polish runs out, and Terry, who’s the hardest hit, tries Elmer’s Glue. When the glue has dried in his armpits, stuck all his hair together and pinched more than the actual bites. He can’t decide which is worse, the bugs or the cure. His solution – shaving his armpits. Ouch.

Time to say good-bye. We’ll meet again in Aspen, CO if our karma holds.