Jesus! Are we ever glad to get out of the Camp Comfort. Glad but still cranky from lack of sleep. Seeing another ferryboat ahead is serendipitous. Traffic’s backed up more than a mile, but the kids forget all about their impatience and bad humor driving on to the ferry, crossing the lovely Lake Norfolk and into the mountains. We Florida flatlanders are excited to be driving winding roads into the mountains. By afternoon we enter quaint picturesque Eureka Springs on the narrowest and most tortuous road. “It’s like a rollercoaster!” yells Scooter, too excited to be carsick.
“Let’s do it again,” pipes Nicole. Instead we stop at one of the numerous springs dotting the town, complete with spigot spewing pure clear water available to anyone with a bucket. We fill our containers and mouths under the tap.
Eureka Springs became a thriving health spa during the late 1800’s touting the healing properties of its multitude of springs nearby. The wealthy people who could afford the luxury of attending the spas or baths in the summertime, built fantastic homes in these mountains, high on cliffs dotting the town. Many of the old houses have been renovated and the town prides itself in its beautiful gardens. Now rather than relying on the spas for tourist money, the city has become an art and cultural center, especially in the summer when many workshops, summer stock, art and music festivals take place.
We set up camp including the screened tent, several miles out of town on the Beaver Dam and Reservoir for a few day’s stay and head down to the dam for a refreshing and cleansing swim, as there are no shower facilities. After a simple dinner and bedtime ritual I sit down to write my first letter home. Where do I start?